Manny Faces is a SquadCaster and the host of many podcasts. One of those podcasts, and an award-winning one at that, is called News Beat. Today on the SquadCast podcast, we’re featuring an episode of that show! The episode is called MMIWG2S: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls & Two-Spirit People. It’s a heavy topic, but one that we feel is important to share. Thank you to Manny and the team for sharing it with our audience.
Here’s What Happens in This Episode
Bernadette Smith scours the depths of the Red River in Manitoba for her missing sister and other women and children murdered and dumped in its murky waters Duana Johnson comforts families of those who’ve vanished from reservations throughout the U.S. Northwest. Mary Kathryn Nagle battles for justice on behalf of the mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, and nieces stolen, tortured, raped, and killed. These Native women represent the countless voices extinguished by the ongoing genocide confronted by the MMIWG2S movement.
Also In This Episode
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- Written and produced by Arielle Nissenblatt
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- Transcripts by Sabeena Singhani
MYLES MCCUTCHEON: Hey, before we get to this week’s episode of The SquadCast Podcast, I wanna tell you about another show I think you’ll like, and it’s recorded on SquadCast. I’m Myles McCutcheon, and I’m the host of The Horror Script Podcast. It’s a show about…You guessed it! Horror movies that we review from the great to the not so great. You can find it on YouTube, Instagram, and wherever you like to listen to podcasts. Okay, let’s get to the show!
MANNY FACES: Hey everyone, and welcome to The SquadCast Podcast. I’m Manny Faces. Usually this show is hosted by Zach and Rock, SquadCast’s co-founders. But today I’m here because in a little bit you’ll hear an episode of one of the podcasts that I helped put together. It’s called News Beat. Now on The SquadCast Podcast, Zach and Rock talk about remote interviewing and content production. They share recommendations, they discuss product updates, those kinds of things. And lately on this feed, you’ve been hearing a bunch of SquadCast recorded podcasts. That’s because the SquadCast team loves to show off the amazing work of the Squad community, of which obviously, I’m a proud member. Now here’s what you can expect to hear on the episode we’re about to play from my podcast News Beat. Now it’s a bit heavy, but it’s a hugely important, often under reported, topic. You see every year, countless indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited people go missing, or are murdered across Canada and the United States. Stories that also often receive little to no attention from the media or even law enforcement. So we dug into this issue and spoke with the courageous activists, many of them family members of the missing, who have taken the matter into their own hands and are leading efforts to locate the lost and bring them home. These stories are heartbreaking, but the efforts are inspiring, and we’re extremely proud to bring this issue the spotlight it deserves. In the unique way that only our award-winning show can. And if you’ve never heard a News Beat episode, you’ll understand what I mean when you first hear from LiKWUiD, one of our brilliant artists in residence who’s also featured on this episode. So without further ado, here’s News Beat’s episode, “MMIWG2S: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls & Two-Spirit People.”
BERNADETTE SMITH: My sister was someone who, when we were going and talking to women on the street, had shared stories about how she had helped them, how, you know, she would give the, the jacket off her back because someone was cold. If she had money and someone was hungry, or even if they needed something, you know, she was the first one to, to give up that, to give of herself. She had this beautiful smile that, uh, lit up, you know, would make you smile when you looked at her. Uh, she’d walk in a room and light it up. She was just so gorgeous. She had this laugh that just came right from her belly that, uh, you couldn’t help laughing. You didn’t even know why she was laughing, but you would laugh because it was so contagious. And she just had this personality that, uh, was so outgoing that, you know, she was loving. She, she always was affectionate with, uh, her kids, with her friends, with her family. Every time we, we saw each other and departed from one another was always, uh, love you forever and always, to the moon and back, you know, kind of thing. And we never said, uh, goodbye. We always said, see you, see you later. Because we, you know, we always, it wasn’t goodbye. We knew we were gonna see each other later. And you know, she’s someone that’s left a hole, you know, there’s, within our family and it’s…You know, every day we think about her, we, we go to sleep thinking about her. We wake up thinking about her, and you know, there’s a knock at the door. And we wonder is that the police coming to tell us that they found her. The phone rings or, you know, there’s a news report on the story that there’s been remains found. You know, it, you just, your life is in limbo. You know, and I’m just a sister, like my, my stepmom has, has suffered for the last 13 years, not knowing. And it’s, it’s hard to live life and go on without knowing.
I am Brother Cornell West.
This is Chris Hedges.
I’m Rosa Clemente.
Hey, what’s up? This is Chuck D. Public Enemy asdf?
And this is News Beat.
MANNY FACES: Hey everybody. This is Manny Faces, producer, audio editor, and host of the award-winning News Beat podcast. We shine a light on under-reported social justice issues through hard hitting journalism and independent hip hop music. That voice you heard at the top was Bernadette Smith, a Canadian first Nations politician and member of the HSA and Mets communities. Her younger sister, Claude Osborne, vanished in 2008 at the age of 21. Just one of the countless missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people, MMIWG2S, throughout Canada and the United States. Countless, because as you’ll learn, nobody really knows how many there are. With estimates into the tens of thousands across just these two nations throughout the decades. In response to the inaction of law enforcement, and moved by the heartbreaking 2014 discovery of the weighted down body of a missing and murdered 15 year old indigenous girl in the Red River of the North, which snakes along the Minnesota-North Dakota border into Manitoba and empties into Lake Winnipeg, Smith co-founded the group, drag the red with others who had been missing family members and indigenous allies. They’ve been dredging its muddy bottom and scouring its murky brown waters for their loved ones, and those of others, ever since. G iving grieving family members of murder and suicide victims, at least some sliver of solace, no matter how minor it might be. Now, as our guests will explain, there’s many reasons for these gruesome killings and disappearances ranging from a profound lack of data, gross misidentification and law enforcement’s, refusal to investigate to sex trafficking, inter jurisdictional black holes and blame games, and of course, the ripple effects of what has been centuries upon centuries of institutionalized racism and codified doctrines of exterm.
Against indigenous peoples in both countries and many others throughout the world. Joining Smith in breaking down the historical and ongoing causes and perpetrators of this genocide and sharing some necessary immediate actions to help end it. Are Joanna Johnson, a Colville tribal member from the Arrow Lakes Band in Washington state and lead administrator of the non-profit mm I W usa.
And Mary Catherine Nagle, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation lawyer, playwright and outside council and policy consultant for the non-profit National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, representing a number of missing indigenous people’s families who’ve lost loved ones. Translating the unimaginable anguish and fury permeating this crisis into incendiary hiphop versus as our co artist and residents, South Carolina by way of New York based hiphop fusion music artist, DJ, songwriter, and educator liquid.
Now the try and amplify awareness of this issue, we’re doing a rare double drop. With this episode. We’re releasing it in the News Beat podcast feed as usual, but also in the pod feed of our dear friends over at Unfucking the Republic, AKA U N F T R. Now I engineer and edit both of these shows, so be sure to check them out wherever you listen to your favorite pods, Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, all the places.
Please share the love of both shows and rate in, review us wherever you listen, and be sure to subscribe to both of our free newsletters, email@example.com, and U N FTR at U N ftr.sub.com. Without further ado, let’s get into it. This is mm i w G two s. Missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.
So in 2008, uh, my sister, who was 21 at the time, went missing in Winnipeg, Manitoba here. She was a mom of four. She had just had her fourth baby. Uh, my niece was two weeks old at the time. Um, she had been apprehended by child and family services, which is child welfare basically. And my sister, um, her case wasn’t taken seriously by the police here in Manitoba.
And my sister’s, um, story isn’t one that’s, uh, unique, unfortunately here in Canada, a lot of families have experienced the same thing that we’ve experienced. And I’ll go through our story just so listeners have contexts about why it’s important, you know, to raise awareness around the issue of mm i w G to S, which is missing.
A murdered women, indigenous women and girls, and two-spirited people. When my sister went missing, she, she basically was written off by society here in Canada. People didn’t care about the issue. They didn’t come out and help our family. When we were putting up posters, calling through the media for help to come out and, and search for her, it took the police 10 days to actually go out and start investigating.
So we were on the ground as, as family, trying to find my sister. It took the police 10 days to finally start investigating and we had to get political will behind us to actually get the police to do their job. We figured there were five things that played a role, um, in how her case was investigated.
First of all, she was indigenous. Second of all, she was a woman. Thirdly, she did have a criminal record. She was a known drug user and she had, um, She was a sex trade worker or a, we called them Exploited Women here in Canada. So we figure all those things played a role in how her case was handled. In 2006, there was a study that was done by the Native Women’s Association of Canada that was called Sisters in Spirit Report.
And it came out that there were 600 indigenous women that were missing since the 1970s. We know that there’s way more women that, uh, went missing prior to that. We also, through our work in advocacy, have worked with other families whose cases were never taken. The police wouldn’t give them an instant report, They wouldn’t take a report from them that they were missing, so it was undocumented.
So we figure as it’s up into the 10 thousands of indigenous women and two-spirited people that are missing here in Canada. It’s become this, this issue that people have started to pay attention to only since about 2016, and that’s only because there was a young girl, her name was Tina Fontain. She was 15 years old and she was a young exploited girl who had come to the city who had only been actually in Winnipeg for two weeks.
When Tina Fontine ran away from home, this is where she would come to her Auntie Lana. But on Sunday it was Winnipeg Police at this family’s doorstep. They knew.
I just knew my heart was good. Police divers found Fontaine’s body in the Red River Sunday. She’d been killed, then wrapped in a bag and tossed in the water. Investigators believe the 15 year old was being exploited and had been working these West end streets before she disappeared. She was last seen on August.
On Ellison Furby, they were looking for a man by the name of Farrin Hall, and he was a homeless man who had saved two people from the river. He had been living by the river and he was given the medal of courage by the mayor of Winnipeg. And this particular time he was seen struggling himself in the river.
Nobody saw him come up. So the police were called, the divers were sent out to look for him, and they came upon this little girl. And it was only then that, um, Canada was really galvanized. Canada started seeing this little girl as possibly their loved one, as their daughter, as their niece, you know, as someone who potentially could be one of their family members.
And it brought people together across Canada. And it was the start of a conversation around a national inquiry. And it actually spearheaded a national inquiry to happen here in. We begin with breaking news on the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. CBC News has obtained a copy of the commission’s final report ahead of its official release on Monday, and it is damning calling the Women’s Disappearance a Canadian genocide.
We accept the findings of the commissioners, uh, that it was genocide. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is bending to pressure from the National Inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, which say the country is guilty of genocide, but Trudeau stops short of agreeing, instead accepting the finding.
But our focus is going to be as it must be, on the families, on the communities that have suffered such loss.
It’s a big thing here in Canada, and I know in the United States that they’re starting to mobilize and there’s a lot of missing and murdered. Uh, Indigenous women or Native American women in in the states that are missing. I want to talk about something that folks really don’t talk enough about. Look at this.
Number 5,203, that’s how many indigenous women and girls were reported missing to the F FBI in 2021. That is more than 5,000 in one year. That is two and a half times higher than any other race in the country. But the truth is, the real number is likely much higher because a lot of missing person cases while they go unreported.
I’m aware that the quote unquote in i w movement began with that title in Canada. But the truth is right, that our native women and two-spirit relatives and our men for generations have been fighting for justice for our murdered and missing relatives, and we have been the population that has suffered the highest rates of homicide.
Really, I think since the United States inception, and that’s not a coincidence, it’s because the United States began the creation of the United States. The United States was formed out of violent acts and massacres committed against native people. Oftentimes, native women were targets, military targets, strategic political targets because of who we are as citizens of sovereign nations that predate the United States, that the United States didn’t want to exist anymore.
So one of the goals of the United States military in the 18 hundreds was to target native women in an effort to eradicate tribal nations. The results of that is that we have incredibly high rates of violence against native women and girls and and native men and two-spirit relatives as well today here in the United States.
So for generations, our, our women and our two-spirit advocates have really advocated for more justice for native victims and for an end to the violence. And in, in more recent years, that’s kind of coalesced into this mm i w movement. And you know, there are a lot of different acronyms for it now, which I think is great.
They’re more inclusive terms, like, mm, i p missing, murdered indigenous persons. But, you know, there is a recognition that women and girls are often targeted because of their gender and because their gender is female or slash woman. And that’s, I think, an important component of the violence too, is that as it began, it was seen as a way of eradicating tribal nations because our women give birth to the next generation of citizens.
And so if you’re able to wipe. The women who give birth to the next generation of citizens, then, then the goal, you know, could be accomplished to wipe out the nation entirely. Of course, that failed and we’re still here today, but the violence remains when you look at the levels of violence throughout Indian country, here in the United States and in Canada as well, and in Mexico, just to the south of us.
Indigenous women are attacked and targeted at rates that when you look at it at the 30,000 foot level, it’s an ongoing perpetuation of genocide.
We have all been touched in somewhere other. Um, by this missing and murdered indigenous women in some form or another. I’m a survivor myself of domestic violence. We also have members on our team that have been directly affected and had family members that are still missing and some that have been murdered.
Um, and I think that’s part of it really fuels us and keeps us going. Is because we are empathetic to this situation because we felt it firsthand not to belittle or put down the genocide, the horrible acts that were enacted upon Jewish descendants and people in in Germany, the final act. It was a plan that was modeled after what happened to my people here.
This is a situation that’s been going on since 1492. One of the first earliest recorded instances of our women being abducted with when our women and young girls were taking aboard. Christopher Columbus’s ships. Yeah, and it’s something that’s definitely still going on to this day. There is a significant percent of women that we don’t know what happened to them.
They’ve just vanished. And a lot of this has been due to domestic violence or some other sort of violence that they’ve been ex experiencing in their lives. Um, And Ooh, yeah, Mr. Mr. No More Stolen sisters. The callous of the white men’s burbon. Now blisters sister, may thou hit the shores a terror. Now the vows are human course.
It’s a racist declaration. Deep moralization the. For tribal eradication, parent servicing a wound laceration, family questioning authorities investigation, the lack of lit. This is based on her. The fact of the matter is meticulous. Women give birth to the next generation. So women are the target of the girls from the innocence before they get to bloom.
Canadian and colonial genocide of the womb, fierce femininity, pastry jeopardy, male fragility, fierce to spirit energy. They rather make an enemy instead of remedy. Peace with violence for existence. But my breath is resistance missing, murdered indigenous women and girls. It’s time to shed light. We are injustice.
Again, you know, 1492 with Columbus. That was the first, you know, real documented instance of us being trafficked, um, and sold us slaves. But this was also the Pople bowls from the 1100 to the 18 hundreds. The doctrine of discovery in 1493 played a huge part in that genocide. Um, also most definitely manifests destiny.
In 1893, the Supreme Court ruled that tribes are domesticated dependent nations. Natives are not considered US citizens nor independent nations. So that right there is like totally . It contradicts itself. But these are the kind of things that my people have, have had to deal with for hundreds of years.
Broken treaties, the Trail of tears, so many of our people have, have died along that walk. Um, and just to shed a little bit of light on, you know, the, you know, with Catholicism and the residential schools and how many babies, you know, children that. You know, we found buried that never got to come home.
Secretary Deb Holland, is trying to shine a light on a dark place in the country’s past, releasing a first ever report that aims to capture the scope of the trauma inflicted on indigenous communities in the us. As generations of children were forced to attend federally run boarding schools, the languages, cultures, religions, traditional practices, and even the history of native communities, all of it was targeted for destruction.
The initial report identifies 408 federally run boarding schools with 53 different burial sites uncovered so far. The full picture is far from clear. This analysis only documents just over 500 deaths. With a warning, the department expects the number of recorded deaths to increase our children deserve to be found.
Our children deserve to be brought home. The US investigation started after what is believed to be hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered at a Canadian residential school in Camloops, bc, a discovery that moved the first ever Native American cabinet secretary to tears and then action. I stand on the shoulders of my grandmother and my mother, and the work we will do with the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative will have a transformational impact on the generations who follow.
This is something that was most definitely swept underneath the rug. It’s not talked about in history class, and it is something that’s shameful upon this country, and it is most definitely genocide.
On Wednesday, people from around Montana gave emotional testimony about how they’ve been affected by what they call an epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous people, many of them women and children. It’s a crisis, and we’re reaching out to you guys now asking you guys for help. Many of those in attendance wore red, a color that has come to symbolize missing and murdered indigenous women.
According to the Department of Justice, Indigenous women and girls are 10 times more likely to go missing or be murdered. Compared to the national average, we end today’s show in North Dakota, where after a nine month search, the body of Olivia Lone Bear was found Tuesday in a pickup truck submerged in a lake right near her home on the Fort Bartold reservation, the mother of five went missing in late October in Newtown, North Dakota.
Her disappearance has sparked renewed detention to the disproportionately high rates of disappearance, rape, and murder of Native American women across the United States, particularly in areas of oil extraction like North Dakota’s back in Shell, which is the origin point for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
we wanna know, we hundreds of Mars walked through, hardened on Monday morning demanding justice following the recent death of an 18 year old woman. Nobody knows something, family, friends, and members of the missing and murdered indigenous women’s Group. Held the Justice March for Case. Sarah stops pretty places whose body was found in Harden on August 29th.
She had been reported missing by her family two days earlier. You know, there is no database and there hasn’t been one. We here at M I W and in other organizations that help our women. We are the ones that come up with that data. We are the keepers of that data. We’re the only race that has to do that. If you look at the statistics, there’s white or Caucasian, Hispanic, African American.
Asian and other. We are the other. We have a name. We’ve been here since before Colonial time, time Memorial. But yet we are considered other. This is what helps drive that normalization of victimization of our women. And this, sadly, it doesn’t just affect tribal reservations. This is happening in our own urban towns, our cities, whole states.
You know, it’s time for people to sit up and listen, um, for the media to, to listen. You know, in this age of technology, we are still not being heard.
The data collection has been an issue. There has not been sufficient data collection. There are multiple reasons for that. The Urban Indian Health Institute has done some data collection, as has Sovereign Bodies Institute, both of those organizations. But at the end of the day, because law enforcement oftentimes does not count the homicide of Native people as a homicide, oftentimes they’ll write it off as suicide.
Even though the factual circumstances around the death make very clear that it would’ve been physically impossible for the person who died to have killed themselves in that situation. Um, You know, we’ve got multiple incidents of, uh, this is really common of intimate partner violence between partners, where oftentimes a native woman, but also our two spirit relatives and native men as well, will be murdered by their intimate partner, and it’s written off as suicide instead of a homicide.
So we know the data is woefully insufficient, uh, in urban areas. Oftentimes urban law enforcement off tribal lands will not note whether or not the victim is native. They’ll note usually it’s white, black, or Hispanic. And that’s, And so if you’re not Hispanic or black, you’re white native isn’t an option.
So we have an issue with collecting data, but we also know from just talking to our communities and our families, that you go anywhere in Indian country and you talk to a native person, most often someone in their family has been murdered or has gone missing. And in some families it’s multi-generational.
I’ve worked with several families where one grandmother may have had two granddaughters that have been murdered or mis multiple nieces. It, it’s just, it is an absolute crisis of, of significant magnitude.
Native women have been over sexualized and degraded in books, movies, tv, media, ads for clothing and Halloween costumes, you know, making women me and to fictionalized characters. That plays a huge part in our disappearances because we’re not seen as human. Um, just for example, Pocahontas and Saga Julia.
Many people don’t know that they were both under the age of 15. That is shocking. Shocking. You know, and Disney portrays ’em like, Oh, you know, love interests. And no, Pocahontas was a slave. Saia was a slave. And, you know, that did us. Disney definitely didn’t do us any favors. And it speaks volumes as to why there’s little to no media attention when one of our loved ones goes missing or murdered.
Our women are so vulnerable due to the normalization of the violence against us in this country, Native women have been counted as missing and murdered just like here in the state of Washington, more than any other race. I think Andy and law attorney Sarah Deer put it very well. She said Predators may target native women and girls precisely because they are perceived as marginalized and outside the protections of American legal system.
Over 84% of native women will experience some form of violence in their lifetime. Over 56% of native women will experience some form of sexual violence, and so we have a crisis on our hands, and I think the crisis has been going on for a long time. So jurisdictional issues. Um, as well as federal laws and the boundaries, Oh, they affect us in tragic ways.
Tragic, tragic ways. You know, the statistics, um, about violence against indigenous women is alarming, and the lack of general awareness is also equally alarming. It, it has caused a lack of general awareness, and it’s these challenges that have formed that dangerous environment where indigenous women, we have been made targets for victimization, sex trafficking in Indian country, you know, again, has been going on for a really long time, and a lot of it is because, Of the jurisdictional issues between state and US government, and of course within our own tribal police, it’s like jurisdictional, um, issues.
You know, like, well that’s not my department. Well, that that’s their issue. That’s go talk to them about it, and then we get lost in the middle of all of that because it is definitely a federal issue as well.
Three outta four native women will be physically assaulted. The advocates believe that crimes against native women are under report and underestimated. 80% of the crimes committed against indigenous women are interracial. One in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetime. The second leading cause of death for indigenous girls ages one to four is murder.
Rarely do we find laws and policies that protect trans community Violence accounts for 75% of deaths in indigenous youth, ages 12 to 20.
In 1978, the United States Supreme Court decided a case called Oliphant versus Suquamish Indian Tribe. In that case, the Supreme Court held. That tribal nations cannot exercise criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who come onto tribal lands and commit crimes, any crime. And so that eliminated the ability of tribal nations to arrest and prosecute individuals who are non-Indian, who commit violent crimes against Indian victims.
After that decision in 1978, the rates of non-Indian violence against native victims on tribal lands skyrocketed. And as Lisa Bruner pointed out, she’s the citizen of the White Earth Nation. Her daughter was raped by a, a group of a sort of little gang of four white teenagers who came onto the reservation and grabbed her daughter off the road, put her in the back seat of their suv, drove her around, gang raped her, and then dropped her off by the side of.
This happens because folks have learned that they can do this and there’ll be no consequence. The US attorney’s office is not gonna prosecute and the tribe doesn’t have that jurisdiction. They were here to hunt. They were here with the intent cuz they used a condom. They came here with that purpose and intent to hunt because this is a safe haven for them to come as rapists to hunt and rapists.
Tribes do not have criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians, non-natives who commit acts of violence against Indians within our own territory. Worry. Just this two weeks ago, the Supreme Court gave that jurisdiction to. So instead of recognizing the harm that has been done by taking that jurisdiction away from tribes, the Supreme Court gave it to states.
And I think a lot of us in Indian country are very alarmed. That’s in the Oklahoma versus Castro. Where to decision? Oklahoma told the court, Hey, we really care about native victims and the reason we’re fighting for this jurisdiction is because we care about them so much. When everyone here in Oklahoma knows that Oklahoma, the state’s never prioritized the prosecution of crimes against native victims off tribal lands.
That’s just not been a priority. Oklahoma City has the eighth highest unresolved rate of cases of of mm i p in the country for an urban area. Just not a priority here. Just like it’s not a priority in Bighorn County in Montana. Or you could just start naming all of the state’s jurisdictions where violent crimes against native people are not a priority.
So this idea that, you know, if we give states the jurisdiction that historically and inherently belongs to the tribes, they’ll do a great job, is very problem. And Justice Kavanaugh in ready for the majority in, in this Castro Court opinion said that there really isn’t any sovereign interest that tribal nations have in protecting their children from child abuse, which is unfathomable.
I can’t imagine. I don’t know how a human being reaches that conclusion. Of course, as a, as a citizen of the Cherokee nation, I very much understand the connection between sovereignty and safety for native women and children. If we can’t protect our own people, how will we continue to exist as a nation?
Imagine if the United States couldn’t protect its own citizens from people who come onto our soil and commit crimes against our citizens because they’re citizens of separate nations. That would be an absurd conclusion to reach. It would be a very dangerous conclusion to reach. You’d be promoting terrorism and other acts to say that, Well, if someone comes onto our soil and kills.
US citizens. If they’re a citizen of a separate country, we can’t prosecute them, but that’s exactly what the US Supreme Court has told our tribal nation
We pray for and honor these relatives. Ashlyn Mike from the Dinette Tribe. She was nine years old and she was murdered. Carol Swan from the Shanga, Lakota Oya, the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. She is my auntie. She was murdered. Phoebe Orgon in her baby boy. She was killed by medical neglect.
She’s Eastern Shoshone, Northern Rappa hole. She’s my sister, Stacey Hill, 17 years old from the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians located in Northern Minnesota. She was murdered. Fred Martinez, Navajo, 16 years old. Transgender murder. Jan Eagle Deer Ru Le Lakota killed in a hit and run in 1975.
There are a number of categories or characterizations of the people who are committing these crimes. A good number in my experience are non-Indian intimate partners who in live in border towns who are friends, very close with the local sheriff. So you’ve got some racism going on, and also corruption and connection.
And that’s why those crimes don’t get prosecuted. We all know who murdered her, but who murdered her is the non-Indian good friend of the county sheriff. They’re bordering the rez, The FBI refuses to investigate because they’ll do whatever they can to avoid any responsibility for the deaths of native women and children.
And then you’re left with the local county, which for racist, corrupt reasons, is not going to investigate. Lindsay Whiteman on the Black Feet Reservation. We know who murdered her. The Glacier County Sheriff’s Office says two women were killed near Browning earlier Tuesday morning in what was first reported as a fatal hit and run.
Two teens are in custody in Cascade County for charges related to their deaths. The Glacier County Sheriff’s Office identified 38 year old Lindsay Whiteman and 28 year old Amy Sue White Grass as the victims of the incident that occurred in the Star school area West of Browning. Northwest of Browning.
Whiteman’s family says she leaves behind six children, two non-Indian 17 year olds. They were minors at the time. They drove off the reservation with her friend’s dead body in their car. They had shot her friend Amy White Grass. They were intercepted by the Great Falls Police, but of course the county and and sort of local Montana law enforcement there didn’t have criminal jurisdiction over the homicide that took place on the reservation.
The FBI did. They ended up not doing an investigation, and ultimately the US attorney’s office told the family, I’m sorry, we can’t prosecute without any evidence in a case file. If the FBI fails to put evidence in a case file, we don’t have anything to go off of. How are we gonna prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that even though we all know who murdered them, if there’s no case file, there’s nothing we can do.
So the non-Indian rates are alarming, and it’s a complete failure of law enforcement to investigate. At the same time, we do have situations where Indians, murder Indians predominantly on tribal lands, and tribes can prosecute those crimes. But of course, tribes are very, Their sentencing authority has been limited by Congress in the Indian Civil Rights Act, and even in the Tribal Law and Order Act in 2010 to three years for a single offense, you can stack up to nine.
But when it comes to homicide, I think many believe that three years is not. For a homicide on all the cases that I’ve worked on, the FBI could investigate the homicide of the native person whose family I represent, and they’ve chosen not to. Sometimes they’ll say, Well, we can’t investigate this homicide because the victim’s body was found.
In one instance, Case Sarah stops pretty places, case 300 yards from the Crow reservation border. And so the FBI said, You know, because our body was found off the reservation, we don’t have jurisdiction to investigate which one is just not true. The FBI can always assist and an investigation even if ultimately the federal government doesn’t prosecute the FBI’s assisted in multiple homicide investigations.
Investigations of police brutality in police departments across the United States. And the reason the FBI’s done that is because political leadership like President Biden or Attorney General Mayor Garland has instructed the FBI to do so. So the FBI can, It’s just, is there the political willpower from this current Biden Harris administration to make it happen?
And we haven’t seen it yet. We did see it with a disappearance GA Tito press conference on the disappearance of Gabby Petto who went missing on a CrossCountry trip with her fiance. Gabrielle Pit’s laugh and her adventurous spirit would be miss begging for answers after a CrossCountry road trip ends in a mystery 22 year old Gabrielle Gabby Botto from Blue Point Gabby’s story has dominated news headlines and mobilized a Allegion of social media detectives TikTok videos with the hashtag find Gabby Petto gained over 700 million views.
Authorities searching for evidence in the Gabby Petto case while trying to track down her fiance. Well, we could learn as soon as tomorrow if remains found in Wyoming. Are those of Gabby Petto, the young woman who’d been missing for weeks and tonight? Police and the FBI are still searching for her fiance.
We don’t want to. Downplay the importance of investigating her homicide. Every victim deserves to have their homicide investigated, every victim. But when we saw the reaction to her homicide, we didn’t know at first. No one knew if she’d been murdered. Of course, that was a strong working assumption, but if she’d been murdered or where she’d been murdered, and the FBI jumped in to investigate immediately.
Now, it was a story of a white woman who went missing, and I think that’s why the FBI cared to immediately assist. But it’s very sad that they’ll do that for Gabby Petito. But they won’t do that for Lindsay Whiteman or Case Sarah stops pretty places. Or Allison High Wolf or Rainy Hill or Olivia Lone Bear or he Scott or Hannah Harris.
It’s, I mean, it’s, yeah, it is the white woman syndrome that other advocates of color, In fact, black women came up with this phrase to talk about, because the same thing happens when other women of color, including black women are murdered. There just isn’t that interest in investigating the homicides, and it’s tragic and it’s a miscarriage of justice since she was first reported missing in Wyoming earlier this month until her remains were found later.
The case of 22 year old Gabby Petto has captured widespread media attention, but tens of thousands of people are reported missing or murdered every year in the US and people of. Don’t get nearly the same level of attention, particularly indigenous and Native Americans. In Wyoming alone, 710 indigenous people were reported missing between 2011 and 2020.
In fact, although indigenous people make up only 3% of the state’s population, they accounted for more than 21% of homicide victims over the last decade. And the problem is not limited to Wyoming. Native women are murdered at rates 10 times the national average.
The media coverage of Gabby’s case has shed light on the inequity for the broader United States that people have been talking about in Indian country for many years. Native women and children and other people of color are often not given the attention and the assistance they need when they go missing.
Gabby has been covered on every news outlet in the US and even internationally, but our women and children don’t get that same kind of support. There have been many devastating cases across Indian country that have never made the mainstream news. Those cases, getting media attention and law enforcement attention could have made the difference in someone’s life being saved.
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We’ve been searching for, um, 13 years for my sister. We’ve been searching on land and when Tina Fontine went missing, we, we wanted the police to search. We put a social media post out that said that the police need to drag the Red River because we knew it had been done in the 1980s to dredge the river, to search for bodies because there’s over a hundred women here in Manitoba that are missing.
Families don’t know where they are, you know, And like I said, we’ve pretty much searched all the perimeter of Winnipeg. We’ve searched outside of Winnipeg, we’ve searched inside Winnipeg, and the police wouldn’t search. So we decided that, um, we would search another family member. His, uh, sister’s Ambery boss, she’s been missing since November 10th, 2010.
And he came forward, the brother, and he said, Let’s, let’s drag, Let’s do it. And we’ve been doing it. Now we’re gonna be nine years dragging the river. We’ve developed a relationship with the police, which is good. Um, if someone goes into the river, they’ll now call us, ask us for assistance. Um, we’ve shared our equipment with them and we’ve recovered over 2000 family members out of the river and brought them home.
So to describe the Red River here in Manitoba, it’s a wide river with a fast moving current. It’s very murky. The visibility is almost zero, and it’s very deep. It’s probably 14 to 20 feet deep. A person could not swim across this river, which is why people have drown in this river. They’ve committed suicide or people have chosen to put people in this.
this river to hide evidence to hide a person’s body. There’s been women that have been found that have been weighted down with rocks or different items. This is a river that the Ena Boyne River flows into, and then it goes out into Lake Winnipeg. So it’s a pretty big body of water drag. The red will never ever be able to drag this whole river.
People know that water washes away evidence, which is why people are putting indigenous women into the water. Sadly, it’s not unheard of for bodies stand up in the Red River, but two in one day. That is rare, as is the state of. A 15 year old girl found wrapped in a bag. This is a child that’s, that’s been murdered.
Um, I think, you know, society, we’d be horrified if somebody put, uh, if we found, uh, illiterate kittens or pups in the river in this condition. This is a child. So, I mean, society should be horrified. Tina Fontine was in foster care in Winnipeg. She had a history of running away, just turned 15. She’s bar barely in the city for uh, maybe a little over a month.
And, uh, you know, she’s definitely been exploited and, uh, put into and, and taken advantage of and murdered and put into the river in this condition.
So people aren’t stupid when they’re doing this. They know that they can get away with it by putting somebody in the water cuz nobody was searching the water. This young girl, Felicia Sullivan, Osborne’s mom was given a piece of her arm and a piece of her leg. She was found in the Red River. While those two body parts of hers, the rest of her was never recovered.
It’s spring and as the Red River thaws in Winnipeg, ugly truths are exposed. Just last year, two girls were dumped here, One killed, one left for dead, both aboriginal, both crimes. So similar to another one over a decade ago.
Felicia Solomon was only 16 when she went missing in 2003 from this river, police fished out her arm and thigh. That’s all I always think how she suffered before her last breath. That was hard.
So can you imagine as a mother, you know, finding out that your daughter’s been murdered, hanging onto that hope that someday she’ll come home because she was a missing person. And a lot of families will hang on to that idea of sex trafficking. Maybe perhaps that, you know, their daughter was trafficked somewhere and someday she’ll come home.
And we’ve seen incidences of those, you know, in the United States, we’ve heard of young people have gone missing and then in their later years are found and they’re safe. But I’m sure, you know, lots of trauma they’ve, they’ve had to deal with. So families hold on to, to things like that. And you know, this young mother was devastated and that case has never been, There was another young woman that was, um, in the Sy Boyne river that was found that was 18 years old.
Tan Marsden was last seen alive on September 9th, 1998. It was her 18th birthday. She and some friends went to the now defunct Gordon Downtowner Motor Hotel to celebrate. 20 days later, her body was found partially submerged in the Sy Boyn river near the perimeter highway. Marston had been strangled. Her body waited down with a cement block and dumped in the water.
Same thing. Her, her full body was recovered, but her case has never been solved. Tina Fontine, that young 15 year old girl that I told you about, her body was wrapped in a duvet, weighted down with rocks and thrown into the Red River, probably a hundred feet from where Felicia Solomon Osborne’s body was found.
We’ve recovered. Um, Evidence from that river that we’ve turned over to police, people are throwing all kinds of stuff into the river. We’ve pulled out cars, we’ve pulled off the hood of a car and the police have gone and taken that car out of the river. We’ve pulled up shopping carts, lots of clothing, and it’s really disturbing when you find lots of underwear, especially children’s underwear, even shoes, you know, when all of these children were being found in Canada here that attended residential school, the discovery is astounding.
And so too, the anguish leaving community members and much of Canada reeling the, the remains of 215 children, some as young as three, buried for decades on the grounds of the Camloops Indian Residential School. Their deaths believed to be undocumented. Graves unmarked. We were out there and um, that week we were pulling up a few, you know, toddler shoes.
And it was very emotional for our, um, dragers because who knows if that was a young little child whose body was disposed of in there and there’s no record of it. And I’ve told you that there’s many undocumented cases of people going missing and police refusing to take a report. So, you know, it brings you back to that and makes you think about who was that, who did that belong to, you know, potentially is that someone’s loved one.
We’ve been doing this now for almost nine years, and it’s very emotional for our dragers. I’ve gone out, like I said, probably a dozen times, only because, you know, I’m directly impacted. My sister’s missing, and there’s been times where I’ve been on that rope where I’m pulling up. The dragging bar and it’s caught on something and I’m not strong enough and there’s usually five of us on the boat.
So there’s other people that come onto the rope and help as well, pull whatever it is up. And there’s been times where we haven’t been able to pull it up, where we’ve lost our bar because whatever it is down there, uh, we can’t pull it up. It’s too heavy. And we don’t know if it’s something that’s weighted down.
We’ve pulled up pales of cement and turned those over to police. And when they went through those pales of cement, there was evidence that they found from prior cases. So people, you know, are putting things in the river to get rid of them, to conceal them. So now we have wenches to work with so that we can, you know, if we’re not strong enough to pull this up or we get caught and we lose the bar, we can put that wench down there and pull.
We are looking at possibly getting some cameras for underwater searching because there was a time where we thought we found a skull and we’d reported it to the police, but it took them a couple days to come and we had gps the exact place they couldn’t find it, but we had a camera down there and it showed clearly that it was, you know, a skull.
And we were like, whose loved one could have that been? This movement has happened within the last, you know, 10 years. And like I said, it, you know, it took the death of a 15 year old to galvanize Canada. But I think, you know, the consciousness needs to be raised of all society and all of humanity regardless of your race, your gender, your socioeconomic status, where all humans and all lives should be valued and.
We’re sacred beings and we should be treated as such, and we should be outraged. We should all be standing together. We should all be out there helping to search and, and supporting families and calling on, you know, these policing institutions as well as the government, calling them out for their lack of support and allowing this to happen because they are allowing it to happen by staying silent and allowing, you know, the police to under investigate when it comes to indigenous persons in this country.
You know, our sister’s been missing for 13 years. Every waking hour and every opportunity we get to speak about Claude, we do, We continually search for her. Uh, we’re continually supporting other families to make sure that what happened to us doesn’t happen to them, and that we, we change legislation so that it supports, uh, the work that needs to be done to help bring loved ones home.
And we continue our advocacy, you know, in, in honor of my sister. We’ll never give up, searching for her, searching for the answers of where she is, what happened to her. We don’t know if, you know, in, in Manitoba, if there’s a serial killer, if there’s one person, multiple murders walking around. But you know, somebody’s doing this to two indigenous women and they’re getting away with it, and my sister is loved.
She’s someone that’s missed and she’s someone that’s we’re ever gonna stop looking for.
We’ll continue to do this work in her honor, and as long as we’re alive, someone’s alive in her family will continue to do this until she’s brought home. Wait in the. Say your thoughts in your prayers for the altar. Rain fell from the sky. Now the earth is baptized. Believe it up to man to turn it to a grave site.
Families fishing for the ancestors at Red River. Calling on the ancestors authority. Set up all the rules for a mission so they can pick and choose how to with being certain victims. The chosen measurement is your proximity to white. If you ain’t blind and blue wide, they turn a blind eye. Black, brown, indigenous brightest get fetishized while Disney makes pedophilia.
Your romanticize the that city the. Still someone else’s home. They offer up allotment, deciding what they can own or reservations plantations for greedy men. Do these borders keep y’all out or keep them? Men and justice anywhere affect justice for all. So we will send their names on women to the see to sea.
Short of short, from the heights of the sky to the ocean, Justice for all humanity that lost their lives. For all the families and those that died. For all the suffering that comes from these atrocities, it’s time to call government and their hypocrisy.
Well, there it is, and if you’re like me, you need a moment. I underst. Once again, I’m Manny Faces the audio editor, producer, sound designer, and host of this unique and extraordinary vehicle for exposing truths, the News Beat podcast. And of course, I do a lot of the same for U N F T R as well. So wherever you’re hearing us, thank you for listening.
The News Beat Crew also wants to extend a huge, huge thanks to the guests featured on this episode. All the groups they represent and work with, and even those we didn’t get a chance to include in this drop. All the organizations mentioned on this episode are native and indigenous led and need support, and we implore you if you’re able to make a contribution or spread the word and share this episode with your friends, colleagues, family, and loved ones.
Every additional person who becomes aware of the mm I W G two S crisis can help make a difference. So as we always like to remind listeners, feel free to become. Now Bernadette Smith’s group drag the Red as all volunteer to learn more about and support their incredible work and their quest to locate missing and murdered loved ones and bring even some small semblance of potential closure to their grieving families.
Check out their Facebook group at Drag The Red W p G. They also maintain an account for donations at a Sy Boyne credit Union. Under Drag The Red. Now Bernadette ran for office to address these dire issues and give them the attention and resources they demand and has been serving as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for Point Douglas since 2017.
In addition to drag the Red, she’s the co-founder of the Coalition of Families of Missing and Murdered Women in Manito. And organizes the annual No Stone Unturned concert for Missing and Murdered in Manitoba. Check out and support all of Bernadette’s initiatives on Facebook at Bernadette Smith mb and Twitter at b Smith mb.
Feel free to shoot or an email at Bernadette dot Smith, your manitoba.ca to learn more about Joanna Johnson and all the critical work being done by her and her team at the nonprofit mm I w usa. Head over to mm i w usa.org. Check ’em out on Facebook at mm I w USA, and on Twitter at usa mm I w. If you wanna reach out by email, it’s contact mm i w usa.org.
Tell m News Beat. For more about Mary Kath Nagle and all the incredible work she’s been doing to raise awareness about the mm i w G two S crisis, as well as her other projects. She’s also ala playwright who’s using art to combat associated false narratives and atrocities more on that. Another time, follow her on Twitter at m k Nagel, N A G L E, as I mentioned.
Up top, Mary is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a lawyer who represents a number of missing indigenous people’s families who’ve lost loved ones. She’s also outside council and policy consultant to the nonprofit National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. Check out that amazing group at N I W R c.org on Facebook at N I W R C and on Twitter at N I W C.
Additionally, learn more about some of the groups Mary mentioned in the episode, including the Urban Indian Health Institute dedicated to, among other initiatives, decolonizing data related to the mm i w G two s crisis at U I H i.org. And the Sovereign Bodies Institute, which created and maintains a centralized, constantly updated database of such firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I’ll be honest, you know, there was just so much more we learned about this and other related issues while conducting research for this episode, as well as so many other extraordinary groups we came across. There’s also a ton more from our guests that we simply couldn’t fit into this episode. We’ll likely do a follow up or several in the future to get it all out there.
So look for those. But we did wanna highlight several other groups. However, right now, the nonprofit, not our native daughters, educates and raises awareness about missing, exploited, murdered, and indigenous women and children. Check them out on Facebook at not our Native Daughters. Another incredible non-profit is all native women led illuminative, which we featured in the past on one of our offshoot series called This Week in Social Justice.
Visit email@example.com or Facebook at illuminative org and on Twitter at illuminative. Check out native lawyer and distinguished professor Sarah Deer, who Joanna mentioned in the firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, visit and support the non-profit Native Women’s Wilderness at native women’s wilderness.org or Facebook at Native Women’s Wilderness and Twitter.
At Native Women’s, you’ve heard snippets from an incredibly impactful video they made about the stats and victims of violence against Native Peoples in the episode, and you definitely need to watch it on their site and support them as well. As I mentioned, all of these groups could use our help. Check out Reconciliation Education, a provider of bilingual online anti-racism training and education courses to businesses, schools, and communities to promote a renewed relationship between indigenous peoples and email@example.com.
Listen to the talk show on podcast. Let’s talk native with John Kane. Visit. Let’s talk native.com and follow along on Twitter at Let’s Talk Native. Also, visit the coalition to stop violence against Native women at CS V A NW dot. I’m gonna give a special thanks to Jeff Maine over at our parent company, Morrie Creative Studios, for the powerful artwork.
Accompanying this episode, as Joanna explained to us, the symbol of the mm I W G two S movement is a red hand print across the mouth signifying the bloody extinguished voices of its countless victims, and red, according to native cultures, the color seen by spirits. Last but surely not least, we wanna give a special, special thanks to our co artists and residents for the extraordinary expression you’ve heard throughout this incredibly important episode, South Carolina, by way of New York City based hip hop, fusion music artist, dj, songwriter, educator, and my friend liquid.
She’s one of an ever growing arsenal of independent artists that we feature and support through this podcast, and we really couldn’t do it without her or the rest of our artist family. So please visit her site and learn more about all of her incredible, incredible work. At i am liquid.com, and liquid is spelled L I K W U I D.
Or on Facebook at liquidity, L I K W U I D I T Y, or on Twitter at liquid L I K W U I D. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to our free sub stack firstname.lastname@example.org for updates, new drops, links to all the people and groups mentioned here and much more. And again, be sure to check us out at Unfuck The Republic on our free sub stack over there at u n ftr dot sub stack.com.
A lot of great content on both of those places and they’re free and unmated. For all our previous episodes, extended guests and artist bios and more information about newsbeat, visit us newsbeat.com. For tips and future episode suggestions, hit us up at us news beat gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you and if what you heard today moved or inspired you and you wanna help us keep doing what we do, consider supporting our email@example.com.
Slash support. We appreciate you either way. Once again, this is Manny Faces News Beat and U N ft. R’S Audio Magician signing out. Check out my assorted projects and work going down at my company. Manny Faces firstname.lastname@example.org. More about my public speaking and work to increase awareness and appreciation for hiphop music and culture’s role in helping to uplift email@example.com.
And check out more extraordinary creations from Newsbeat’s Parent Company, HubSpot Diamond Partner Agency, Morrie Creative firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, thanks for listening. Power to the People, peace and love.
I am brother Cornell West. This is Chris Hedges. I’m Rosa Clemente. Hey, what’s up? This is Chuck D, Public Enemy, Proper Rage. And this is news.
This is a many faces media production. Many faces. You sick for this one? Sick for this one. Sick for.
Arielle Nissenblatt is SquadCast’s Community Manager. She’s obsessed with all things podcast-related and is the founder of EarBuds Podcast Collective, a podcast recommendation engine. In her spare time, Arielle enjoys hosting zoom trivia for friends and strangers all over the world and rollerblading.