via Spotify

5 MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women)-focused true crime podcasts

Like their subjects, MMIW podcasts deserve more exposure.

MMIW and MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) describe an epidemic of abductions and homicides committed against Indigenous females.

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A Canadian government inquiry found that, between 1980 and 2012, Indigenous women and girls comprised 16 percent of female murder victims despite making up only 4 percent of the female population. Moreover, 10 percent of Canadian women who went missing for at least 30 days were Indigenous. High rates of violence also affect Indigenous females in the United States and Latin America.

As awareness has grown of this femicidal phenomenon, so have podcasts. There are several MMIW-focused pods, a few of which lead the true crime charts. We’ll sing the praises of those series, as well as unsung MMIW/MMIWG podcasts.

TAKEN

The words "TAKEN The Podcast" can be seen in front of pictures of indigenous women.
via Eagle Vision

Based on the eponymous Canadian TV series, TAKEN is a 10-part podcast that focuses on 11 MMIWG, from Tina Fontaine, whose 15-year-old body was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River in 2014 to 20-year-old Amber Tuccaro, who disappeared while hitchhiking near Edmonton in 2010 and was found dead in 2012.

Hosted by celebrated Anishinaabe producer Lisa Meeches, TAKEN enjoys a 4.9 rating on iTunes. Each episode is available in English and Cree (courtesy of Sheila North). It is an authentic and important show that sheds light on an issue that is too often ignored. While every episode is impactful, episode 7 is chilling and does an excellent job of highlighting how severe this issue is.

Taken can be listened to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

The Trail Went Cold

The words "The Trail Went Cold Created by Robin Warder" are in front of a black screen with white dots.
via Robin Warder

While not exclusive to MMIWG, The Trail Went Cold is a popular true crime podcast that has covered several female Indigenous disappearances, including five-year-old Tamra Keepness from her home in Regina, Saskatchewan, and the aforementioned Amber Tuccaro from Alberta backroads. The podcast’s episode titled “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” is a strong one to start with and explores nine of the fallen females.

The Trail Went Cold is hosted by former Cracked.com writer Robin Warder. She does a great job of explaining the subject matter in an informative, sensitive, and engaging way. It can be listened to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Missing & Murdered

A young child is shown next to the words "Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo".
via CBC

Missing & Murdered is the premier MMIWG podcast. Produced by CBC and hosted by Cree journalist Connie Walker, M&M consists of two seasons, the first concerning Alberta Williams, who was murdered along BC’s infamous “Highway of Tears” in 1989, and the second examining Cleo Semaganis Nicotine, a young Saskatchewanian who was scooped up by an American family and dropped into oblivion. Titled “Finding Cleo,” the second season concludes with the host actually finding Cleo’s resting place and solving a four-decade mystery, which is a very moving episode to start with.

M&M has a 4.7 iTunes rating out of over 7,000 reviews. Given its high ratings, it is not surprising that this podcast is very impactful and meaningful to listeners. Missing & Murdered can be found on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

We Are Resilient: An MMIW True Crime Podcast

Three cartoon women have their arms wrapped around each other.
via We Are Resilient

We Are Resilient is a US-specific MMIW podcast that began in October 2021. Among its two dozen-plus subjects are Misty Upham, a Blackfoot actor who appeared in films like Django Unchained before perishing at the bottom of a Washington cliff, and Faith Lindsey, an Oklahoma teen who was killed in 2019 and whose body has yet to be found.

The podcast is hosted by three Cherokee women: Maggie Jackson, Sheyahshe Littledave, and Ahli-sha Stephens. It does a great job of opening up these conversations and making listeners aware of the gravity of this situation. The mini-episode, “Larrisa Lone Hill” provides a good introduction to what the podcast is about. It can be heard on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Stolen

A woman wearing a hat is seen with drawings around her.
via Spotify

Connie Walker’s follow-up podcast, Stolen also consists of two seasons, the first of which investigates Jermain Charlo, who disappeared from a Montana bar in 2018. The second season focuses on Walker’s father and other family members, who were victims of sexual abuse in the Canadian residential school system.

Stolen has been spotlighted by MSNBC, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone. Both seasons are very informative and allow the listener to get an important perspective on the real-life people impacted by this epidemic. It is best to start with the first episode of the podcast, as it provides much-needed information on Jermain Charlo. It can be found exclusively on Spotify.


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