The Black Feathers Podcast logo against a red backdrop. The logo is a turquoise medallion with black accents, containing a design consisting of two feathers on opposite sides surrounding the Choctaw symbol for "Unity in diversity". The text reads "Black Feathers Podcast, Disability Conversations for All".

Welcome to the Black Feathers!

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What is the Black Feathers Podcast?

In this podcast, co-hosts Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., MBA, and Shauna Humphreys, 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, Psy.D., MBA

Dr. Crystal Hernandez is a proud Cherokee, psychologist, inpatient psychiatric hospital administrator for the State of Oklahoma, Tribal disabilities expert, researcher, and autism mother. She serves as the DEI Officer for the Autism Foundation of Oklahoma, is a Board member of the Arc of Oklahoma, and 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.

Image of Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., MBA

Shauna Humphreys, MS, LPC

Dorothea "Shauna" Humphreys, M.S., LPC, is a proud Chahta Tribal member and has served fellow Tribal members through various roles/capacities over the last fourteen years. This includes being the hospital social worker, an outreach worker, a vocational rehab counselor, a licensed counselor, coordinating suicide prevention/substance use grants, and now the Behavioral Health Director. Shauna received her M.S. from East Central University in 2012 and later earned her Licensed Professional Counselor certification in 2014, as well as her Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor certificate in 2016. Her passion has always been in helping others and especially serving fellow Tribal members. Shauna resides around Talihina, Oklahoma where she spends her free time with her husband, Steven, and their five children.

Image of Shauna Humphries, MS, LPC


Episode 4

In this episode, hosts Crystal, Shauna, and this week’s guest Krista Fincher, speak to us regarding her personal journey with her children and their experience in navigating learning disabilities and anxiety. Krista is a Choctaw tribal member, a wife, mother of two and works as the Director for Chi Hullo Li, a residential treatment center for women. All three women hope this episode and the materials discussed help provide more insight into the early signs of learning disabilities, the challenges of getting specialized education services through school, and the self-esteem and anxiety issues that arise from having learning disabilities.

To learn more about Chi Hullo Li, please visit:  
For the full list of resources, please visit:





Episode 3

In episode three, Black Feathers hosts Crystal and Shauna, along with guest Miranda Carman, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation and a clinical social worker who’s also a passionate advocate for children with autism and their families, will discuss Miranda’s own personal experience caring for her son with autism and the challenges they faced as a family with trying to get a clear diagnosis from physicians within the Tribal community. All three women hope this episode and the resources provided, help shed light on the early signs of autism, emphasize the importance of parental advocacy for children with autism, and the importance of culturally rooted services and treatment.

For the full list of resources, please visit:




Episode 2

988 Suicid Crisis Line

Black Feathers’ hosts Crystal and Shauna discuss the importance of mental health with Johnna James, citizen of Chickasaw Nation, who will talk about her family’s journey with disability, mental health and suicide. If you are having a mental health crisis please visit 988 Crisis Lifeline or call 988.




Episode 1

In this episode, co-hosts Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., MBA, and Shauna Humphries, MS, LPC, will welcome listeners to Black Feathers Podcast.  In this podcast we will discuss disability-related topics of interest to Tribal communities through data, storytelling, and innovative content. Crystal and Shauna will share their own families stories with disability and how that motivated them to improve family access to resources and remove barriers for all.  Thank you for joining us and remember together, we are stronger and it is the roots that bind us and that none of us walk alone.

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Produced with Funding By...

Administration for Community Living (ACL) logo
State of the States logo, a blue United States map inside of a circular seal.
KU Center on Developmental Disabilities Logo

The podcast is an initiative of the States of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Project of National Significance and The Kansas University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.