VNN Oklahoma announces ambitious goals to advance Allotment Era research and reporting

Muscogee NationCrimeEducationHealthIndigenous
Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 02/05/2024, 5:23 PM
Edited: 07/07/2024, 3:13 AM
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(MUSCOGEE NATION) It was a probate scandal that sent shockwaves across the nation. Evidence of assault, suspected murder, and a complete disregard for the humanity and rights of American Indians were investigated and compiled into the Indian Rights’ Association’s 1924 report “Oklahoma’s Poor Rich Indians”.  

Support for change was voiced. Bills to remedy the probate corruption were filed. 

And then it all went away. 

On Monday, the 100th anniversary of the IRA’s scathing report, Verified News Network (VNN) Oklahoma announced ambitious goals to advance research and reporting of Allotment Era injustice and demonstrate links to detrimental effects still experienced on reservations in Northeast Oklahoma today. 

These goals include: 

The creation of a public searchable online database housing thousands of documents relating to Allotment Era crime and injustice

Further collaboration with multiple organizations, both news and non-news, to further analyze available research and create new reports 

The development of a more accurate timeline of the City of Tulsa’s establishment 

An intertribal symposium to assist others with navigating Oklahoma’s indigenous history and understanding today’s impacts. Navigating resources, legal expertise, and genealogy research are anticipated topics of discussion. 

VNN Oklahoma also plans to expand investigative reporting on the relationship between Northeast Oklahoma’s probate scandal and Indian Boarding Schools as well as the impacts both have on American Indian families today. 

Research into the current state of American Indian health and well-being uncovered disproportionate levels of child neglect and abuse, adding to established findings of higher rates of substance use disorder and suicide in these communities. 

After analyzing Oklahoma Human Services data for the past ten years, we found Native American children have consistently experienced abuse and neglect at a rate disproportionate to their share of the population, 20 percent of substantiated abuse and neglect cases in 2023 despite making up only 14 percent of the population. And those are just the cases that are reported to DHS.

Tulsa County leads the state with the highest count of substantiated claims of abuse and neglect (2,711 out of 14,273 in 2023) making up about 20 percent of the statewide total. 

To learn more about VNN Oklahoma’s service to Native communities and how you can get involved, click here

Check back for updates.

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