Reframing the Child Welfare Narrative logo

The Capacity Building Center for Tribes Podcast connects with child welfare experts across Indian Country to address the importance of building tribal child welfare programs that are reflective of their community values and culture – reclaiming the narrative from a dominant system to one that reflects Indigenous worldviews and emphasizes responsibilities to children. 

Listen to episodes on the Tribal Information Exchange or your favorite podcasting platform, including Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify

Podcast Episodes


Episodes 1 and 2

Guest: Arc Telos Saint Amour (they/them) (Coahuiltecan), Youth MOVE National

Our guest in this episode is Arc Telos Saint Amour (they/them). Arc Telos, also known as Tay, is a neurodivergent, autistic, queer, and trans, gender non-conforming person of Mexican Indigenous descent (Coahuiltecan) whose work centers active listening, the power of holistic affirmation, and self-agency. Tay has spent over a decade in the non-profit field. Today, they serve as a national speaker, trainer, and educator and as the Executive Director of Youth MOVE National.

In our conversation, Tay and host Jared Lank discuss the three-part webinar series Tay developed in collaboration with the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. The webinar series, Decolonizing the History of the Gender Binary in Service of Supporting Gender Diverse Youth, equips tribal child welfare professionals with practical, empathetic approaches to supporting gender-diverse indigenous families and youth. The conversation focuses on how these tools empower us as individuals, providing us with agency to be able to move forward in this work holistically and meaningfully.

The conversation is split across two episodes.



Episode 1

Guests: Lauren van Schilfgaarde (Cochiti Pueblo), UCLA Law and
Brett Lee Shelton (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Native American Rights Fund

Learn how the removal of Native children was a means of colonization and forced assimilation and how the current child welfare structure was developed as a response. Lauren van Schilfgaarde and Brett Lee Shelton discuss how tribal child welfare programs can reclaim their systems to reflect their Indigenous worldviews and their responsibilities to children.

Episode 2

Guest: James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa)

Exploring traditional languages can help create solutions rooted in Indigenous perspectives and wisdom. A leading voice on the interconnectedness of language and culture, James Vukelich shares examples from traditional languages that demonstrate how these deep meanings can empower communities to shape their vision for child welfare based on their values.

Episode 3

Guest: Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs (Oglala Sioux Tribe)

Learn from respected Elder, Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs, as she shares her insight on shifting not only the child welfare mindset, but that of the whole community, to see the care and development of children as a sacred and shared responsibility.

Episode 4

Guest: Chief Judge Abby Abinanti (Yurok Tribe)

This episode takes us to Northern California with the Yurok Tribe to learn how they established a justice system reflective of their culture. A visionary in Indian Country, “Judge Abby” Abinanti talks about changing the child welfare profession and courts to serve as part of the community’s extended family, joining the Yurok Tribe on a path to wellness.

Episode 5

Guest: Brett Lee Shelton (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Native American Rights Fund

This episode explores restoring sustainable peacemaking practices. Learn from Brett Lee Shelton about how this community-based cultural practice is evolving across Indian Country to resolve conflicts and improve outcomes for children in a healthy way.

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The Children's Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. The contents of this website and the resources herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Children's Bureau. 

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