Posted by: Bonnie & Hans | January 15, 2012

January 16: King and Keats Day

This year on January 16th we’ll be remembering the important work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and talking with our students about his life and legacy. In this part of the world, it’s also a day to remember Della Keats, a remarkable tribal doctor from this region.

She was born in 1907 and learned first how to treat herself and then shared that knowledge with others. Instead of relying on x-rays or ultrasound, she used her hands as her main diagnostic tool, along with careful questioning of the patient. Della worked in the Northwest Arctic region and in other areas of the state helping many people, both Native and Whites alike. She had an excellent relationship with medical doctors and health care providers; working together to improve health and provide wellness. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she had a dream. Hers was to help people live healthy lives.

To watch a video on Della Keats, go here: Understanding the Healing Hands of the Maniilaq Tribal Doctors: A Training Video



  1. Well, reading this means I learned something new today! Mom – Is she the woman who helped fix your pinkie finger back in the day? Love, Anna B.

  2. I appreciate that you faithfully post each week. Its good to know that things are going well with you guys. Rebecca just watched the end of the Della movie with me. I remember her coming to Fairbanks I think. Sure great that Anna was able to spend the holidays with you – a neat opportunity for you all. We’re well and busy as heck. Hope to connect sometime when you go to Anchorage or maybe get you to Homer. Let us know. Stay well and warm! ct

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