1920s: Iñupiaq traditional healer becomes a midwife
Della Keats, an Iñupiaq from Kotzebue, Alaska, is a traditional healer, locally called a doctor. Born in 1907, she lives a traditional subsistence lifestyle, and educates herself in anatomy and traditional healing practices of the Iñupiaq. She treats Alaska Natives and whites and trains to be a midwife in the 1920s. She delivers babies for 30 years.
“I love to teach the people. I don’t want to keep something secret by myself. I want everybody to know,” said Della Keats, who believed that educating her patients about good health practices was a key part of helping them get well.
- Medicine Ways