Paynee Nooh Mahmchew Wyhgay, “Three Ute Women”

Three Ute Women: Margaret Arrive (Ute Mountain Ute), Trennie Collins (Southern Ute), Ronnee Wopsock (Northern Ute)
Robert L. Ortiz | SU Drum

The Paynee Nooh Mahmchew Wyhagay logo was designed by a native youth, Jordon Lansing (Diné) from Dolores, Colo. Lansing does mural work in the Dolores/Cortez areas.

Telling their truths

A new Native podcast has delved into the saturated technological platform, but what can another podcast bring that hasn’t already been done? Truth!

The three “beautiful women on the podcast,” as described by Ronee Wopsock, are telling their truths on another level, from their own perspectives, personal experiences and from each of their lives. ‘Paynee Nooh Mahmchew Wyhgay’ translated in the Ute language to Three Ute Women, who speak what’s on their minds and speak from their hearts.

Hailing from the three Ute tribes – Northern, Southern and Ute Mountain Ute tribes – Ronee Wopsock (Northern Ute), Trennie Collins (Southern Ute) and Margaret Arrive (Ute Mountain Ute), the three women bring insight from a personal experience, and with that humor, as evident in their recent podcasts.

Having released two podcasts on Patreon, the first podcast published in August brought insight into the COVID pandemic and how it’s affected the three Ute tribes respectively. The second podcast covered the issues of mental health and the stigma affecting the tribes.

Although the women all work for, or within their three Tribes respectively, they each bring their own personal experiences and insights to the podcast with the purpose, as described by Arrive, and echoed by Collins and Wopsock. “We want to reach our [Ute] people and let them know they are not alone, that they have a voice. All three of us, we all have experienced things, and we’re wanting to share those stories with our people,” Arrive said.

The three speak of the struggles of life on their reservations, and what affects them personally and their community members while also adding their own stories and sharing a laugh. As we all know, laughter is good medicine.

“I want to bring light to our different communities, to create a platform to talk and bring awareness about things they may have never addressed,” Wopsock said.

“It’s a journey about our communities. I feel a lot of things are left unsaid or are swept under the rug; there’s a lot that we don’t talk about – that does more harm than good,” Collins said. “I’ve gone through some [things]; I wanted to be vulnerable, to let people know you can heal. You can help yourself with whatever comes. So people can take power from that.”

The one-hour podcasts are a new form of communication for the three women. All having expressed they want to use the podcast platform for the women’s voices to be heard.

“We wanted to enter a platform to talk about things we’re seeing in our communities, it works [for us] being from the three different bands, because we are all related somehow,” Wopsock said.

Three strong women, from three different communities – the Ute Tribe is comprised of seven bands of Utes: the Mouache and Capote (Southern Ute), Weeminuche (Ute Mountain Ute), Tabeguache, Grand, Yampa and Uintah (Northern Ute) – coming together on a podcast they all hope brings awareness of various topics to their communities.

“We reach our people and give them a voice. There are people out there to help. Maybe just hearing us, laughing, talking and speaking our truths, may help them, help them to reach out, even if it’s just one person,” Arrive said.

Speaking your mind on any public forum can have adverse effects, but the women expressed they are speaking “their own truths.” For the three broadcasters new to the podcast forum, they take the challenges as they come and try to provide solutions.

“We must be mindful, speaking in a way to not hurt anyone,” Arrive said.

“We are talking in a way, as a community member to have solutions, and not complain, but to be better community members. What’s a way to provide a solution and to be as positive as can be,” Wopsock added.

“We have to be truthful, we have to be able to talk the truth, even if it’s hard to be open and honest. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree,” Collins said.

As stated on their Facebook page, “As three Ute women, we have decided to take a journey together in the hopes of bringing awareness to all things that positively and negatively impact us as Ute people. To raise our voices so that our Indigenous people feel that they can do the same.”

The Paynee Nooh Mahmchew Wyhgay “Three Ute Women” one-hour podcast can be found on Patreon at www.patreon.com/PayneeNoohMahmchewWyhgay, and you can follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Paynee-Nooh-Mahmchew-Wyhgay.

“We are introducing a new platform, strong women, as leaders and speakers, but sharing a woman’s voice and perspective. Do not take our voice away!” Wopsock said in closing.

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