“Stealing Tvlse” to spotlight allotment crimes on Muscogee Nation reservation

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 09/12/2022, 5:37 PM

(MUSCOGEE NATION) VNN Oklahoma has teamed up with the Lucinda Hickory Research Institute (LHRI) to produce a new series called “Stealing Tvlse”. 

As attention on Tulsa grows through the creation of world class attractions such as “The Gathering Place”, so does concern over a lack of recognition for the crimes committed to achieve its greatness. 

LHRI Founder Tatianna Duncan said she hopes the new series will bring awareness to the Tulsa community who for the most part is uninformed of this history.

“LHRI has followed the Hickory family of Indian Territory, a full blood Mvskoke family who did not seek to live in the colonized world but was trapped in the creation of forced assimilation,” Duncan said. “Their efforts to survive in the ever-changing world of the colonial settler was thwarted on every 160-acre land allotment that the family received. With understanding comes healing. Wes Studi has said it best: our present and our future depends on a better recognition of our past.”

“Stealing Tvlse” will spotlight crimes committed against Muscogee citizens during the Allotment Era and how those crimes still impact Muscogee citizens today. 

Your donation to help fund "Stealing Tvlse" is now tax-deductible thanks to VNN's participation in the 2022 Local News Fund. Click to give.  

Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma, was known as the Oil Capital of the World during the 1900s. Much of that oil came from land swindled away from Native American people, who were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands and relocated to what is now Oklahoma beginning in the 1830s. 

The first story in the series “The tragic story of Lucinda Hickory” premiered on August 26. 

Eight months after a newspaper reported her land held an estimated 20 million in gas, 13-year-old Lucinda Hickory was dead.

Her land held coal mine, gas wells, and land rentals, and people started pushing her parents to sell the same day she died. A little over a week later, they dragged her parents into court. 

The generational trauma from allotment crimes, as well as genocide and assimilation, still permeates reservations today. 


American Indian and Alaska Natives have a higher mortality rate than all other races in the U.S. According to Indian Health Services, a lower life expectancy and disproportionate disease are linked to economic adversity and poor social conditions.

The CDC says American Indian and Alaska Natives also have the highest suicide rate in the country. 

VNN plans to publish more stories about the Tuckabache family in the months to come.

Those wishing to volunteer or donate to LHRI can do so here.

Sign up for updates on “Stealing Tvlse” and other news here

The 2022 Local News Fund is a program administered by Local Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with Local Media Association. The purpose of the program is to allow independent and family-owned news organizations to solicit tax-deductible donations from their communities for journalism projects that focus on critical local issues. Contributions to this program are tax-deductible to the full extent of U.S. law; please consult a tax advisor for details. 


This story has no comments yet