independent lens
preload preload

Kind Hearted Woman

April 1 & April 2, 2013

The intimate story of a single mother desperately trying to heal following years of abuse.

Part OneFRONTLINE tells the story of a single mother trying to heal following years of abuse.
Part TwoRobin continues her quest to heal her family, find love and build a career.



Frequently Asked Questions About “Kind Hearted Woman”

Why did Robin and her children participate in the film? How are Darian and Anthony doing? Where can I find resources for abuse survivors? Get answers to these questions and more.

New Details Emerge in Hearing on Abuse at Spirit Lake

The Congressional hearing, called to shed light on the problem of child abuse and neglect on the Spirit Lake reservation, exposed a fundamental problem in Indian Country: a dearth of federal funds.

As Child Abuse Persists at Spirit Lake, Congress Steps In

A congressional committee will investigate why child abuse persists on the Spirit Lake reservation, almost two years after the federal government stepped in to deal with the problem.

An Update from the “Kind Hearted Woman”

Since the April broadcast of the film, Robin Poor Bear has been sharing her story with communities across the country.

Spirit Lake’s Top Federal Official Retires Amid Leadership Shakeup

Spirit Lake’s leadership has been beset by allegations that it ignored or enabled problems of child abuse on the reservation. The BIA has known about the problems at Spirit Lake for at least two years, but took no action until a whistleblower went public with concerns.

Spirit Lake Nation Elders Vote to Oust Tribal Council

The elders say the council hasn’t dealt with corruption and child abuse on the North Dakota reservation.

Where Tribal Justice Works

For centuries, tribal rule has been overshadowed by federal laws that gave jurisdiction to federal authorities. But that’s changing.

“Kind Hearted Woman” Discussion Guide

How does Kind Hearted Woman connect to bigger issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault and tribal justice? Independent Lens offers a guide for discussion.

Talk to the “Kind Hearted Woman” — Live Chat 2 pm ET Wed.

Join us on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET for a live chat with “Kind Hearted Woman” Robin Poor Bear, filmmaker David Sutherland and FRONTLINE reporter Sarah Childress. You can leave a question now.

The Poetry of Robin Poor Bear

Her poems explore themes including addiction, abuse and personal redemption.

Tonight: The Finale of “Kind Hearted Woman”

In the gripping conclusion to David Sutherland’s “Kind Heated Woman,” Robin, Darian and Anthony confront new beginnings, new conflicts, new struggles and new triumphs.

Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resources

More than 1 in 3 women in the United States have been abused by a partner. As a resource for victims of such abuse, Independent Lens has compiled a guide for those in need of immediate help, as well as a list of advocacy organizations.

Man Convicted of Child Abuse at Spirit Lake Reservation

The case had been flagged by a whistleblower, whose reports helped lead to federal intervention on the reservation.

Setting Off Down the “Red Road”

For Native Americans, a life along the red road means a life lived clean and sober. It is a sacred concept, which for Robin Charboneau, was once elusive.

Watch Next Week’s FRONTLINE — Tonight

Join a special advance screening of “Kind Hearted Woman” with filmmaker David Sutherland and the film’s subject, Robin Charboneau.

For Tribes, Prosecuting Non-Native Abusers Still a Challenge

New domestic violence protections for Native American women will take time to put in place. For some, it may not happen at all.

Federal Officials Outline Efforts to Combat Abuse on N.D. Reservation

The Bureau of Indian Affairs detailed for the first time on Wednesday the efforts it’s made to address concerns of child abuse on the Spirit Lake reservation in North Dakota. Some residents said it wasn’t enough.

What’s Changed Since the BIA Took Over at Spirit Lake?

It’s been five months since the federal government took over child services at a North Dakota reservation amid reports of unchecked child abuse. What’s changed?

David Sutherland on the “Magic” of Filmmaking

“My films are really about people and how they react,” says David Sutherland, director of the forthcoming film “Kind Hearted Woman,” airing April 1 and 2 on PBS.

Will the Violence Against Women Act Close a Tribal Justice “Loophole”?

One of the new changes in the Violence Against Women Act could help protect Native American women from abusers. So why has it been so controversial?

Child Abuse Concerns Spur Federal Takeover at North Dakota Indian Reservation

The Bureau of Indian Affairs said Monday that it will take control of social services on a North Dakota reservation, … Continue reading


53:32Never Forget to Lie05/14/2013
1:54:36The Interrupters02/14/2012
blog comments powered by Disqus


Frontline Journalism Fund

Supporting Investigative Reporting

Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, the John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, the Ford Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.

Privacy Policy   Journalistic Guidelines   PBS Privacy Policy   PBS Terms of Use   Corporate Sponsorship
FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.