Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein

Yup’ik, Alaska, USA

The past is not a burden; it is a scaffold which brought us to this day. We are free to be who we are—to create our own life out of our past and out of the present. We are our ancestors. When we can heal ourselves, we also heal our ancestors, our grandmothers, our grandfathers and our children. When we heal ourselves, we heal Mother Earth. – Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein


Rita worked as a traditional healer in the South Central Hospital in Anchorage. She worked as a tribal doctor using plant and energy medicine and now travels tirelessly healing and teaching the ways of her grandmother. Rita is currently employed with South Central Foundation as a tribal doctor using plant and energy medicine.

At age nine, Rita’s Grandmother told her the time would come when she would be asked to sit on a council of 13 grandmothers. Her grandmother had prepared 13 sacred bundles with 13 white eagle feathers, and asked little Rita to protect and care for them until that time came. She was to pass out the bundles and take one for herself and know that her grandmother and her ancestors were standing behind her for the times of the prophecy had begun. As Grandmother Rita told us this story at the first gathering, she cried and said, “ We are late, but we are here.”