Allison Herrera

Allison Herrera was the co-creator of Invisible Nations, a project exploring modern Native culture in Oklahoma, from November 2015 to July 2016.

Herrera previously served as the editor of the award-winning online publication the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Since earning a B.A. from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, she has worked as a radio and video producer for Twin Cities Public Television, AmpersKFAI, KSMQ, and several others.

She also has worked with KBFT radio on the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa reservation in northern Minnesota to produce a series of shows about art, culture, history and the environment.

Allison is working on a documentary about Ojibwe painter Jim Denomie and lives in Minneapolis with her daughter, Anna.

Ways to Connect

Princella P. RedCorn

The film Medicine Woman by Princella RedCorn portrays the life of the first Native American doctor—Susan La Flesche Picotte—an Omaha woman who became a doctor in the late 1800's. She rallied for basic health care and was a passionate prohibitionist. She practiced medicine at a time when very little was available to doctors like herself. 

Jeremy Charles / Fire Thief Productions

Singer-songwriter Samantha Crain will tell you her music isn’t country, folk, or rock and roll. She says it’s not an Oklahoma sound either, even though some of her songs portray life in the state’s small towns, back roads, and struggles. Like the song "Elk City," from her 2015 album Under Branch and Thorn and Tree.

Before Tulsa became an oil town it was a Creek town and Creek history and landmarks remain in plain site all over the city. From the Perryman's to the site of Tuckabatchee's former cabin, we'll cruise the city by bicycle on an interactive tour led by local preservationists and Creek historians.

Sign up here!

Allison Herrera

It’s one of the most painful chapters in Cherokee history: the Trail Of Tears. Forced to make way for settlers looking for gold in Cherokee homelands in the Southeast, thousands were forcibly removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Today, Cherokee people honor their ancestors who were on the trail by re-tracing their steps...by bike.

 

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The fight over control of Sardis Lake and water across southeastern Oklahoma pits the state against Native American tribes. To the Choctaw and Chickasaw who live in the area today — and for the Caddo who preceded them — water isn’t just vital to life: It’s culturally sacred.

ADOPTED WATERS

Allison Herrera / Invisible Nations

Oklahoma’s lakes drive millions of dollars of tourism to otherwise impoverished parts of the state. But the local economy around Sardis Lake is missing out because of uncertainty about the water’s future.

‘DID YOU SEE ANYBODY?’

Allison Herrera

From February until April, gathering wild onions is big event for many members of Five Civilized tribes in Oklahoma. Wild onion dinners are the fruits of their labor. The dinners are traditionally held in homes, community centers and churches. Wild onions are sometimes prepared with scrambled eggs (although not always) and poke sallet.

Allison Herrera

Sardis Lake, in southeastern Oklahoma, is at the heart of a battle between state and tribal governments over control of water. Debate has raged over whether to pipe to north Texas, Oklahoma City, or western Oklahoma ever since it was built in the early 1980s. Stuck in the middle are the people who call the Sardis area home.

Several miles down the rugged, potholed Savage Road, just past the western edge of Lake Sardis is a neighborhood in the middle of nowhere.

Shane Brown

Every culture uses satire and humor to deal with hard times, and Native Americans are no strangers to telling jokes when it comes to life on and off the reservation.

Today, one modern Native comedy troupe is taking it a step further.

 

Those called to serve God often wrestle with what can be a big decision. Missionary work, and taking on a life of sacrifice can take a huge toll. But for Creek preacher Jimmy Anderson in Holdenville, Oklahoma, there was another dilemma—the choice of being an artist or a man of God.

Producer Allison Herrera tells us more about Anderson’s life as a visual artist and musician when his life took a different turn.

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