PETA Honors Misty Upham’s Legacy

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

The Cherokee bears have lost a staunch defender with the passing of Misty Upham.

Misty’s kindness touched and inspired so many. The Frozen River star grew up on a Black Foot Indian reservation in Montana, and she was passionate about reaching out to Native American communities about animal issues. She repeatedly spoke out in behalf of bears housed in deplorable conditions on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina.

In a heartfelt interview with PETA, Misty said:

“I do hope that the Native American elders can separate tradition, pride, and what is popular and give these bears the right to have a peaceful, healthy, respected lifestyle and to possibly have peace of mind after so many years of torture.”

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk remembers the talented actor: “The world will be a colder place without Misty’s warm heart, and she will be sorely missed at PETA. She was extremely kind and cared deeply about animals, constantly calling for protection for the bears suffering in roadside zoos on tribal land, a call we will carry forward in her honor. It’s a tragedy whenever anyone dies before their time, but Misty Upham was a friend to us and to animals everywhere.”

Misty will never be forgotten, and those who would like to honor her life can add their voice to the growing call to help bears living in cramped cages and concrete pits.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind