Alaskan Native Healers Teach 3-day Plant and Energy Medicine Workshop Here, May 9-11

Rita Pitka Blumenstein
Rita Pitka Blumenstein

Rita Pitka Blumenstein, a Yup’ik tribal member, was the first certified traditional doctor in Alaska. In 2009, she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. Grandmother Rita, as she is known worldwide, was a founding member of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. She currently works for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Marie Arnaq  Meade is also a Yup’ik Eskimo, born and raised in Nunapiciaq, a small village of about 300 members located on the tundra between the Kuskokwim River and the Bering Sea. She is an author and translator of Yup’ik, teaching the language and its conventional spelling system as well as Alaska Native Dance at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. She is a member of the world-traveled Nunamta Yup’ik dance group and also works with the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers.

Together, they will present a 3-day workshop at Nelson Healing Center, exploring the ways of traditional Yup’ik health and spiritual wellbeing.

“When we can heal ourselves, we also heal our ancestors, our grandmothers, our grandfathers and our children,” says Rita Pitka Blumenstein. “When we heal ourselves, we heal Mother Earth.”

Marie Arnaq  Meade
Marie Arnaq Meade

On Friday evening, they will speak about the Grandmother’s Council meetings and the power of prayer. All day on Saturday and on Sunday morning, they will share traditional teachings about energy medicine and healing with plants. On Sunday afternoon, they will add song, prayer and ceremony in an open event outdoors, intended to evoke a Healing of the Global Waters.

The cost to attend the classes is $175. Please, call the Nelson Healing Center at 920.818.0045 to reserve a space as class size is limited. The Center is located at 44 S. 2nd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. You can find out more about other ongoing classes, events and services provided at