A state high school track champion who runs for missing and murdered Indigenous women has signed a national letter of intent to compete for the University of Washington.
Rosalie Fish, a citizen of the Cowlitz Tribe and a sophomore at Iowa Central Community College, Tuesday posted on Instagram that she will run cross country and track for the UW next fall. Iowa Central’s cross country team also tweeted about Fish, who has relatives on the Yakama Reservation, signing her letter of intent.
“Starting next fall of 2021 I will have the opportunity to represent my home state at the NCAA D1 & PAC12 level,” Fish posted on Instagram. “Washington state has 29 federally recognized tribes, yet Indigenous athletes and youth rarely see themselves represented in sports.
“We will make ourselves visible and demand acknowledgment. We set the standards on what the next generation will achieve, and there’s still much more work to do.”
Fish has become known throughout the United States for representing missing and murdered Indigenous women when she runs. She wears a red handprint on her face to honor those silenced by the violence that Native women and girls suffer at disproportionate levels, and the letters MMIW in red on her right leg.
In May 2019, Fish represented Muckleshoot Tribal School at the 1B small-school state track and field meet in Cheney. She ran the 3200, 1600, 800 and 400 finals, winning the three longest distances and placing second in the 400. She dedicated each race to an Indigenous woman who has gone missing or been murdered, providing photos and information about them on a poster where she hung her medals.
Fish ran the 1,600 for Alice Ida Looney, who was 38 when she was last seen by family in Wapato late on the evening of Aug. 16, 2004. A hunter found Looney’s body Nov. 30, 2005, under a log on a small island in Satus Creek, about 12 miles southeast of Toppenish.
Fish’s mother, Autumn McCloud, is a citizen of the Yakama Nation with ties to the Mesplie-Andy families. The Looneys are her in-laws, McCloud has said. Her husband’s aunts are Mary and Caroline Looney, Alice’s older sisters. In talking about her state championships, Fish recalled Alice Looney’s love and care for her nieces and nephews.
Mary and Caroline Looney spoke of Fish in recent interviews about their baby sister. They appreciate her running to honor Alice and other women who have gone missing and have been murdered on the Yakama Reservation, including Rosenda Sophia Strong and Minnie Andy. Fish tagged Strong’s sister, Cissy Strong Reyes, in a Nov. 18 post with several race photos. Comments also mention Alice Looney and Andy.
Strong went missing in October 2018. Her remains were found July 4, 2019. Andy died from blunt force trauma to the head in July 2017 after being assaulted at 70 Egan Road in Wapato. Both cases are under investigation by the FBI.