People Of Coal-Rich Northern Cheyenne Torn Between Jobs And Sacred Culture
People Of Coal-Rich Northern Cheyenne Torn Between Jobs And Sacred Culture.
Jobs are scarce here on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and so is money.
Unemployment on the Northern Cheyenne About 5,000 people live on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the unemployment rate is about 24 percent.
"I’d say about 10 percent of us have jobs," Small says, in an office just outside Lame Deer.
The tribe is surrounded by coal development.
There is hope in those places and on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation that President Trump and his push to do away with Obama-era environmental regulations will stop the bleeding and help bring the coal economy back.
He’s trying to create jobs," says Leroy Spang, a former president of the Northern Cheyenne tribe and a retired coal miner.
Earlier this year, the Northern Cheyenne sued the Trump administration for its decision to end an Obama-era moratorium on coal leasing.
This is a point many pro-coal people on the reservation make for development: The tribe would have more independence and flexibility if it wasn’t so tied to federal money.
Off of Route 39, the main road through Lame Deer, not far from where Littlebird sells his hamburgers is a new shopping center.