The Modern West Exploring the evolving identity of the American West.
The Modern West

The Modern West

From Wyoming Public Radio

Exploring the evolving identity of the American West.

Most Recent Episodes

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?