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Small town, big records

April 16, 2010

I learned some interesting statistics this week that you wouldn’t expect to find out about Lame Deer., Montana, a town of no more than two or three thousand.  Apparently, the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue with Highway 212 is one of the busiest intersections in the state of Montana; there were surveyors here earlier in the week studying the traffic patterns.  Also, the Cheyenne Depot, which serves as the local gas station and snack shack, sells more pop and chips than any other gas mart in the state. 

It’s interesting, though, that none of that pop and chip is sold to the hundreds of truckers and travelers that pass through the reservation daily on Highway 212 – almost no one stops here on the reservation as they head between Rapid City and Billings, or vice-versa.  There is so much economic potential in this little town that isn’t being captured.  On the other hand, capturing it means opening up to the outside world and Cheyennes are very protective of their community, and for good reason:  it is a beautiful, secluded spot whose privacy is not yet spoiled by intense commerce or tourism.  Would capturing the economic power of 212 destroy the fabric of the community, or would it help to strengthen the threads by bolstering the local coffers and increasing the tribe’s self-sufficiency???


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  1. Hi my name is Dana Beartusk and I used to live in the house above that intersection. I am also a enrolled tribal member and am all for more development of that sort,to better the tribe in so many ways besides what fwe things we already have amen? Thanks DBT.

  2. @itchinratt – Thanks for the comment.  Do you still live on the rez?

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