SEATTLE — TEDxYouth Seattle proudly announced that their sixth speaker is Rosalie Fish, an 18-year-old member of the Cowlitz Tribe and a competitive runner from the Muckleshoot Reservation in Auburn, Washington.
Fish was first recognized for the red hand-print that she donned over her mouth and the letters “MMIW” painted in red on her right leg in competition. She was later known for her quote “when I run about it, people will notice.”
She graduated from the Muckleshoot Tribal School this year and represented in the Class 1B Washington State Track Meet, where she earned three gold medals, a silver, and a sportsmanship award, all the while using her platform to raise visibility and awareness for missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW).
In each of her races, she ran for a different woman. In the 400-metre, she was a champion for Misty Anne Upham, a champion for Alice Looney in the 1600 metre, a champion for Jacqueline Salyers in the 800 metre, and a champion for Renee Davis and Davis’ unborn child in the 3,200 metre. Each were indigenous women from Washington who met a violent end and each were honoured on a poster Fish brought to the state meet.
She told the community that she is excited to share her work on MMIW with the TEDxYouth, Seattle community because, according to the Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle leads the nation in MMIW cases.
“Running for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is not a political statement, but rather a means of survival.,” wrote Fish in a statement to the Two Row Times.
“One of the most severe factors in this epidemic is the invisibility and neglect that allows this to continue — I use my athletic platform to raise awareness as a way to help pull my own weight in ending an epidemic that constantly keeps me wondering whether my family and community will no longer be exponentially vulnerable to violence.”
Her Talk is set to take place on October 29, and she explained that she is set on using the opportunity to continue her advocacy work.
“My upcoming TedTalk is another platform I have utilized in order to raise awareness as well as inform others about the various factors and historical trauma that contribute to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Epidemic,” she wrote. “I’m hoping to expose listeners to my experience as a queer Native American woman and emphasize the importance of youth using their voices through their platforms. I’d like the audience to feel empowered through my story.
Fish’s passions include running, youth empowerment, indigenous visibility, upholding and practicing native traditions, as well as uplifting and advocating for native communities and native women.
Recruited for her running ability and proven leadership, Rosalie will attend Iowa Central Community College in the fall where she will continue her athletic career and her activism for MMIW.