Created with Sketch.
The Modern West
27 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
Bonus: Middle of Everywhere
The Modern West brings you heartfelt stories about poignant issues happening today in the rural west. A lot of these issues are also felt in other rural communities, across the country. Today we take you to the foothills of the lush Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee. There you’ll meet people who lost their way of life when a federal agency decided to take their land and flood their rich river valley, burying beneath the water much of our country’s early history, including many sacred Cherokee sites, and threatening an endangered species. This was all done in the name of progress. From our good friends at the award-winning podcast Middle of Everywhere, with WKMS in Kentucky, this is The Story of Tanasi, the first of a five-part series following a decades-long battle that took the river’s people all the way to the Supreme Court as they tried to save their way of life in the Little Tennessee River Valley. In this first part, called The Birth of a River, you’ll hear a history of the river valley, and learn about the cultural significance and importance of the river to the Cherokee Nation.
39 minutes | Jun 22, 2022
Nothing Heals: The Great Individualist Part 4
This time, we head to Wyoming's Red Desert - and hear the history of the 19th-century range wars. They led to laws requiring grazing fees and regular land health check-ups. But over a century later, some say these regulations haven't done enough to protect our wild spaces. Not to mention our climate.
44 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Cows = Civilization: The Great Individualist Part 3
The history of how we brought the pastoral cow to live on the arid lands of the West is a violent one. Jim Elliot grew up in the shadow of that history and his stories are quintessential cowboy, full of guns, death and hard winters. But even Jim recognized the tragedy of the attempted annihilation of Indigenous culture and bison to make way for cows. But now, there's growing hope among tribes as bison make a comeback.
38 minutes | May 25, 2022
Se Benefician De Ella: The Great Individualist Part 2
The Abeyta family has been driving sheep down from the mountains of southern Colorado for generations. But it hasn't been easy to keep that tradition alive – they've had to fight for it. Through their eyes, we trace back the beginnings of the cowboy to the Mexican vaquero and find out how those adventurous roots are still very much alive in the American southwest.
32 minutes | May 11, 2022
The Rolling Stone: The Great Individualist Part 1
For the Elliot family, there isn't just one kind of cowboy. There are guys like Jake who chase the idea of the rodeo star, never sinking roots, a rolling stone. And then there's Jim, the hardworking and intimidating rancher. In this episode, we bust some myths about what it means to be a "real" cowboy and whether ranching ever measures up to our American ideals.
9 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
The Great Individualist Trailer
The cowboy roaming horseback across the American West is nearly inextricable from what it means to be American. But in reality, most beef is raised out East where there's more grass, and only a tiny fraction of the economy in the West comes from cattle. Now a new generation of ranchers is working to reinvent this iconic way of life to fit a modern world.
57 minutes | Feb 2, 2022
Heavy To One, Light To Many: Cowboy Up Part 3
Fifteen-year-old Kate just lost her mom. On top of that, her learning disabilities are making it hard to go to school. She's missed so much that the school says she might get sent away to a residential treatment center hundreds of miles away. But her grandparents are fighting hard for their right to keep her home.
52 minutes | Jan 19, 2022
Caught In The Current: Cowboy Up Part 2
In Rock Springs, Wyoming, we follow the treacherous paths of two young women. Larissa endures one trauma after another and soon finds herself unable to escape a cycle of probation and incarceration. Another kid, Jess, endures racism and bullying and seems headed down the same road. The system fails them both, but Jess's story takes a turn when she lucks out with a new teacher. But Mr. Baker says kids shouldn't have to rely on good luck.
54 minutes | Jan 5, 2022
Stranger On The Side Of The Road: Cowboy Up Part 1
In 1892, Wyoming hosts its first execution and it's a teenage boy named Kansas Charley. His trial causes a big national debate: is Charley a hardened criminal or a neglected child? It's a question we still haven't answered in the American West, where children are incarcerated in greater numbers than anywhere else. We also hear from a modern-day Kansas Charley who's living out his days in Wyoming's prisons who says, growing up, no one ever asked him the simple question: do you need help?
7 minutes | Dec 15, 2021
Cowboy Up Trailer
Everyone likes to say that there's no better place to grow up than in the Rocky Mountains. Building snow forts, riding your bike everywhere, learning how to find your way out of the woods when you're lost. But for kids having a hard time, no one's handing them a map and compass. In Wyoming, kids are incarcerated and dying of suicide at higher rates than anywhere else. Longtime education reporter Tennessee Watson started to wonder if all this had to do with the "cowboy up" attitude we take toward child-rearing in the American West. A three-part series coming January 5th.
60 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
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.
49 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
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.
58 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
The Great Dying: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 1
For Native Americans, the story of pandemics started the moment European colonizers stepped foot off their ships. Savannah Maher's tribe the Mashpee Wampanoag experienced that first Great Dying. Arapaho and Shoshone descendant Taylar Stagner tells the history of how those diseases came West as a form of biological warfare.
7 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
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.
31 minutes | May 26, 2021
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.
39 minutes | May 7, 2021
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.
36 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
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.
20 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
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. Listeners react to Ghost Town(ing) with their stories.
32 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
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.
41 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
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.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022