From Reciprocity to Sovereignty: Sacred Plants Conservation and Community

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From Reciprocity to Sovereignty: Sacred Plants Conservation and Community

By Chacruna Institute

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024 from 12:00-1:30pm PST

The Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative (IRI) attempts to address the profound gap between the promises of psychedelics as defined by the mainstream and the needs of Indigenous and local communities. What does “reciprocity” mean in response to the colonial structures of increasingly globalized plant medicine spaces? How can relational ontologies inform a different way of building community autonomy to challenge systems of exploitation and alienation? How do we properly give back, integrate, and act? What are the promises and limitations of “Access and Benefit Sharing”? We hope to explore different strategies for working towards a process of reciprocity in the corporate, non-profit, therapeutic and ceremonial contexts. Join us in this conversation with speakers Dr. Glauber Loures de Assis, who is Associate Director of Chacruna Latinoamérica in Brazil, Joseph Mays, MSc, who is Program Director of Chacruna’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative (IRI), and Dr. Bia Labate, who is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute.

Joseph Mays received his MSc in Ethnobotany from the University of Kent researching responses to globalization by the Yanesha of central Peru. Graduating with biology and anthropology degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, he published a medicinal plant guide for the Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve in the Ecuadorian cloud forest. Joseph also holds a certificate in Psychedelic Assisted Therapies from Naropa University, and his conservation work explores how cultural-conditioning influences approaches to biocultural sustainability. His Indigenous rights advocacy stresses the importance of ground-up structures that emphasize local agency and challenge conventional philanthropic models in attempts to support Indigenous autonomy and biodiversity. Joseph is Program Director of Chacruna’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative (IRI), where he partners with Indigenous community organizations throughout the Americas to support Chacruna’s mission of increasing cultural reciprocity in the psychedelic space, raising unconditional funding and engaging with Indigenous and local stakeholders on their own terms.

Dr. Glauber Loures de Assis is Associate Director of Chacruna Latinoamérica in Brazil. He has a Ph.D in sociology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and is Research Associate at the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil. His main interests include the ayahuasca religions, new religious movements, the internationalization of the Brazilian religions, drug use in contemporary society, and psychedelic parenthood. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, and the co-editor of the book Women and Psychedelics: Uncovering Invisible Voices (Synergetic Press/Chacruna Institute, in press). Glauber is also an ayahuasca practitioner with 15 years of experience. He has built this practice in dialogue with his local Brazilian ayahuasca community and with the blessings of Indigenous elders and activists in Brazil. He is also the leader of Jornadas de Kura, a plant medicine center in Brazil that promotes a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science. He is father to 3 children and lives with his wife Jacqueline Rodrigues in Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Myrriah Jannette is a PhD candidate specializing in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology. The topic of her dissertation is Reciprocity as it relates to cultural well-being within Native American communities. She is certified in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy and Research through the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is also certified in MDMA-assisted therapy and is an Adherence Rater with the psychedelic research team at MAPS PBC. Myrriah works one-on-one with clients as an Integration and Life Coach. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, Indigenous knowledge systems, and reciprocity. She values her own experiences with entheogenic plant medicines as life-changing and plans to continue to support others during their transformative journey towards greater self-awareness and healing

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