+ SPOTLIGHT | Raven Harmon
What are your tribe(s): Athabascan, Colville, Shoshone, Ute and enrolled in the Doyon Corporation.
What’s your age: 18
White Name: Raven
What are the first 3 words that come to mind when you hear the word healing?
Bio/ backstory, tell us what you DO and a bit about how you came to do it.
I am currently enrolled at PSU as an Honors student majoring in Health Science on the pre-med track. The main reason I decided to go to PSU is because I knew I needed to do something that matters and break the cycle of addiction and poverty. I am a first generation college student and will be a first generation modern doctor. I want to help my people in a way where I can help myself too, becoming a doctor will not only help those I treat directly but the negative outlook on Native people in general.
How do you heal?
In some ways I took growing up on a reservation for granted, I was able to gather what I needed, burn what I wanted, go outside, etc. I heal mostly by self care. I like to smudge and ground myself outside. I’m also able to heal myself by going to ceremonies and native events. I find the liveliness comforting.
What is your calling rn?
Right now I’m focusing on finding and fitting into the urban native community. I’m also trying to get more work experience doing what I love, I have two work study jobs, one at the Native American Student and Community Center and the other is at Baby Vikings in which I care for infants to toddlers. I am also going to job shadow at OHSU for a Native American Pediatrician which will help me learn more about the field I will be in.
Do your ancestors affect what you do, how you live? If so, how? Like in what way?
My ancestors 100% affect me. I would not be here if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to go to school let alone have aspirations as high as I do. I think of them everyday and how they fought for me to be here. She’s not an ancestor yet but my great grandmother is a medicine woman and I strive to earn her respect in practicing modern medicine.
Who are your Mentors/ role models?
Allison Empey is a big role model for me right now. She is a Pediatrician as OHSU who has taken me under her wing. She has referenced me to many academic opportunities, been open about how difficult the medical field is for a native and has offered to help me build my knowledge in pediatrics and neonatal by letting me shadow her.
What inspires/ drives you to keep going?
My people. We are a small slice of the country but a big slice in statistics. Statistics have ruled my life and I decided to let them fuel my passion instead of tearing me down. Yes I am a first generation college student and yes I am a Native American Woman but I will never let those numbers define who I am and what I can become.