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About Us

The Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children (Commission), established by Congress in 2016, is charged with conducting a comprehensive study of the programs, grants, and supports available for Native children (including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children), both at government agencies and on the ground in Native communities. The Commission will examine the unique challenges Native children face and make recommendations on improving the current system by building on the strengths and leadership of Native communities, with the goal of developing a sustainable system that delivers wrap-around services to Native children.

The 11-member Commission includes experts in areas of juvenile justice, social work, education, and mental and physical health. The Commission will be advised by a Native Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from diverse tribal communities, and a Native Children Subcommittee. As part of its comprehensive study, the Commission will hold public hearings throughout the U.S. to hear directly from Native children and communities. At its conclusion, the Commission will issue a report with its recommendations on how to achieve better outcomes for Native children, including but not limited to: better use of existing resources, increased coordination, measurable outcomes, stronger data, stronger private sector partnerships, and implementation of best practices.

The Commission is named in honor of two tribal leaders: Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff. Ms. Spotted Bear is a former tribal chairwoman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation in North Dakota, a passionate advocate for Native children, and a recognized leader in education. Mr. Soboleff, a Tlingit from Alaska, is a noted educator, cultural and traditional historian, religious leader for Alaska Native people, and the first Alaska Native Chairman of the Alaska State Board of Education.