Native American Law Scholar works for empowerment

(August 25, 2010) Some people choose to take some time off before starting law school.

"Not me. I view my time and energy as valuable resources that must be invested wisely," Bree Blackhorse said.

Blackhorse

Blackhorse is Seattle University School of Law's 2010 Native American Scholar. The School of Law established the full-tuition award to encourage more Native students to attend law school. Native Americans have one of the smallest bars in the nation.

Blackhorse graduated from Seattle Pacific University in just three years with a degree in political science while working full-time as a certified fit specialist and prosthesis fit specialist at Nordstrom, a job she began when she was 16. Throughout that time, Blackhorse, a talented artist and traditional dancer, traveled with her parents to powwows and art shows around the country.

She is an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; she is of the Beaver Clan and the Tom Palmer Band. Bree's Indian name is "Prized Woman," which was given to her by Elder Bruce Wolf Child from the Blood Reserve in a ceremony in Alberta.

Her mother, Catherine Blackhorse, and stepfather, Terrance Guardipee, are established artists, having shown their work with the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institute, as well as at the Santa Fe Indian Art Market. Bree is also a painter and ledger artist who has exhibited her work at the Heard Museum Indian Art Market and who has had her work published by Native People for Cancer Control to promote awareness for cancer prevention. She also was powwow royalty for Edmonds Community College 2005-2006 and for Gonzaga University 2006-2007.

She looks forward to becoming involved in the law school.

"Historically, law has been a weapon of oppression used against my people, but now I see it as tool of empowerment," she said. "I look forward to attending Seattle University School of Law and contributing to the community."

School of Law Annex classroom