Wander, Forage, & Wildcraft: Episode #16 - Amy Walker, Granny Gardener of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
This is a very special episode! I (Abby) had the honor to interview my Granny, Amy Walker. She tells us about her parents, and what it was like growing up with a Sioux herbal medicine man father and Cherokee mother who she went with to harvest the herbs for her dad. And later what it was like when her father died while her mother was pregnant with her 8th child. Amy tells us how they supported themselves through the knowledge, skills, and crafts they had.
". . . once we know that we have value, then we can be rooted like those plants: we can take our stand in our truth and grow from there . . . . That gift belongs to you, and you nurture it, and you make it worth something."
Amy learned farming when she was growing up, too. Now she farms at the Mother Town,
She talks about feeling like a tumbleweed, going wherever the wind was blowing, until she was 45 and started learning her Cherokee culture. I think thats what much of the American culture is feeling. I feel so grateful Granny is willing to teach what she's learned to help us find our roots, like the plants.
The Bigwitch Indian Cooperative is just being created. Tyson Sampson (see Episode 13) and I are creating the Herb & Heritage Crop School part of the organization, in which Amy and other members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee will be teaching. Check out the upcoming classes here.
10/3/21 Preserving the Harvest
10/10/21 Bark, Twig, & Branch Medicine
10/17/21 Roots + Nuts = Herbs & Food
"To me, one of the most important things that's so important is to have a way of gathering and feeding ourselves from the land, because we are of the land. We are the land."
If you like the podcast, please consider supporting it, by becoming a patron on Patreon (for as little as 5 bucks a month), and get Amy's bonus interview all about sustainable ramp and sochan foraging and wild and culitivated food preservation.
Want to donate to support the creation of the Bigwitch Indian Cooperative? Send it on PayPal below. Just click the button and select Bigwitch Indian Cooperative on the dropdown menu.
Amy Walker is a tribal elder from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Her mother was Cherokee, and her father was Lakota from the Rosebud Reservation. Her father, who prior to attending boarding school was known as Lone Wolf, passed away when Amy was 10 years old. Amy’s mother, who also attended boarding school, raised eight children on her own. Amy’s life has been committed to breaking the cycle of fragmentation from her traditions. She dedicates herself to healing through a daily prayer practice to Creator, as well as ensuring that her children and grandchildren are learning the Cherokee language. Amy is also a strong advocate for nature, and has been an active voice in protecting the rights of endangered bears.
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