On July 26-27, we welcomed our student cohort (Savannah Anderson, Larry Carney, Sky Wildcat, Summer Wilkie, and Kakiley Workman) and kicked off the land education program. Students toured the Cherokee Nation Heirloom and Native Plants Garden, visited with elder and spiritual leader Crosslin Smith at his home, and generally got to know their Medicine Keeper mentors. We closed the kickoff meeting on Friday with an ethnobotany hike led by Senior Director of Environmental Resources, Pat Gwin, on a remote and beautiful tract of tribal land in Adair County. We were grateful for good weather and no encounters with any poisonous snakes! We all look forward to the next three years of learning and working together to further the goals of the Medicine Keepers.
The group gathered at Crosslin Smith’s home for a traditional blessing. L to R: Feather Smith-Trevino, Nancy Scott, Kakiley Workman, Summer Wilkie, Savannah Anderson, Clint Carroll, Sky Wildcat, Phyllis Edwards, Larry Carney, Anna Sixkiller. Seated: Crosslin Smith.
Feather Smith-Trevino gives a tour of the Cherokee Nation gardens. L to R: Feather Smith, Savannah Anderson, Sky Wildcat, Kakiley Workman, Summer Wilkie, Larry Carney, Gary Vann. Background: Kevin Daugherty, Pat Gwin.
Students and staff on the ethnobotany hike in Adair County. L to R: Summer Wilkie, Sky Wildcat, Kakiley Workman, Larry Carney, Savannah Anderson, Nancy Rackliff, Kevin Daugherty.
ᎧᎶᏪᏗ ᎤᏍᏗ / False indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa), a Cherokee medicine plant. Photographed on the ethnobotany hike.
ᎢᎾᏓ ᎦᏅᎪᎢ / Walking fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum), a Cherokee medicine plant. Photographed on the ethnobotany hike.
ᏬᏱ ᎦᏙᎦ / Sweet flag (Acorus calamus), a Cherokee medicine plant. Photographed on the ethnobotany hike.
ᏩᏁᎢ / Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), a culturally significant Cherokee tree. Photographed on the ethnobotany hike.
Students and staff on the ethnobotany hike.
Pat Gwin discusses culturally significant plants with the student cohort on the ethnobotany hike.