Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women

The Wyoming Division of Victims of Crime

“Speaking as one voice for victims of crime.”

The mission of DVS is to cultivate social change and access to victim services through the provision of resources, education, and program support and development. In 2019 Governor Mark Gordon created the state’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Task Force. Since its inception, the Task Force has commissioned a State-wide report into the MMIP epidemic in Wyoming, releasing its first report in January of 2021. 

Cara Chambers

Director of the Division of Victim Services in the Wyoming Attorney General’s office, Chambers oversees victims’ services for the state and spearheads both the Human Trafficking Task Force and the Wyoming Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Task Force. Along with being instrumental in getting human trafficking legislation passed in 2013 she also led the initiative to publish the first statewide comprehensive report related to missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Dr. Emily Grant

Emily has extensive experience working at state, community, and tribal levels to address topics such as human trafficking, missing and murdered indigenous persons, mental health, substance abuse, and veteran issues. Her expertise in research design and methodology include community-based participatory research, qualitative data collection and analysis, program evaluation, survey development, and quantitative data collection and analysis.

Links: 

MMIP Wyoming Statewide Report

"Who She Is" Film

Wyoming DVS

As always leave a review if you enjoyed these stories and follow us on Instagram or visit the webpage of the Wyoming Humanities!

Sign up for the podcast newsletter using the QR code of follow this link: http://eepurl.com/igy4fH

Qr code Podcast newsletter sign up

Emy DiGrappa (00:01):

Welcome to Winds of Change. I am your host, Emy DiGrappa. Winds of Change is centered on the people, places, history, and stories of Wyoming. We talk about identity, community, land, and the winds of change and what it means to thrive in our state. How does someone identify with wide open spaces and big personalities in small towns? Listen to folks from across our state share their connection to Wyoming and home, brought to you by Wyoming Humanities.

(00:45):

I just want to say welcome to Lucas, Chloe, Cara, and Emily on this episode, when we're going to be talking about missing and murdered Indigenous women. So welcome to this episode.

Chloe Flagg (00:59):

Welcome, all.

Lucas Fralick (01:00):

Hello, hello. It's nice to be back.

Cara Chambers (01:02):

Thank you for having us.

Emy DiGrappa (01:04):

Well, the first thing I want to do is introduce our two guests, Cara Chambers, and she is the director of the Division of Victim Services within Wyoming. We also are joined by Dr. Emily Grant, and she's a senior research scientist. She has done extensive work at the state, community, and tribal levels to address topics such as human trafficking, missing and murdered Indigenous persons. So welcome to this program. Thank you.

(01:31):

So I guess just starting off our conversation, those are such heavy, heavy topics to talk about. So Cara, why don't you just explain your position as the director of victim services in Wyoming?

Cara Chambers (01:46):

The director of the Division of Victim Services, I actually came into this role a little over 11 years ago, and we are part of the attorney general's office. Our primary function, we actually have a couple hats that we wear, is that we provide state and federal funding to 62 sub-recipient victim services programs across the state. So we have programs in every county, all 23 counties, and programs on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

(02:13):

Then the other side of our house is we also administer the statewide crime victims compensation program. So we have funds that we make eligible to victims of crime in our state for victims who have suffered actual physical or mental harm. So it's going to be your assaults and major injury crimes. We don't do things like property and whatnot. But that's a big program also.

(02:35):

Then in part of that role, after I came in 2011, we finally passed human trafficking legislation in our state, and we developed the attorney general's human trafficking taskforce. So I have chaired that really robustly since 2016. It took a few years to get up and running, but we've had that. That's actually how I met Dr. Grant initially. Then in 2019, because I had this role with human trafficking, when Governor Gordon was asked to start the missing and murdered Indigenous persons taskforce, I was approached to do that. So I have the honor of sharing that since 2019 as well.

(03:13):

So Emily first came on my radar through human trafficking, and she has some good stories about her work on that. She undertook the 2013 initial survey across the state of human trafficking, understanding who knew what it was. It was a new law, that kind of stuff. So she was already on my radar, and I have worked my entire career with the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, where Emily is located.

(03:38):

My background is in sociology and criminal justice and the law. I have a law degree. My way background was I was a biology major, so I've always been very data-driven and very scientific method and that kind of person. Even though I work in a very emotive field, it's not just what I think or feel. I like data. So when we were approached about missing and murdered, I knew we didn't know much. It was one of those we don't know what we don't know. No one has really looked at that, what data is out there. That's actually a story to itself that Emily could talk about, like trying to find the data and all the roadblocks she hit.

(04:18):

But no, so I already had this preexisting relationship, and she had worked on the taskforce. When it came about, it was just a natural, "Hey, lady. I need some help." She and her group have done amazing work on that, and I'll let her tell you all about her adventures.

Dr. Emily Grant (04:36):

Okay. Thank you, Cara. So I'm a community psychologist by training. So I think a lot of times, when people think about university-based researchers, they're someone who has a topic, and they're really into whatever, biology or something. So they're studying those things. A community psychologist is a little bit different, because we're looking at the role that people's environment has on their health. Being a community-based researcher, any of the things that I'm working on isn't driven by me. It's driven by the community. So the community says, "Here's something that's going on. We would like to change it."

(05:15):

So I've worked on a variety of projects. I've been at the university since 2011, a pretty long time. I've worked with a lot of communities on a lot of different things. But perhaps someone is really concerned about substance abuse in their community, high suicide rate, human trafficking, people going missing and murdered and not getting justice. So these kinds of issues are born from the community, and then I will work with them to help them make data-driven decisions, find the information in hard data, like arrest numbers or hospitalizations or those kind of typical numbers, but then also through storytelling and observations in the community and this qualitative data to put together a whole picture and then work with the community to understand that information, and they develop recommendations on how to move forward.

Chloe Flagg (06:07):

Oh my gosh. What fascinating work. I feel a little silly sitting here, having never really heard of a community psychologist before. But what an incredibly important job and so necessary to inform the work that you do and that Cara does. Fascinating. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for being here. I'm so excited to learn more.

Cara Chambers (06:32):

So the missing and murdered movement is looking at really a spectrum of different things. So what was being looked at in Indian country was that these mostly young women and girls were disappearing from their community for a period of time and sometimes turning up deceased with no known explanation. That's a whole 'nother discussion about justice for those victims that have been found deceased with no discernible explanation or no satisfactory explanation for the family. We can kind of get into that in a separate.

(07:08):

But the missing, it was just a large number of individuals. We see this in our state to this day, that we have a large number of individuals who just disappear. Families are not sure where to go with that. A lot of them suspect it's not voluntary. There was a concern that there was a nexus to human trafficking, because one thing that Dr. Grant can expound upon is that ... well, and any criminal, really. They prey on the vulnerable, and you have a tremendously vulnerable population, not just in our state of Wyoming, but particularly on a very isolated reservation, where there's social issues of poverty and substance abuse and just anything that we see not isolated to reservations, but there is an expound upon an issue. But so missing and murdered is really encompassing this phenomena that we were seeing.

Dr. Emily Grant (08:01):

But not every missing case is going to result in a murder. But the reason that looking at the missing cases is so important is because both of these things, missing and murdered, are happening at higher rates for Indigenous people than they are for white people. If all things were the same, if a group accounts for 3% of the population, we'd see them in 3% of all of the other things, including homicides and missing. We're not. It's at a higher rate. So what are those structural factors or things that are happening in the community that are leading to these higher rates? Then also, we know that the vast majority of people who go missing in Wyoming are recovered. But while they're missing, they're subject to even more vulnerabilities while they're on the streets.

Lucas Fralick (08:50):

Probably leads into that, and forgive me if either of you have answered the question already in some form, but I've been curious. So what does your work look like on the ground? We talk a lot about collecting this data and the datasets, but I guess how does that translate?

Cara Chambers (09:06):

Yeah, I guess I can try to start to answer. So being that I'm already in victim services and we fund these programs, it was really making sure, as I like to call it, the boots on the ground advocates and service providers were there to provide resources and information to families and loved ones. Dr. Grant can talk more about the barriers for families reporting and things that we've discovered in our research, that there's a warm handoff between the family and the advocate to law enforcement if there is belief that a crime occurred.

(09:41):

So the boots on the ground as far as the taskforce is making recommendations and making sure that they're fulfilled. A key one from that first report was that BIA rehire and recreate a position that they'd had for a tribal-specific advocate. There had been one historically, gosh, probably ... It's been six, seven years ago that the person who had been in there and was phenomenal and I worked with very closely left for another opportunity in another state, and they never filled that position. So that was around, gosh, 2016-ish.

(10:14):

So one of the things that Dr. Grant's research found is that we need someone for these families to go to other than law enforcement. So I think that's what it looks like, is in practicalities, making sure there's advocates out there, making sure there's resources, making sure those resources are well-funded. That's where my office comes in, since we hold the purse strings, to a certain extent, across the state for those programs. So I hope that answered. Maybe that answered. I suspect Emily has more thoughts.

Lucas Fralick (10:42):

Thank you.

Dr. Emily Grant (10:43):

So when you asked the question, I interpreted it as what does my day look like when I'm collecting the information? Was I off base with that?

Lucas Fralick (10:53):

That counts. I think that's fine. That's a good interpretation. Yeah. That can work, too.

Dr. Emily Grant (10:59):

Okay. So if you're curious about that, so when we originally designed the way that we were going to go about the initial statewide report in Wyoming, we made all of our plans in January and February of 2020, getting ready to roll out in March. We had plans to be in person, meeting with people at Wind River, Fremont County, around the state, sitting down with families in their homes with a trusted member from the community to build that rapport. We had a really great design, and then the pandemic hit. So it wasn't appropriate or safe to go into people's home and talk with people.

(11:45):

We had to pivot our research to online remote communication. So it wasn't ideal, but it was still really important for us to get those perspectives how we could. A lot of the community-based input was done remotely, and then all of our hard numbers, our homicide data and missing persons reports from law enforcement, it was a really big process to get those. When I was tasked with the issue, I'm like, "Okay, yeah, deaths. That's recorded, right? That should be easy to get." Then we found that a large percentage of the homicides in Wyoming are missing from the FBI's supplemental homicide reports. "Oh, okay. Okay." It'd be like, "What's the next list? What can we do? Maybe we should reach out to law enforcement agencies individually."

(12:34):

A lot of them didn't have the capacity for that, especially during the pandemic, so they couldn't respond to our requests or we couldn't get a complete picture. So we got some records from law enforcement agencies, but not from others. So that would make it not appropriate to use that way. So we went down a lot of different rabbit holes and finally decided our most complete data that we'd have is from the Wyoming Vital Statistics for homicide and the National Crime Information Center. It's known as NCIC, where law enforcement has required information that they put in for each of the missing persons cases.

(13:08):

But then we're really careful in the report to say that this is just one look into it, and our vital statistics, if this person was not classified as homicide as cause of death, they're not in these numbers. If it was accidental, if it was natural causes, if it was something else, we don't see that. For people that were maybe never reported to law enforcement as missing, we don't have those numbers, either. It's likely that the numbers that we report are an undercount of the full picture.

(13:35):

So for our initial statewide report, we looked at 20 years of homicide data, and in that 20-year period, Indigenous people made up 21% of the total homicide victims in the state. So again, in the beginning, I said the Indigenous population in Wyoming is about 3%. So 21% of homicides is a really disproportionate rate. For the homicide rate for Indigenous females was 15.3, and that's six and a half times higher than it was for white females. So six and a half times higher. Six and a half times more likely to die by homicide in Wyoming if you are an Indigenous female.

Chloe Flagg (14:20):

Wow. People don't think about statistics creating an emotional response, but those are emotional numbers. There's really just no other way to define that for me. Data does not lie, and so there's something going on. That's a problem.

Cara Chambers (14:41):

I like that comment, although what is the phrase, that liars use statistics? It's something like that. But it's like, yeah, you can always manipulate. But no, I think that's a really good comment about it's stark, and it's hard to deny that there's something going on, which reminded me back in 2019, when all of this was fomenting in our state, that I do think that law enforcement was a little concerned that this work would be critical of what they were doing and maybe even some of those who were dismissive of whether or not this was really an issue in Wyoming, not to name names, but just like, "Well, is that really happening?" Chloe, just like you said, when you see, "No, this is a thing," the statistics and the comments about Indigenous women being some of the most preyed upon individuals in our state and in our country, the data bears that out.

Chloe Flagg (15:41):

Yeah, I really appreciate you saying that about those numbers being a critique or somehow critical of law enforcement agencies, because yeah, I could see where that could come into play, but I certainly don't feel that way. That's not where my head went at all. I just want to say that, I guess, to everyone listening. No one's to blame here, but there is a story to be told. There's something to uncover.

Cara Chambers (16:06):

Yeah, and that is very clear. I've had a long history of working with law enforcement and very supportive of that work. So I think that helped, because I did have a preexisting relationship, like, "Look, I'm not here to throw stones. I'm here to help provide solutions and support the work that you do, because I know you're doing good work."

Chloe Flagg (16:22):

Absolutely.

Emy DiGrappa (16:24):

What have you uncovered or learned culturally why these women are not purported or why it's so disproportionate? Is there a cultural answer, what is the solution, and how do you reach a solution into helping the communities understand on the ground how they can prevent it or how they can help it or how they report it? I'm just not sure.

Dr. Emily Grant (16:47):

Associated factors are deep and historical and very multifaceted. So there's nothing about being Indigenous or in your DNA that is going to make you more likely to be murdered. It's important to understand the historical factors and the interplay between all of these structures that have resulted in leaving these communities more vulnerable to these situations. So if there was just one thing to say, "Oh, it's this," then you could fix it. It's a lot more complicated than that. So I think that when we look at particular behaviors, like, "Why might people not feel comfortable reporting to law enforcement?," then we can look at specific things. If we want to talk about "Why missing and murdered Indigenous people a thing?", there's a lot of historical context there.

Cara Chambers (17:40):

Actually, I was going to suggest that Emily talk about the media research that they did, because I think that feeds directly into why this isn't reported.

Dr. Emily Grant (17:51):

So a large section of the initial report was an analysis of media coverage in the state of Wyoming. So we read thousands of newspaper articles over a ten-year period of time from all the major newspapers in Wyoming with keyword searches of missing, murdered, found dead, any related things, and to see how many articles are written for the people that we know from our vital statistics records have a homicide death. We found that it was really lacking for Indigenous people. White people were much more likely to have an article about them, period. But then I took our analysis a step further to say, "What is in these articles? When there is an article that happens, what is it like? What is the content like, and how does that compare?"

(18:43):

The articles for Indigenous people were ... What is the word? Smaller in content. They were shorter. The articles for Indigenous people were shorter overall. They contained less details. They were less likely to have a picture of the person. They were more likely to talk about unrelated negative aspects of the person's life. This is in contrast to articles about white people. They were talked about as, "Their family is looking for them. They had a smile that would light up a room," all of these things that really make the person identify with this victim or missing person as a person and someone that is worthy of sympathy. These details were often lacking for Indigenous victims.

(19:34):

So if someone is missing and the public needs to know the information so that they can possibly help find them, there's no article at all, that's an injustice to that family. If the article has little information, no picture, says that they have a history of substance abuse, the public doesn't care so much about that one.

(19:53):

So these are the types of stories, and we looked back over ten years. So typical people who read the newspaper every day, it gets into your subconscious. You don't even realize the comparison is happening, but it stands out. If you know that you're always talked about that way, that reporters are probably not going to cover your story or they don't really care, they're not going to give any details, then why would you reach out to them? Why would you trust that they were going to help when you needed help?

Chloe Flagg (20:23):

That's such a problem. So I'm from Riverton originally. I grew up there, born and raised, and I feel like that was and has been, continues to be ... What you just said is a perfect example of that, that lack of humanization of these people overall. I like that you pointed out that it's systemic. It's that they're not being talked about the same way, and so they know they won't be talked about the same way. So it's just this vicious cycle of not communicating what needs to be communicated in an effective way in both directions. It's a really huge disservice to these families and to these victims on the reservation of Indigenous people.

(21:12):

Yeah. Thank you so much, Cara, for pointing out the media piece of that, because that's huge, right? Massive. I remember this becoming an issue when Gabby Petito went missing. Blonde hair, blue-eyed white girl goes missing in a national park. That was everywhere. Everyone was talking about it. Everyone knew about it, and all these Indigenous families were like, "Hello. What is happening?" So yeah, I really appreciate you saying that, because it is a huge piece of the puzzle. It seems like a piece of the puzzle that could be addressed in some way, even in a small way.

Dr. Emily Grant (21:54):

Yeah. I think that the recent example of Gabby Petito often comes to mind, because the public was very instrumental in solving this case and bringing her home to her family. The thing that I like to keep in mind is what worked well there? How was that able to catch fire, catch everyone's attention? What are the lessons that we can learn from that and apply them to other cases so that everyone who needs that kind of response can get it?

Emy DiGrappa (22:25):

I think it's entirely cultural to me, because I grew up in a big Hispanic family. You're in a community, and you don't air your dirty laundry, so to speak. Okay? It's just like you insulate yourself, in a way. I feel like the Native American community does that as well, as I've been working with them and we're getting ready to do tribal talks in Jackson. We did tribal talks a couple of years ago before COVID. They acknowledged that this has been a serious problem, because they have insulated themselves, whether it's due to protect themselves from discrimination and not wanting their children to enter into the world of a harsh reality that they already are discriminated against, just historically.

(23:16):

So I think just coming from that background that I have with my family, I know that you do set up those walls. You protect your children. You make sure that your kids go to college, that you don't want your kids left behind. You don't want to teach Spanish in your home, because that's not good. There's so many things that are building blocks to why people just don't reach out, let's say. They don't think you're going to help them. That's not the first thing that comes to their head.

Chloe Flagg (23:49):

So Emy, that brings me to a good question for Cara and Emily, is what has the response been to this data collection and this study and the work that you've done in the past few years? What has been the response on the reservation? Is it gratitude? Is it resistance? What has that felt like?

Dr. Emily Grant (24:10):

My research has been really collaborative. So I try as hard as I can to not just be the outside person who is disconnected. Everything that I do is a problem identified from the community. The community is informing me about where to find the information, the information that they have, giving that information back to them to interpret and say, "What does this mean to you? What kind of recommendations do you have to move forward?" So really, my process has been very engaging with community members, and as I said, much of it had to be done remotely because of the pandemic. So unfortunately, it's not as engaging as I would hope for it to be. But we're still working, and we still strive to be including as many people as possible in this and centering the families and the people from the community that have this experience.

(25:04):

So I think because of the way that the process was designed, the community members that have been working alongside me in this have been appreciative of this work, that the university and the taskforce has been able to provide the resources to put this report together that has been clear that this is their report. This is something that's a document that works for them.

(25:28):

One of the people from the community, when we talked about the findings from media, it really stood out to me, because their response was, "I've never seen this written on paper before. Growing up, living here, this is exactly what it's like every single day. But I've never seen it written down, and so appreciative that this is a document that other people are seeing." We are contributing to the knowledge base that people are looking at around the country as different tribes, and they began to address that this year.

Cara Chambers (26:00):

Yeah, and to what Chloe had said about when you see the data, you realize it, they feel seen, finally. I think that's definitely the feedback that I've received from taskforce members. The concept of a taskforce was a request made to Governor Gordon that he on the spot agreed to do. So it was from the community that, "Hey, can we put some of these state resources behind that?" That's something that the Division of Victim Services, that's our ... clearly aligns with our goals. So it made sense to administratively house the taskforce within the Division of Victim Services, because we have the funds, and we were able to commit actual dollars, because when it comes down to it, that's what was needed.

(26:48):

But no, I do feel that the taskforce, everything that we have done has been driven by the population, because I realize this is a podcast, but I'm not Native American. I'm not from that community. I am a bureaucrat. I sit here in the capitol in Cheyenne and work for the executive branch of government, so for a colonial government. So I have to acknowledge my role in that and not overstep.

(27:18):

But no, I think the work has been appreciative, and so many good things have come of it. Right now, we're on the cusp of signing the Missing Persons Alert Bill, the Ashanti alert, which was a recommendation from the taskforce that, "Hey, some states have this red alert system." Washington State was that model. So looking at it, I'm researching, and I find this Ashanti alert, because I'm a big fan of not reinventing the wheel.

(27:44):

So we've seen tangible change in our state with our data collection and getting a BIA advocate and all these, really, things that are, again, just driven by the community, because they are the ones who are living it and seeing it. I love what Emily said about that person saying, "Oh my gosh. I've never" ... because I think the key is having the language to express what you are experiencing. They know. They feel it on an intrinsic level. But when you see it written literally in black and white on a report, it's not only validating, but it's also a tad heartbreaking. But it's also there. It's there for everyone to see. I think that's the important part of these reports.

Chloe Flagg (28:27):

I feel like that is so crucial and critical to a lot of Indigenous, Native American populations across the US. Having understood our history of broken promises with Native people, having them tell us that, "This is something we need," and then for you to actually do the work and provide the outcome in a very clear way that cannot be disputed, it is what it is, and it's their story, and it's for everyone to read, it can't be mistaken in any other way, I think is really, really critical in telling this story of missing and murdered Indigenous people in Wyoming. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I love that, too, what Emily said, that someone ... "I'd never seen this written. I knew it. I felt it. I experienced it. I watched it. But no one's ever documented it." That documentation is so important to Native people, I think.

Dr. Emily Grant (29:36):

The documentation is really important. When we did our report in Wyoming and released it in 2021, there were just a couple of state reports that had begun to look at something as we did. Now that's up to 13, I believe. As these reports come out, as we're documenting, "This is happening in Wyoming. This is happening in Nebraska. This is happening in Washington," it creates this knowledge base, like, "If we're all seeing similar things going on, how can we work together to solve this?", because it's not restricted to Wind River or Wyoming. This is a problem that's happening throughout North America.

Emy DiGrappa (30:17):

That is so encouraging, what you just said, Emily, because knowing that governments are realizing the help that they have to be to the Native people that they haven't done before is a really great place for that healing to happen. I just see this big chasm that has always been there, but for the government to reach across like you're doing, Cara, and you're doing Emily is part of that process that needs to happen. Then it opens that door for the community to trust you and want to come to you and want to be open and have you help them. Before, I don't think they trusted that the government would help them.

Cara Chambers (31:03):

I feel that we're at a really pivotal time in our nation. Having the first Indigenous woman leading the Department of the Interior, which, of course, oversees BIA, it feels different. Gosh, and the work that she's put into and the numerous visits she's made to Wyoming. She's very aware of our report, and that's tremendously gratifying, to know that we've reached that level and that we are working on it. Yeah, I always joke that I'm the government. I'm here to help, because usually we're the source of the problems, which you could argue in this situation that it's cyclical, that government is both the problem and the solution sometimes. But it is gratifying to feel like we, we as in the state, can provide resources. But it's so important that this is Indigenous-led and Indigenous-driven, because I'm smart enough to know that I don't know enough. So I think that's key.

Emy DiGrappa (32:05):

Okay. Well, amen on what you said, Cara, and thank you so much for joining us. Do you all have any last words that you want to say before we end our podcast?

Chloe Flagg (32:16):

I have one question. What's happening now? What are the next steps?

Dr. Emily Grant (32:22):

Since it's been two years since we released the first report, which had three recommendations in it, we are getting ready to release a second report that continues to follow the data and also shows the progress that has been made in the state on those three recommendations. We did a similar process to last time. We checked the same kind of information. But before, in that first report, we looked at a very large amount of data. We looked at 20 years of homicides and 10 years of missing.

(32:56):

As people make programs and policies and change their practices to try to address this issue, we need to be able to look at the data and see, is it changing? So we changed the way that we are showing the data in Wyoming to give both a calendar year view and then also five-year rolling averages so we can see how things are changing in the state as these things happen. We also got community perspectives this time, doing the interview process with community members again to hear what has changed for them, what has not, what their recommendations are for moving forward. We're currently in discussions with the taskforce about what those recommendations should look like for the state.

Cara Chambers (33:37):

I would just add that I think there's so many exciting things happening. So the "What's next?" is a big open question. It depends. But I like what Emily said about we'd like to make sure we are actually moving the needle on the issue. I think a next big step is the rollout of this Ashanti alert and seeing if that helps. That's statewide. That's anyone missing in Wyoming. We've been doing a lot of work on that in general, just how to address the issue of missing people and how law enforcement was responding, how victim services can maybe wrap around that where it historically hadn't.

(34:12):

We want to get back to in-person meetings. We want to get back to listening to the folks. I think one of the roles of the taskforce is to present ideas. The community has often talked about cold cases, and that has always been something of a struggle, because it's very hard. We don't have the authority. The taskforce is just here to recommend policy and make those recommendations. But we had a presentation on investigative genetic genealogy. It's a fascinating thing, and making sure that we can connect these sort of resources for these cases on the Wind River and just getting all the parties together. So I think there's a lot of next steps, but it's onward and upward.

Chloe Flagg (34:53):

It sounds very promising and very exciting, and thanks to you both for all of the work that you've done and the teams of people that you have led in making this happen.

Lucas Fralick (35:06):

Yes, thank you. I've learned a lot today. A lot of notes.

Dr. Emily Grant (35:10):

I'd like to add, too, for the people that are listening to this podcast, the taskforce really wants to hear from community members in Wyoming. This is not work that is being done by me at the university or Cara at the state. This is a community effort, and if we're going to make meaningful change in the state, we need to engage people from all different sectors. This needs to be something that everyone is caring about and working towards.

Emy DiGrappa (35:41):

Thank you. Thank you for joining us, and I'm just really appreciative of your time.

Cara Chambers (35:46):

Yeah, thank you for having us, and I appreciate you spotlighting this issue.

Emy DiGrappa (35:55):

Thank you for listening. I'm executive producer Emy DiGrappa. Winds of Change is brought to you by Wyoming Humanities, our co-hosts, and all the people who generously shared their stories and their time. For more information, go to thinkwy.org, subscribe, and never miss a show.