Allison Herrera

Indigenous Affairs reporter

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked as a reporter for PRI's The World, as the climate and environment editor for Colorado Public Radio and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.

While at The World, she covered gender and equity for a reporting project called Across Women’s Lives, which focused on women’s rights around the globe. This project took her to Ukraine, where Herrera showcased the country’s global surrogacy industry, and reported on families who were desperate to escape the ongoing civil war that they moved to abandoned towns near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site. In 2019, she received a fellowship from the International Women in Media Fund to report on the issue of reproductive rights in Argentina, a country scarred by the effects of the Dirty War and a legacy of sexual and physical abuse directed towards women.

In 2015 and 2016, Herrera co-created and produced the Localore project Invisible Nations with KOSU. The project included video, radio and live events centered on telling better stories about Native American life in Oklahoma. Invisible Nations received several awards from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2017, she and her colleague Ziva Branstetter received an Emmy award nomination for their Reveal story “Does the Time Fit the Crime?,” which centered on criminal justice in Oklahoma.

In 2019, Herrera’s story for High Country News and Center for Public Integrity titled "When Disaster Strikes, Indigenous Communities Receive Unequal Disaster Aid" received a Scripps Howard nomination for best environmental reporting along with the One Disaster Away series.

Herrera’s Native ties are from her Xolon Salinan tribal heritage; her family’s traditional village was in the Toro Creek area of the Central California coast.

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Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation said the tribe's gaming facilities will open at 25 percent of capacity on Wednesday, May 27 at 8 a.m.

Mairead Todd / KOSU

KOSU is continuing to cover the developing story around coronavirus in Oklahoma. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.

Cherokee Nation Businesses has announced their plan to reopen some businesses under their new "responsible hospitality" plan.

The plan includes guidelines for the nation's casinos, golf courses, restaurants and live entertainment. Guests and employees will be required to wear masks and undergo a quote "noninvasive" temperature check. There will be fewer hours and a plan to allow for physical distancing.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation employees returning to work will have a new tool to monitor their health.

Tribal health officials are partnering with RespirCare and HGE Health to provide employees with an app called HGE COVID Care. It will allow them to type in any symptoms they are experiencing. The results will be sent offsite to RespirCare in Tulsa, who will follow up if necessary.

Shawn Terry, the tribe's Secretary of Health, said this app is essential to getting the nation's 900 people to return to work safely.

The Apache Casino Hotel in Lawton will open its doors Thursday at 10 a.m., with some modifications.

  • Guests and employees must wear masks and get their temperatures taken.
  • Food and drink service will be limited, as well as some games.
  • The casino layout will change to allow for social distancing.
  • The property will be 100 percent smoke free-including vaping.

More guidelines can be found here.

Blackhorse Lowe / Provided

After premiering at the ImagiNATIVE film festival in Toronto, Blackhorse Lowe’s latest film FUKRY was slated for another round of screenings, including the Maoriland Film Festival in New Zealand this spring. But that changed once COVID-19 forced many festivals to either go online or postpone indefinitely.

 

COVID-19 testing will be offered at the Otoe Missouria Tribal complex in Red Rock beginning Monday, May 18.

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Pawnee Indian Health Center and the Noble County Health Department will offer COVID-19 testing to anyone, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. Testing will take place from 10am until 1pm or while supplies last.

Pawnee Indian Health Center will offer testing to those who are Indian Health Service beneficiaries. Noble County Health will test anyone.

Jose Pablo Iglesias / Unsplash

Starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Osage Casino Hotel in Tulsa will start a limited reopening.

Only the gaming floor will be open, table games will not be available, food won't be served and bar service will be limited. The hotel and pool will remain closed.

Capacity will be limited to 25% and groups will be restricted to 10 or fewer people. The casino is also encouraging visitors to wear a mask and gloves.

Osage Casinos in Bartlesville, Hominy, Pawhuska, Sand Springs and Skiatook will also open. Osage Casino in Ponca City reopened last week.

Claire Anderson / Unsplash

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court punting on Carpenter v. Murphy last term — a case that would decide whether or not much of eastern Oklahoma is a reservation, the court will take up arguments in a new case on Monday, McGirt v. Oklahoma, that asks the same question.

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association announced Thursday that they are suspending the membership of the Otoe Missouria Tribe and the Comanche Nation.

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