Leaving Her Mark: Native High Schooler Uses State Track Meet to Raise Awareness

"For last weekend’s Washington State 1B track and field championships, Rosalie Fish painted a red handprint over her mouth, the fingers extending across her cheekbones. On her right leg, she painted the letters 'MMIW,' standing for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. As a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, raising awareness for the issue was as natural as running. 'I do like to think in native communities, the women are especially strong in the way they voice themselves,' said Fish, Muckleshoot Tribal School senior. 'I do see a little bit of hope … I think that the MMIW movement is getting more attention than it has in the past.' Some runners at the meet in Cheney asked Fish if the handprint was war paint. She found this offensive because of the stereotype that native people are violent. A few asked her if the painting was traditional. This bothered her less, though in Fish’s tribe, traditional face painting is for protection. The paint did not make Fish feel protected."



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