We acknowledge the land on which we sit and occupy today as the traditional home of the Spokane tribal nation. We take this opportunity to thank the original caretakers of this land.

Native American Health Sciences

Washington State University’s Native American Health Sciences (NAHS) offers almost a dozen pathway and support programs meant to recruit, matriculate, and help Native American students succeed, who are entering into health care fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, nutrition and exercise physiology, speech and hearing sciences, clinical psychology, veterinary medicine, and other allied health sciences. Although WSU NAHS is housed on the WSU Spokane campus, we serve students, staff and faculty across our five campuses, and tribes across the Pacific Northwest.

Our vision is to balance the long-held primary focus of western medicine’s approach to patient care education with bridging indigenous frameworks and perspectives of healing, so they may co-exist and better serve our people. Ideally, the training of culturally safe practices should be done early in the educational phases of career preparation, where unintentional harms through communication and practice can be better understood, acknowledged, be made aware of, and pivoted toward cultural proficiencies of care. 

Naomi M. Bender, PhD
Director of Native American Health Sciences

Students work together in the lab on an experiment.

Pathway Programs

Native American Health Sciences operate the following programs Na-ha-shnee for high school students, Student Mentorship, Native American Recruitment and Retention, and several pathway programs.

Indigenous Healing Perspectives Certificate

The Indigenous Healing Perspectives Certificate is an online educational program taught by regional Indigenous health leaders and educators. 


Our office of NAHS and the CNAH are located on the WSU Spokane campus, along the Spokane River, and upon the original homelands of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. 

30+ Health Initiative Across the PNW
30+ Partnerships
30+ Committee Appointments
11 Grants & Funding Projects
13 Pathways/Programs
20+ Recruitment Events