documentary subjects

From Buffalo to Saratoga and from Lander to Cheyenne, the women and girls filmed as part of this documentary live on remote ranches and in our biggest towns. They share a love for the state of Wyoming and each has a vibrant story to tell. It was not possible to include full portraits of all 24 subjects in our one-hour film, but we’re delighted with the mixture of stories, having included as many of these fine women and girls as was possible. We invite you to meet them through the biographies below.

  • Jamie Fraser

    Jayme Fraser

    Jayme is a smart and thoughtful young woman, a fine soccer player, talented writer and photographer. She helped produce a live Saturday morning radio show in her hometown of Cody, Wyoming, and started an outdoor club at her high school, where participated in speech and debate.

  • Susan McKay

    Susan McKay

    Susan is a Professor of Women’s Studies and International Studies at the University of Wyoming. She is a seasoned, high-profile activist working with women’s global initiatives. Her particular focus is international advocacy on behalf of African girls who are abducted to be soldiers in combat and serve as “wives” of rebel captor soldiers. She is the author of The Courage Their Stories Tell, a book about the women confined to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Park County, Wyoming, during World War II. Professor McKay lives in Laramie, Wyoming.

  • Nina Munger

    Nina Munger

    Nina Munger knew the harp was her instrument from when she was a little girl, after seeing one played on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Now, Nina is a mother, composer and a professional harpist, who won a major prize at the 2004 International Lyon and Healy Harpfest. She plays and teaches classical harp music, but specializes in a non-standard style, composing and arranging a wide variety of harp pieces and making her instrument emit inventive new musical sounds. Her prize-winning arrangement of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” is riveting. Nina lives in Thayne, Wyoming.

  • Keja Whiteman

    Keja Whiteman

    Keja is the first Native American ever elected to the Fremont County Commission, which includes the Wind River Reservation and nearly 7,000 Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone residents. And, she’s a woman in her early 30s. “I’m still mulling what this means in my mind,” she says. Keja is a mother of three, rancher, barrel racer, 4-H booster, and policy consultant to tribes all over the U.S. She earned her undergraduate degree in human services and her master’s degree in public administration at the University of Wyoming. Elected at-large, she views all Fremont County citizens as her constituents, but believes she has a special obligation to residents of the Wind River Reservation. Keja is a strong and focused advocate for Native Americans and their role in this country. She lives in Riverton.

  • Earth Kids

    EARTH Kids: Ruby Jones & Mia Tompkins

    In 2007, 10-year-old Ruby Jones had “bad dreams” about global warming and its impacts, so she decided to do something about it. She joined with her friend Mia Tompkins to form the E.A.R.T.H. Club. The acronym stands for: Environmental Allies Ready To Help. Together Ruby and Mia organized local events for the 2007 National Day of Climate Action, as well as for the annual ECO-fair in Jackson Hole. The girls were the youngest subjects featured in the documentary, from Jackson, Wyoming.

  • Alice Fuller

    Alice Fuller

    Alice is a feisty octogenarian painter who grew up on and worked the ranch lifestyle. Alice is now one of the most collected artists in the Dayton-Sheridan area of Wyoming. Her paintings are bold and colorful, ranging from abstracts to still life to multimedia. Alice also teaches painting and is her gallery’s “Official Cowgirl Artist Guru Mentor.”

  • Terry Henderson

    Terry Henderson

    Terry is a full-time rancher, freelance writer of rural life, volunteer wildland firefighter, wife, mom, grandmother of five and cowgirl poet from Shawnee, Wyoming. Together with her husband Frank, Terry runs the Wyoming School of Ranching, a university-level program that takes place on the Henderson’s Cougar Valley Ranch, where they raise natural grass-fed beef. She entertains with her poetry readings and banjo playing at events throughout Wyoming, Nevada and California.

  • Inger Koedt

    Inger Koedt

    In her “later” nineties, Inger is the inspirational elder of this documentary. She is still actively involved in political and environmental causes, as well as adventure activities. Inger began mountaineering at age 62 with a climb up the Grand Teton, and has since climbed nearly all the major Teton peaks. Additionally, she is an avid cross-country skier and hiker. Inger emigrated to the U.S. from Denmark and was involved in the famous rescue of the Danish Jews from the Nazis during World War II. She has called the Tetons home for many years.

  • “The Buffalo Four”: Hermie Christian, Jonesie Smith, Audrey Long and Madeline Harriet

    “The Buffalo Four”: Hermie Christian, Jonesie Smith, Audrey Long and Madeline Harriet

    Hermie, Jonesie, Audrey and Madeline…four women who represent traditional Wyoming cattle and sheep ranching. Their long-standing friendship gives profound meaning to the concept of “women’s network.” Each is a fine example of Wyoming womanhood–strong, vital, and down-to-earth. The film crew had a delightful time listening to their stories and joining them at the County Fair in Buffalo.

  • Debra East

    Debra East

    Debra is a peace builder in Lander, Wyoming, where her consulting firm works in conflict resolution and diversity coaching. She founded the local chapter of the National Coalition-Building Institute, a nonprofit organization that strives to teach people how to resolve conflicts peacefully. She works actively with minority groups and facilitates workshops and retreats throughout Wyoming. Debra’s website states, “With a population of just over 500,000, Wyoming taught Debra that sparseness is our glue; we need each other no matter where we reside.”

  • Jordan Schreiber

    Jordan Schreiber

    A true leader of the future, Jordan exhibits the determination, aptitude and dedication to broaden her participation in international citizenry. Jordan served as president of the Global Connections Club (a Jackson Hole High School human rights group), founded the high school book club and was captain of the debate team. She has been a delegate to the United Nations Student Conference on Human Rights and participated in Model United Nations to promote global awareness. While she is comfortable on the stage during interscholastic debate, oratory and public speaking competitions, she is most at home fly fishing on the Snake River.

  • Kelli Trujillo

    Kelli Trujillo

    A fine example of women in science, Trujillo is a paleontologist. She participated with the team that discovered the remains of three different Jurassic dinosaurs outside of Laramie during the autumn of 2006. We filmed Kelli meticulously piecing together the puzzle of thousands of tiny, fractured dinosaur bones at the University of Wyoming’s Geological Museum. Kelli is a knowledgeable guide to this unique story, but when not in the lab, she is often found on the road, singing, songwriting and playing guitar with the Jalan Crossland Band.

  • Elaine Harvey

    Elaine Harvey

    Elaine’s story is the inspiring story of a Lovell, Wyoming grandmother whose first grandchild was born with severe developmental disabilities. She decided that her current state representative did not represent her district adequately on support and accessibility for disabled youth, among other issues, so she ran against him and won. Elaine is now a major Wyoming state politician who operates out of her basement office and leads the charge in the Wyoming Legislature to establish a quality childcare program for the state.

  • Lynn Horton

    Lynn Horton

    Lynn is an emergency room doctor who also raises organic beef cattle with her husband on their ranch near Powell, Wyoming. She enjoys exploring Wyoming’s backcountry and working with her ranch dogs. The film crew was able to capture Lynn herding cattle on her ranch and caring for patients at the Powell Valley Hospital.

  • Stacy Jo Johnson

    Stacy Jo Johnson

    Stacy Jo is a fifth-generation Wyoming rancher on her family’s ranch outside of Laramie, Wyoming. She was crowned Miss Rodeo USA in 2006 as well as reigning as Miss Rodeo Wyoming. Stacy is an advocate for the Western way of life, the sport of rodeo, and healthy habits for children. She studied pre-med at the University of Wyoming and looks forward to practicing medicine in the state. In addition to her studies and duties as a rodeo queen, Stacy sings and plays guitar in her family’s band, “The Ranchers.”

  • The “Rosies” of Cheyenne

    The “Rosies” of Cheyenne

    Six Cheyenne, Wyoming women, in their 80s when we filmed them, offered an intimate picture of “Rosie the Riveter,” the iconic heroine of World War II. In December 1941, almost 13 million women were to support the war effort, replacing men who had gone off to fight. By early 1944, 17 million women were so employed. “Rosie the Riveter,” with her “We Can Do It!” motto, was immortalized by posters and by a spunky “Rosie the Riveter” wartime song. Like the Cheyenne “Rosies,” many women worked on the railroad. Interviews with these wonderful women took place at Cheyenne’s Union Pacific Depot, a National Historic Landmark.

  • Liz Byrd

    Liz Byrd

    Liz Byrd is a fourth-generation, Wyoming African-American who grew up in Cheyenne. After a long career in public education, she was elected to the Wyoming State Senate in 1988 and became the first African-American woman to serve in the Wyoming Legislature. Now in her eighties, she continues her civic involvement as an active member of the Democratic Party and the League of Women Voters. One biographer says of her, “Byrd is a woman who, early in her life, developed a sense of self-definition that guides her as she fights for equality, human and civil rights issues for all of the people of Wyoming, not just African-Americans.”

  • Nancy Curtis

    Nancy Curtis

    Nancy owns and operates a cattle ranch along the Platte River and next to the rail line near Glendo, Wyoming. From her historic family home, she also runs High Plains Press, which specializes in books about Wyoming and the West. She is the co-editor of Leaning Into the Wind, a moving anthology of western women’s writings. Nancy coined the term “cowmoms” to counteract the traditional cowboy icon and to illuminate why women make good ranchers. Nancy and her cows were once the subject of a LIFE magazine photo essay.

  • Misty Eisenbarth

    Misty Eisenbarth

    Misty is a single mother of two who overcame enormous personal challenge to support her children and begin a career. She participated in CLIMB Wyoming, a five-month program to train and place single mothers in higher paying jobs. With the help of CLIMB Wyoming and Misty’s own persistence and strength, she left behind a low-paying, fast-food restaurant job to become a technician at a wind generation plant outside Rock River, Wyoming. Misty was filmed on the job in her wind turbine.

  • Beth Simpson

    Beth Simpson

    Simpson’s Cody high school teacher nominated her for our film project, saying: “No doubt in my mind that Beth actually has the combination of skills and personality to become our first female President – no joking.” Beth has a passion for service and excellence. She was elected President of the Wyoming Student Council Association and represented Wyoming at National Speech and Debate tournaments. Beth attended the University of Notre Dame as a Truman Scholar, and she is the granddaughter of former U.S. Senator from Wyoming, Alan Simpson.

  • Nikki Brown

    Nikki Brown

    Nikki is a vibrant young Native American (Arapaho) woman from Fort Washakie, Wyoming. She was our 2007 Atta Girl Award winner and manager of the girls’ basketball team at her high school. She participated in the Indians Into Medicine program and returned to share this experience with her peers, inspiring more Native American students to apply. The film crew had the opportunity to film Nikki at her home and at a pow-wow on the Wind River Indian Reservation, where she performed Native dances.

  • Beryl Churchill

    Beryl Churchill

    Beryl’s story is one of water and women in the American West. She shared her personal history as a farmer in Powell, Wyoming, with connections to the Buffalo Bill Dam, the Shoshone Project, early women settlers, and the history of the town of Powell. Beryl and her husband Winston grow sugar beets, beans, alfalfa and barley, showcasing an important example of sustainable agriculture in the arid West.

  • Marilyn Kite

    Marilyn Kite

    Justice Kite serves as Chief Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court, the first woman to hold that judicial position in the state. She also served as Senior Assistant Attorney General for the State of Wyoming from 1974-1978. Marilyn is a graduate of the University of Wyoming Law School and is a resident of Jackson Hole. When not holding court, she can be found in Wyoming’s backcountry enjoying the great outdoors, often on horseback.

  • Diane Noton

    Diane Noton

    This rural Wyoming doctor from Encampment, Wyoming still makes house calls. Dr. Diane, as she is affectionately known, is the only practicing physician in Carbon County, outside of Rawlins, with her own state-of-the-art clinic. She serves as Vice President of the Wyoming Board of Medicine, helps organize the annual community health fair, and rides the ambulance when the need arises. Dr. Diane states, “Somewhere along the way somebody saw potential in me, and that allowed me to go to medical school. Now it’s my turn to give back. People encouraged me and helped me, and I think it’s important to do that for the next generation. That’s why I like to be involved. I want to see that attitude perpetuated. I will never leave here. This is it. This is my life.”