July 08, 2019
This past May, Rosalie Fish (Cowlitz) from the Muckleshoot Tribal School in Washington won three state titles in track at the 2019 WIAA State Track and Field event hosted at Eastern Washington University—all while raising awareness and advocating for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). Her powerful statement was amplified by indigenous photographer Alex Frett (Spokane)—a red painted handprint covering her mouth and the letters MMIW painted down her right leg —who captured in the striking photo below.
Photo taken by Alex Flett Photography. View the original viral Facebook post here.
Fish dedicated each race to an indigenous woman who has gone missing or been murdered, providing information about them on a poster where she hung her medals. She dedicated her 1600 to Alice Looney (Yakama), 800 to Jacqueline Salyers (Puyallup), 3200 to Renee Davis (Muckleshoot), and 400 to Misty Upham (Blackfeet). More details on her poster can be found on her Instagram here.
Rosalie stands next to the informational poster she brought to the 2019 WIAA State Track and Field event.
Rosalie was also featured in ESPN's Outside the Lines, where she says "running for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women wasn't a political statement, it was just my humanity." You can find the video on Twitter here.
You can click on the image above to watch Rosalie's "Running for a Cause" feature on ESPN.
Rosalie is a long time friend of Eighth Generation and served as a model for Eighth Generation's "Mockups" (seen here below), which was a shoe design toy created by Eighth Generation to inspire youth to apply artwork on shoes, much like Founder Louie Gong did when he first began applying cultural artwork on shoes.
According to a report published by the Urban Indian Health Institute, 506 cases of Missing & Murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls were identified across 71 cities. There were 45 cases reported in Seattle alone - where Eighth Generation is headquartered - the highest of any city reported. Additionally, the report highlights that Native women experience violence at alarming levels compared to other demographics. Native women on some reservations are murdered at a rate 10 times the national average, and 5,712 cases have been reported in 2016, but there is no definitive data on how many Native women have gone missing since then. Native women are also assaulted at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic minority.
More information on the report and it's findings are detailed in this Seattle Times article.
Image from the Urban Indian Health Institute.
From all of us at Eighth Generation, thank you, Rosalie, for helping bring awareness to the alarming growing number of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women across the United States and Canada.
July 10, 2019
Pilamaya (Lakota ‘thanks’) for making a statement about our Indigenous women that has touched so many. The more people that know and understand, the better off we all are. You model behavior that would have made our ancestors proud. We are proud of you. All the very best to you.
I am not Native, but like so many others, I share deep concern for the many generations of mistreatment that continues to this day. I am proud of you for speaking your humanity and sharing it with the world. May your voice continue to grow and ring clear.
July 09, 2019
Thank you Rosalie. Thank you 8th gen.
I was also at state, but for the 2B 3200… I am a descendent of the Yakama tribe and when my team, family and I heard of/saw you with your paint we made sure to keep and eye out for your performance, when I got back to the valley I had multiple people talk and ask about you and we were all very inspired and had a deep respect for you and what you stood for, thank you for bring awareness to this important cause.
May this be felt in all the directions, as it has touched me.
July 08, 2019
I love her answer, I will use that for now on…it’s my humanity it’s not politics.
Thank you for sharing this story and thank you Rosie for speaking for those that can not speak for themselves..
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Eighth Generation by Louie Gong