Sam Tso was born in 1963 He was raised by his elders in an ancestral, remote area of Dinetah (Navajo Nation), Arizona. He grew up with the medicine people in his family and learned their ways by living their ways. While growing up he acquired many rare oral teachings and stories. This made him the keeper of his family history.
Sam Tso is a member of the Medicine Society. At age 4, he was made to stay in the Hogan when visitors came, he listened to their stories and heard their prayers. He learned the healing ways of his family through the sacred songs and prayers. Sam knows the ceremonial healing songs, the herbal teas and body wraps, all these having their own songs and prayers. He grew up with his aunt an Herbalist and he took care of his uncle, who was a paraplegic and storyteller who’s stories are considered rare and seldom heard. He is an active participant in his family’s ceremonial life and continues his learning from Elders still living.
In his adult life, he was chosen by the Elders to be their interpreter, because they said, “he makes our words sound beautiful.” He has traveled the country and been the voice at the United Nation, Congress, 9th circuit court during the Relocation.
He served as a translator for the Navajo elders in the legal battle for his family and community's right to remain on their ancestral homelands. The lawsuit of his Great-great Grandmother Manybeads brought Sam before the United Nations and Congressional Committees in Washington, D.C. In the aftermath of the Manybeads lawsuit, Tso continues as a carpenter, silversmith, rock carver, storyteller and teacher. His work as an activist continues on behalf of all people whose rights are being denied or questioned.