Tyson Sampson is an Eastern Band Cherokee Indian ( ᎠᏳᏫᏯ ᎨᏯᏔᎯᎤᏁᏉᎳᏗᏍᎩ). He has been educating about harvesting and processing regional flora for 21 years.
Sampson shares, “As a kid I always thought we gathered food from the woods because we were poor. As an adult I realized we went to the forest because it brought joy to my Grandma and all her sisters!”
Tyson organizes his relations to document culturally sensitive life-ways to prepare the next wave of Traditional Ecological Resiliency. The collective is referred to as the Bigwitch Indian Wisdom Initiative.
His project is rooted in Cherokee cultural knowledge and values. His group has been working together to learn and share Cherokee plant knowledge over many decades.
Tyson stated, “our circle includes Elders, historians, mentors, Cherokee plant experts, and fluent speakers who grow and gather food, walk in the woods together laughing and crying in ways which honor our people, the ancestors and the ancient homeland that shapes who we are.”
While this group works to advocate for Cherokee land practices, the initiative’s purpose is to ensure that Cherokee plant knowledge continues to be shared within the local Cherokee Indian community given the high demand and the current risk of losing this knowledge forever.
Mr. Tyson Sampson would like to give an abundant praise, acknowledgment, and gratitude to his local Indigenous family and ancestry. For without them, he would not be here today to share and encourage others to connect a healing journey into their own lineages.