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.

Ways to Connect

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.

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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.

Vanessa Tulley / GoFundMe

More than 170 years ago, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma heard about the Great Potato Famine in Ireland and stepped up to help. Citizens donated a little over $170 dollars — that's the equivalent of $5,000 today — to the relief effort.

Tribes all over the nation will start receiving more than half of the $8 billion dollars in relief funds under the CARES Act. That's according to a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department.

This comes eight days after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction saying that Alaska Native Corporations weren't eligible to receive money from the CARES Act.

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On Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter issued an opinion saying Governor Kevin Stitt cannot enter into compacts with tribes that authorize gaming activity prohibited by state law.

Tribally-owned Choctaw Defense Manufacturing in McAlester will begin making plexiglass barriers, or sneeze guards, to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

CDM, which has contracts with the U.S. military, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and more, says they're making the shields to sell to grocery stores, restaurants, nail salons and other businesses whose employees come into contact with the public.

Provided / Osage News

The 2020 Osage Elections are in full swing. Despite the pandemic, fifteen candidates participated in a debate, which took place online for the first time, on April 25.

The Cherokee Nation has joined five other tribes from California, Arizona, Wyoming and Washington in a lawsuit against the federal government, saying they have yet to receive their federal COVID 19 relief funds.

President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27, which required the treasury department to send the money no later than thirty days after the signing.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said the federal government owes tribes $8 billion in CARES Act funds.

Before returning to work on May 11, Osage Nation employees will be tested for COVID-19.

A memorandum from Director of Operations Casey Johnson stated that as a quote "precautionary measure" all employees returning to work will be tested for COVID-19 at the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center in Pawhuska.