Judy BlueHorse Skelton to receive Spirit of Portland Award
Author: John Kirkland
Posted: October 30, 2015

Judy BlueHorse Skelton (Nez Perce/Cherokee), full-time faculty in the Indigenous Nations Studies program at PSU, is the recipient of the 2015 Spirit of Portland Award for Environmental Stewardship by the City of Portland. The award will be presented at a ceremony at Portland City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The public is invited.

The Spirit of Portland Awards recognize local individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding dedication to positive change in the Portland community. Award winners are those who have not only worked to improve the community, but who have also gone above and beyond a dedication to civic engagement in order to make a lasting impact.

“Judy has been a key local and regional leader in building relationships between the Native American community and government, nonprofit and community-based organizations focused on urban environmental issues,” said Cornel Pewewardy, director of Indigenous Nations Studies at PSU. “Her mentorship and leadership roles at PSU's Indigenous Nations Studies Program are an inspiration to those who work on issues related to equity and inclusion in the urban natural resource arena.”

BlueHorse Skelton worked with federal and state Indian Education programs throughout the Northwest for 18 years, creating cultural activities focusing on traditional and contemporary uses of native plants for food, medicine, ceremony and healthy lifeways. She is the author of six collections of essays for teachers, including “Native America: A Sustainable Culture (1999)” and “Lewis & Clark Through Native American Eyes (2003).” At PSU, she teaches Intro to Native American Studies, Environmental Sustainability – Indigenous Practices, Indigenous Gardens & Food Justice, and Indigenous Women Leaders. She received the Oregon Indian Education Association’s award for Outstanding Indian Educator in 2006 and serves on the boards of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, Portland Parks and the Native American Community Advisory Council.