A regular reader of this blog may have figured out by this point that while I'm passionate about all of my writing, I am particularly passionate about my series titled Stories of the MMIW. There is a reason for that, I admit. My great-great grandmother was Cherokee and excommunicated for marrying my great-great grandfather. As I grew up in a turbulent situation, my great grandmother often took care of me, many times taking custody of me altogether. It was from her that I learned about where I came from and what it meant to be a little girl with a Native mother and a white father during the Great Depression. In years to come I would understand my great grandmothers spirited rants about the "White man" came from her experiences with white men growing up. Men that called her names like "half-breed." Knowing that things have not gotten better in the 97 years since my great grandmother entered this world, I'm led to write these stories, hoping that maybe one day they will.
If it wasn't for one podcast in particular I could not have written some of the stories I've run across. Information on MMIW cases are sparse and no one knows that better than the brave and honest women of the We Are Resilient podcast. These ladies have set out to tell the stories and say the names of the victims of the silent epidemic sweeping this country. They have also helped make it possible for me to continue publishing stories on this crisis that so badly needs a spotlight shined upon it. I cannot say how happy I was to find a podcast dedicated to this problem when researching these cases. Especially one so well researched and presented.
Maggie Jackson, Sheyahshe Littledave, and Osh Stephens are proud members of the Eastern Band Cherokee Tribe, trying to bring awareness to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's movement and the cases of those missing and murdered. While they crusade for all women and girls rendered by the crippling statistics of this crisis, Sheyahshe also crusades for her own missing cousin, 36-year-old Brittaney Littledave, missing since September 5, 2021. From her own point of view, Sheyahshe has seen the way families of missing Native women are treated. She knows better than anyone the importance of keeping a loved one's name in the press. Even if they've left of their own recognizance, they should know that their loved ones would scour the ends of the earth for them.
A podcast that I started listening to for research I've found myself listening to out of pure enjoyment for the show. These ladies are very well researched and extremely passionate about the work they're doing. The passion comes through loud and clear on every episode. It can be felt deep inside your bones with each story, even the ones with too little information for a full-length episode. Week-by-week, these ladies approach their microphones with a sense of purpose that is being well fulfilled. Not only are they working on their podcast, but they're also taking on an active role as activists in a movement that has had shadows cast upon it for too long. As they continue to record their show, go to rallies, and make their presence known by the media, they're effectively ripping the tape off of the silent mouth of this epidemic.
I have used the We Are Resilient podcast as a source for such stories as Britney Tiger, Misty Upham, and Selena Not Afraid. They have also covered the cases of Neveaeh Kingbird, Mary Johnson, Pepita Redhair, Rose Downwind, Ella Mae Begay, and many others. Though information in these cases is very hard to track down a lot of the time, they still manage to scrape the bowels of the internet until they find every scrap available. They also educate the listener about each tribe that each girl is from, making every episode even more of a learning experience. I would highly recommend this podcast to any true crime fan. It's very informative as well as being educational and well produced. I would also suggest anyone interested in learning more about the MMIW movement check this podcast out. It's a truly eye-opening experience brought to you by three of the most impassioned, dedicated women you'll ever listen to.