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Film tells stories of Indigenous women lost on the Wind River Reservation

who she is (2).jpg
Caldara Productions
/
MMIP Wyoming Taskforce
Title card of 'Who She Is," an intimate story of three Indigenous women on the Wind River Reservation.

Who She Is” is part of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person (MMIP) Taskforce efforts to spread awareness on the issue in Wyoming. The film hopes to tell a more intimate story about the lives of three Indigenous women who either went missing or were murdered.

Jordan Dresser is the Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman and director of the film.

“MMIP is a multilayered problem. Poverty is a key thing. Number two is lack of resources. Three, is that some people live in not too good homes, domestic violence is a huge part of it,” he said.

Dresser said too often the media only focuses on the high numbers of those missing or murdered.

“The key thing I saw through the MMIW movement, they would mostly give the persons name and when they went missing. But not really details about the woman. What was her life? Where did she live? What was her favorite color? So, we worked very closely with the families to develop stories about these women,” he said.

In 2021, researchers at the University of Wyoming found coverage of missing Indigenous people is limited in the state, and when there is coverage there are graphic details about the body.

Indigenous individuals covered in the media experience negative ‘character framing,’ which includes negative details unrelated to the coverage of the missing persons. Also, media coverage on white individuals is more comprehensive and less graphic, the study suggests.

who she is baby (2).jpg
Caldera Productions
/
MMIP Wyoming Taskforce
Animated still from the trailer of 'Who She Is', art director Johnathan Thunder.

The movie is partially animated and is told from a first person perspective. Family members address the viewer from the perspective of the missing and murdered women. It premieres Sep 10 at Central Wyoming College at 4pm, and playing in towns across the state this Fall. The film is supported by the Division of Victim Services, where the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person Taskforce gets its support.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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