Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation now recognizes same-sex marriages under an opinion issued Friday by the tribe's attorney general.

As a sovereign nation, the Cherokees and other tribes weren’t bound by a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

“Gov. Mary Fallin and the state’s tribal governments have not always seen eye-to-eye,” The Tulsa World’s Randy Krehbiel and Curtis Killman report, “but that apparently is not preventing at least some of the tribes from giving Fallin their unreserved support for secretary of the interior in President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration.”

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

State Question 777 — also known as ‘right-to-farm’ — would give agricultural producers in Oklahoma the constitutional right to raise livestock and grow crops without interference from future regulations by the state Legislature, without a compelling state interest.

Opposition to the state question comes from multiple sources, but a diverse coalition urging a ‘no’ vote is united by a shared concern: water.

Allison Herrera

It’s arguably one of the more controversial issues in Indian Country-the case of the Freedmen-descendants of former slaves looking to gain citizenship into one of the major tribes in Oklahoma. Cherokee Freedmen have waited more than two years on a decision from a federal judge telling them whether they can be citizens of the tribe. Invisible Nations Allison Herrera brings us this first story in a three-part series about the issue.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma could become a right-to-farm state if voters approve State Question 777this November. But opponents are gearing up for a legal fight to keep the issue off the ballot.

CHICKEN WASTE WORRIES

Allison Herrera

It’s one of the most controversial issues in Indian country, the issue of the Freedmen.

Cherokee Freedmen were former slaves adopted into the Cherokee tribe after the Trail of Tears. Today, descendants of the Freedmen say they've been denied citizenship and other rights owed to them. A federal judge is expected to rule on this issue sometime this year.

Allison Herrera

Freedom of the press is something most journalists in the United States fiercely protect and demand. It’s seen as crucial to keeping those with power in check. But in Indian Country, it gets more complicated.

There are more than 200 tribal newspapers in the country and only a handful have passed freedom of the press acts. Editors have had stories cut, websites shut down and staff threatened or fired for publishing stories tribal officials don’t approve of.

Adrienne Keene is a post-doctoral researcher at Brown University, the author of the popular blog "Native Appropriations" and a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

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