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Indigenous Healing Perspectives Certificate

The Indigenous Healing Perspectives Certificate is an online educational program taught by regional Indigenous health leaders and educators. The curriculum is geared towards enhancing current and future healthcare professionals’ knowledge and proficiency practices when working in healthcare or other settings that serve Indigenous communities. This non-credit-bearing certificate is completely online and can be easily accessed. 

Registration opens Spring 2023. For more information about this certificate, please reach out to Dr. Naomi Bender at 509-358-7904 or

Courses & Outcomes

There are four courses in the Indigenous Healing Perspectives Certificate program. 

  • Introduction to Native American Health & Patient Care with Wilbert James, MD 
    • Throughout this course, students will learn about Native American history and immerse themselves into native mindsets on health, wellness, life, and healing. Students will become familiar with native lifestyles and ways of communicating increasing their understanding of how native communities view and access western medicine and their ability to communicate with native communities. 
  • Native American Health Policy, Law, & Advocacy with Margo Hill, JD, MURP
    • This course focuses on the history, traditional and current practices, and health implications of the American Indian population. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the federal obligation to tribes and tribal sovereignty, the behavioral response, and resulting health issues. The course will also examine current health practices and current research with the American Indian population. 
  • Native American Health Trends with Naomi M. Bender, Ph.D.
    • This course provides immersive exposure to multiple Native American perspectives as they relate to social determinants of health, disease trends, healthcare response, epigenetics, healthcare marginalization by governing bodies, and decolonizing frameworks and approaches to counterbalancing Western views of medicine and acute care, with holistic healing responses of Native peoples in the United States. We will examine the perpetuation of various health outcomes and study the reimagined ways in which tribal nations are holistically responding to their healing needs.   
  • Native American Health Perspectives with Melodi Wynne, Ph.D.
    • In this course students will gain cultural competence through openness to varying perspectives, cultivate cultural humility to nurture listening skills and increase their capacity for a strength-based worldview of Native American communities. 

Students will receive their certificate upon satisfactory completion of all four courses and should expect to spend 3 hours per week in class with additional time spent on coursework outside of class. Each course is conducted over an eight-week period with the entire certificate program designed to be completed in nine months.


The total cost of this certificate program is $3,995. Payment is due before classes begin. This covers the cost of instruction, coursework, software and enrollment fees, IT support, and some materials.  

Admission & Enrollment

This program is open to adult (over the age of 18) healthcare professionals and other workers/employees working in any health and allied health field/profession in the U.S. and/or, adults who are students at any university, college, tribal college, community college, or other institutions of higher education, who are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or professional health and allied health schools, disciplines, and pathways toward healthcare disciplines. 

Other adults interested in this program, who do not qualify under the first two criteria, will need to seek approval from program administration through a written communication submission about their goal and purpose for applying. Please contact our staff for additional information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are Financial Aid or Scholarships available for the certificate programs?

A. No, you will not receive academic credits or pay ‘tuition’ to a state university. You are paying a fee to participate in an Extension program; therefore, Financial Aid and Scholarships are not available.

Q. Can I use VA Benefits to pay for the program?

A. No, the certificate program is an Extension program which does not offer college credits or lead to a degree; therefore, it does not qualify for VA Benefits.

Q. Is the registration fee tax deductible like college tuition?

A. No, for the same reasons as the above two questions, the registration fee does not qualify for a tuition deduction. However, it may qualify as a business education deduction if you have a business. You should talk to a tax accountant regarding the business deduction.

Q. Will I get a student card to use for student discounts?

A. No, student cards are not provided to extension program participants.