Tribal Study

Welcome to the Black Feathers Podcast!

Black Feathers Podcast Healthy Conversations for All logo

What is the Black Feathers Podcast? 

In this podcast, co-hosts Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., MBA, and Shauna Humphries, MS, LPC, will discuss disability-related topics of interest to Tribal communities through data, storytelling, and innovative content. With this podcast, we embrace diversity, equity, and honor within our vast Tribal Nations. We will also be providing additional resources related to these topics to our audience and welcome everyone to join the conversation.

The Origin of the Black Feathers Podcast 

In 2019, the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Project of National Significance asked to partner with a vast array of Tribal members to understand the journey of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families within the Tribal Nations. The genesis of Black Feathers emerged from these conversations.

Why Black Feathers? 

In some Tribes, the black feather is a symbol that represents not being alone on your life’s journey and walking together without fear. To honor our Tribal roots, we have chosen the black feathers and symbol for unity as the main symbols for our podcast. These two symbols used together represent standing forward as one community, advocating for and supporting each other. The turquoise represents harmony and the red warrior. We will walk this journey with our listeners, reflecting on the vast beauty of human existence with our brothers and sisters, leaning in and standing firm.


Crystal Hernandez

Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., MBA

Dr. Crystal Hernandez is a proud Cherokee who is a psychologist by training, Tribal disabilities expert, researcher, and mother to 3, including a wonderful Autistic young man. Recently serving the State of Oklahoma as an inpatient psychiatric hospital administrator, she has over 2 decades of experience in the mental health and addiction field. Dr. Hernandez serves as a Board member for the Autism Foundation of Oklahoma and the Arc of Oklahoma, and is also a Program Advisory Committee member for the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She believes in service to others and works relentlessly to improve clinical treatments, diagnosis, and equitable access to care for all. Culturally rooted supports and services are central to Dr. Hernandez and she embeds this principle in every aspect of her life. Dr. Hernandez holds several executive level contracts, including those with several Tribal Nations.

"It is through our service to others that we find the meaning of strength."


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