Educator and herbalist, Judy BlueHorse Skelton (Nez Perce/Cherokee), shares her knowledge of plants and their role in community healing at conferences, institutions and tribal gatherings. For 15 years she was the Cultural Student Support Specialist with Portland Public Schools Indian Education program, creating curriculum and leading cultural activities focusing on the traditional and contemporary uses of native plants for food, medicine, ceremony, and developing healthy lifeways. She is author of the collection of essays for teachers, including Native America: A Sustainable Culture (1999), and Lewis & Clark Through Native American Eyes (2003). As herbalist and guest lecturer, Judy worked at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine for 10 years. She has taught at Portland Community College and currently is on the faculty at Portland State University where she teaches the senior capstones, Environmental Education Through Native American Lenses and Learning Gardens and Civic Affairs; in addition to the graduate and undergraduate courses, Theory and Practice of Sustainability, and Intro to Leadership for Sustainability.
Judy wrote and recorded eight Health & Healing segments and eight Sacred Landscape segments for the Wisdom of the Elders radio programs, airing internationally on Public Broadcasting and AIROS (American Indian Radio on Satellite). She serves on the Oregon Indian Education Association and was awarded the 2006 Outstanding Indian Educator of the year. She also serves on the boards of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, Tryon Life Community Farm, and the Native American Community Advisory to Portland Parks and Recreation. Judy is a member of the Citizen Involvement Committee to the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
Judy received an MA degree in the School of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy’s, Leadership in Ecology, Culture and Learning program at Portland State University. She shares her passion for plants and healing, focusing on garden-based education models to reconnect families and communities with traditional foods to restore health. Judy is a consultant for edible and medicinal garden design and education, blending permaculture principles with traditional ecological knowledge.