We’re Still Here: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 3

We’re Still Here: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 3

When COVID-19 arrives on reservation borders, tribes aren’t sure if their newly minted health care programs can hold up against the onslaught. The fear is that this is history happening all over again. But the two tribes on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming decide early to roll up their sleeves–literally–in a fight for the very survival of their tribal identity.

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Enough Is Enough: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 2

Enough Is Enough: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 2

It’s the late 1800s. With no government help in sight, Omaha citizen Dr. Susan LaFlesche is determined to bring health care to her tribe. Decades later, the U.S. still hasn’t gotten around to fulfilling its treaty promise to furnish medicine. So, tribes find a way to take over their health care system, and a quiet social movement is born. (more…)

Shall Furnish Medicine Trailer

Shall Furnish Medicine Trailer

Reservations have been some of the hardest-hit communities in the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, for Native Americans, this all feels awfully familiar…the arrival of a terrible illness that kills elders while the federal government does little to stop it. But this time, tribes know what to do. Coming September 29, we’ll bring you a three-part series we’re calling Shall Furnish Medicine, tracing that devastating history from its beginnings.  (more…)

Bonus: Reframing Rural

Bonus: Reframing Rural

If you loved our Ghost Town(ing) series, check out Reframing Rural. Host Megan Torgerson takes you to her Montana homeland and introduces us to all sorts of people we usually don’t hear from. Like in this episode, where high school history teacher and Chippewa descendent Eddie Hentges talks about the challenges of teaching in a small town. (more…)

Bonus: Carbon Valley Part 1

Bonus: Carbon Valley Part 1

We’re hard at work on our next season but, while you’re waiting, we wanted to share Carbon Valley, another podcast from Wyoming Public Media that follows the race to develop an unlikely climate solution. (more…)

Bonus: Reversing Ghost Town(ing)

Bonus: Reversing Ghost Town(ing)

In the process of reporting on rural decline, we discovered an underground movement of people thinking hard about how to help small towns revitalize. We partnered with the Rural America Chamber of Commerce to host a live virtual event, bringing some of these problem-solvers together. The result was an inspiring and clear-eyed conversation. In this episode, we bring you the highlights. (more…)

My Modern West: From Surviving To Thriving

My Modern West: From Surviving To Thriving

From the nurse who moved back to Walden to the foreign diplomat who grew up in Nebraska, from the ranch kid who’s seen the wealthy moving in, to the Asian American daughter remembering her father’s migration to the great American West. In this episode, we share the outpouring of stories of rural life we collected from our listeners. (more…)

The Fine Art Of Coexisting: Ghost Town(ing) Part 12

The Fine Art Of Coexisting: Ghost Town(ing) Part 12

In the final chapter of Ghost Town(ing), host Melodie Edwards revisits her parents’ decision about whether to move away from Walden. Her mom has been trying to lure her dad away with all sorts of stratagems. But there’s a lot about the craziness of 2020 that entrenched him even deeper. (more…)

Small Town Democracy: Ghost Town(ing) Part 11

Small Town Democracy: Ghost Town(ing) Part 11

Small town politics has a lot to teach us about how fragile democracy is right now. In Walden, we sit in on a beautification committee meeting and see how hard it is to make change happen–and how rural struggles are reflected in American democracy writ large. (more…)

Mountains In The Rearview Mirror: Ghost Town(ing) Part 10

Mountains In The Rearview Mirror: Ghost Town(ing) Part 10

The out-migration of rural youth is one of America’s great migrations–even the history books are calling it that. Younger generations leave because they have a need to feel connected to the great, big world out there. And as that world becomes more connected through the internet, small towns like Walden feel even more isolated. But would they come home if there was more equality in rural broadband? (more…)

Immigrations, Interrupted: Ghost Town(ing) Part 9

Immigrations, Interrupted: Ghost Town(ing) Part 9

Right now, the West is struggling to diversify its economy. But would our economy have already been diversified if a greater diversity of people had been allowed to make their homes here? How the history of racial erasure has hurt small towns, and how welcoming newcomers could turn that around. (more…)

A Tale Of Two Towns: Ghost Town(ing) Part 8

A Tale Of Two Towns: Ghost Town(ing) Part 8

Some former Southern enslaved people and their descendants followed the American dream westward, where they created towns to homestead together. This is a tale of two of those towns—on either side of the Wyoming-Colorado border—and what today’s small towns now can learn from their stories. (more…)

Bonus: Stranger In A Strange Land

Bonus: Stranger In A Strange Land

We’re on a short holiday break, so here’s the first part of a podcast called Grousea show about the most controversial bird in the West and what it can teach us about hope, compromise and life in rural America. (more…)

The Garden On The Prairie: Ghost Town(ing) Part 7

The Garden On The Prairie: Ghost Town(ing) Part 7

Many places in the American West are becoming food deserts, where it’s hard to get healthy food. Sometimes that’s because people can’t afford it or because it means driving long distances. And for really isolated places, sometimes it’s because of both. Now, a group of ladies in Wyoming’s struggling coal country are working on a plan to solve hunger there. (more…)

The Doctor In The Screen: Ghost Town(ing) Part 6

The Doctor In The Screen: Ghost Town(ing) Part 6

Living in a pandemic doesn’t have many plus sides to it. But there is one bright side for rural America. Telehealth is finally getting to flex its muscles. But adjusting to technology isn’t easy for older patients, and that’s one thing small towns have lots of: senior citizens. So, we take a trip to Sheridan, Wyoming to see how well telehealth is working for veteran Ron Loporto. (more…)

Gabby’s Story: Ghost Town(ing) Part 5

Gabby’s Story: Ghost Town(ing) Part 5

The rural West has been seeing a steeper and steeper decline into despair, especially among white men. But when a Vietnam vet’s mental breakdown threatens the safety of Walden, the small town has a response that neighborhoods everywhere could learn from. (more…)

The Environmental Billionaire: Ghost Town(ing) Part 4

The Environmental Billionaire: Ghost Town(ing) Part 4

2020 feels apocalyptic. It’s not just the pandemic; there’s also drought, mega-fires, melting glaciers. Meanwhile, the ultra-wealthy are stockpiling land, buying up small family ranches across the Mountain West. It makes you wonder, is it really a good idea to put that much environmental control in the hands of so few? (more…)

A Stranger Comes To Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 3

A Stranger Comes To Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 3

The West has long been a haven for the ultra-wealthy. Sometimes, they move into small towns with the aim of revitalizing them. But in Walden, Colorado, one wealthy businessman’s plans went awry, with dire consequences for the community. (more…)