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