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KOSU's Allison Herrera earns four national Indigenous journalism awards

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Shane Brown
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KOSU Indigenous Affairs reporter Allison Herrera (center) speaks to cyclists during a history ride of Sand Springs.

KOSU Indigenous Affairs reporter Allison Herrera earned four national Native journalism awards from The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA).

The annual National Native Media Awards recognize excellence in reporting by Indigenous and non-Indigenous journalists from across the U.S. and Canada. This year, the competition fielded more than 750 entries.

Herrera took first place for 'Excellence in Beat Reporting' in the radio/podcast category for her Indigenous affairs coverage. That coverage in 2021 included the fight for tribal citizenship by Choctaw Freedmen and Seminole Freedmen, state and federal legislation concerning missing and murdered Indigenous people and the state of Oklahoma's fight with tribes, following the 2020 Supreme Court McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling.

She also earned first place for 'Best News Story' in the radio/podcast category for her report on an audit conducted for the Quapaw Nation that alleged its former chairman misappropriated millions of dollars in tribal funds. The story detailed the tribe's mission to rebuild trust with citizens and restructure the tribal government.

Herrera earned second place in the 'Best Multimedia' category for her collaborative story with The Frontier, investigating the 2020 shooting death of Julian Rose by Glenpool Police. Law enforcement initially did not release any information about the shooting due to the nature of jurisdictional responsibility and lack of agency coordination between Muscogee Nation's Lighthorse Police, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Glenpool Police Department and the U.S. Attorney's office.

Following her report, police and medical examiner reports were finally released. Rose's family waited months to get even the most basic public records about the shooting from local, state, tribal and federal officials.

Finally, Herrera took second place for 'Best Feature Story' in the radio/podcast category for this story on the groundbreaking television comedy series Reservation Dogs. The first season of the series was shot entirely within the Muscogee Nation reservation boundaries in Oklahoma by director and co-creator Sterlin Harjo, who is from Holdenville, Okla.

Herrera joined KOSU in 2020, after previously co-creating and producing a one-year project with the station centered on telling better stories about Native American life in Oklahoma.

NAJA will formally present more than 200 awards recognizing the best coverage of Indigenous communities during an awards banquet on Aug. 27 at the 2022 National Native Media Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

The KOSU news team curates news of interest to Oklahomans from various sources around the world. Our hope is inform, educate, and entertain.
Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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