Running for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Her aunt was one of many indigenous women who have gone missing or been found murdered. Now, Rosalie Fish is running track to raise awareness about the epidemic.
Running for Awareness of Indigenous Fenticide
High school track champ Rosalie Fish runs for a cause greater than medals: raising awareness for missing and murdered indigenous women. They're represented by a handprint on her face. Rosalie is from the Cowlitz and Muckleshoot Tribes in Washington. During a state track and field meet, she dedicated each race to a missing or murdered indigenous women. During her 1,600-meter race, that was when she honored her aunt, Alice Looney, who disappeared in 2004. Her body was found over a year later.
Rosalie Fish is the most recognizable athlete at the small-school state track and field meet. The five trips to the awards podium to receive three gold medals, a silver and a sportsmanship award helped. But as the Muckleshoot Tribal School student circled the track 18 times over three days, she stood out for the bright red paint over her mouth and the letters MMIW on her right leg. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. It’s an epidemic on reservations across America. Violence against Native American women is rampant, and according to a recent study police agency are not adequately identifying or reporting cases when a woman is killed or reported missing.
Alice’s sisters, Caroline and Mary remember the day they learned of her death. The sisters say they had many questions about Alice’s disappearance, but police didn’t have answers. 15 years later, Alice's murder remains unsolved. But her sisters are grateful for Rosalie’s efforts to keep her memory alive — and raise awareness that Native women face murder rates up to 10 times the national average according to the Justice Department. As of 2016, there were 5,712 cases of missing Native women or girls reported to the National Crime Information Center based on data from the FBI. Rosalie’s gesture was inspired by Boston Marathon runner Jordan Marie Daniel. Rosalie won three gold medals and one silver medal. She gave them to the families of the women she ran for.