Raven Burns graduates as the college’s first Native American doctor

The college celebrated Raven Burns, MD, our first Native American physician graduate, with a traditional blanketing ceremony on May 3.

“I’ve been able to give back to communities that made me who I am today,” said Raven, whose a part of the Tlingit Tribe.

The ceremony began with the Spokane Tribe’s opening prayer and song. WSU’s Native American Health Sciences Director, Naomi Bender, PhD, board members and WSU community members reflected on all the hard work that’s led to this moment.

“You are your ancestor’s prayer,” said Tlingit Tribe member Mary Owen, MD, associate dean of Native American health at the University of Minnesota Medical School, in a special video message to Raven.

“I had the privilege to see my patients at their most vulnerable times,” said Raven in response. “I hope to pass on the same support to future native students.”

Congratulations, Raven—the first of many native doctors to serve our communities.