Renowned Yup’ik elder and traditional healer Dr. Rita Pitka Blumenstein has died

Published: Aug. 7, 2021 at 10:54 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Native community, and people from all walks of life across the state, are mourning the passing of Dr. Rita Pitka Blumenstein.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium confirmed the news of Blumenstein, also known as “Dr. Rita,” passing in a Facebook post Friday.

ANTHC extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr. Rita Pitka Blumenstein who passed away this morning....

Posted by Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium on Friday, August 6, 2021

“Dr. Rita was a valued member of our Behavioral Health Department for over 10 years, retiring in 2019,” wrote ANTHC. “She brought healing to countless people as a healer, teacher and mentor.”

Blumenstein was the first traditional doctor recognized by the state of Alaska and she was also a member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, ANTCH said.

Over the years Blumenstein worked across the state with a variety of health organizations.

First Alaskans Institute also took to Facebook to share its condolences.

“Our beloved Grandma Rita brought light and healing for peoples all over the world through her healing hands and by teaching others. She inspired us by her gentle words, storytelling, songs and her ability to see into peoples’ souls in a loving way.”

*FIRST ALASKANS INSTITUTE MOURNS THE LOSS OF DR. RITA PITKA BLUMENSTEIN* “To heal is to become ourselves, to become the...

Posted by First Alaskans Institute on Friday, August 6, 2021

According to ANTHC, Blumenstein died Friday morning.

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