Missing, murdered, and marginalized: 7 true crime podcasts about Indigenous people
Podcasts like the award-winning “This Land” and the CBC’s “Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo” have taken the podcasting sphere by storm. And unfortunately, there are many more stories out there about missing and murdered Indigenous and Aboriginal people who receive little to no justice in any form.
Here is a list of 7 true crime podcasts about Indigenous people. Many of these podcasts are hosted by Indigenous people who can give us a closer look into the historically repugnant treatment of their people across continents.
From Canada to the United States all the way to Australia, cases involving Indigenous and Aboriginal people get astronomically less media coverage than their white counterparts (e.g. Missing White Woman Syndrome). Podcasts like “Bowraville,” “Kuper Island,” “Island Crimes,” and more are digging into these long overlooked crimes.
Check out 7 Indigenous and Aboriginal true crime podcasts below.
A new podcast from the CBC, “Kuper Island” examines the grotesque history of the Kuper Island Indian Residential School where nearly 40% of its students died. Hosted by Duncan McCue, member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, this podcast tells the stories of four students from the school, three who survived and one who did not.
In it, he exposes hidden police investigations, speaks with survivors, confronts perpetrators, and watches as the community tries to rebuild on the unmarked graves of the young Indigenous children who died there. “Kuper Island” is an excellent, but harrowing, piece of reporting.
Crooked Media’s award-winning podcast “This Land” is now two seasons long, telling the stories of Native people’s constant battle for sovereignty. Host Rebecca Nagle is an activist, writer, public speaker, and member of the Cherokee Nation who is investigating landmark cases that highlight the struggle for tribal rights in America.
Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo
Another CBC podcast, “Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo,” joins the search for what happened to Cleopatra Semaganis Nicotine. The young Cree girl was taken by child welfare workers in the 1970s in a wave of Indigenous children being taken from their families in what was called the Sixties Scoop. Cleo’s family believe she was raped and murdered while trying to return home to Saskatchewan.
CBC journalist Connie Walker tells the story of the search for Cleo in the second season of “Missing & Murdered.” The first season tells a tragically similar story about the decades long cold case of the murder of Alberta Williams.
“Thunder Bay” probes the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous teenagers in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the deep corruption that runs through the city allowing them to die at alarming rates. Sometimes called Murder Bay, the city saw nine teenagers die and no convictions seen for them. Tragic, disturbing, and enraging, this CANADALAND podcast delves into who and what killed these teenagers in the homicide/hate-crime capital of Canada.
Telling Our Twisted Histories
So, it’s not true crime, but it might as well be. Kaniehti:io Horn is untangling and exposing the untruths we learned about Indigenous history in “Telling Our Twisted Histories.” In this CBC/Radio-Canada production, Horn explores the 11 words that have been perverted by centuries of colonization. She speaks with over 70 people from 15 Indigenous communities whose lands make up Quebec, New Brunswick, and Labrador to right the wrongs we’ve been taught.
Journalist Laura Palmer hosts “Island Crime,” a podcast that hones in on the biggest crimes to occur on Vancouver Island. The first season dives into the disappeance of Lisa Marie Young, a 21-year-old Indigenous Canadian woman who was a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. This 8-episode pilot season of “Island Crime” renewed interest in the case, but still no trace of Lisa has ever been found.
The second season of this podcast investigates the mystery of the many men who’ve gone missing on the island, and the third season looks into the largest unsolved mysteries in Canada: the disappearance of four-year-old Michael Dunahee.
From The Australian, “Bowraville” is an investigative podcast series looking into the unsolved murders of three Aboriginal children. For over two decades this case remained unsolved and under-reported, it’s now known as one of Australia’s least-known serial killings. Hosted by crime reporter Dan Box, this is a story of racism that’s been pushed under the rug for far too long and the injustice three Aboriginal families continue to experience.