Shirley Cain, JD

Red Lake Nation

Shirley Cain, JD, is a citizen of the Red Lake Nation and avid Jingle dress dancer. She has over 30 years of experience advocating for families, children and tribal communities affected by substance use disorder, co-occurring mental health issues and child welfare in Indian Country. Currently, she provides training, tools, templates, other resources and technical assistance to Tribal grantees. She also assists with a Native youth substance use prevention, a Native youth trauma project and a quality assurance project. In 2020-21, she provided support for a Tribal Opioid Response grant with the provision of webinar development, tools, templates and individual support to tribes. She has a Juris Doctorate from Hamline Mitchell and Bachelor of Arts degree from Metro State University. She is also a licensed attorney in the State of Minnesota.

​​Ms. Cain has served as a Tribal judge, focusing on children’s issues, addiction and communication between tribal agencies. She also worked as a Tribal Administrator and helped develop a state Department of Motor Vehicles building to rent to the State of California. In previous years, Shirley has coordinated a Native American Equity project focusing on child welfare. She also provided technical assistance to over 1,000 clients regarding child welfare situations. She has been part of a workgroup addressing substance exposed infants in Indian Country. She developed a Tribal Resource Guide for potential Native clients to use for treatment and recovery tools. Ms. Cain is committed to child and family well-being and is a fierce advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion for her Indigenous relatives and all people affected by institutional bias. Her vision for all her Indigenous relatives is for them to strive towards a goal to be happy, healthy and unified.