The Big Picture

For the sovereign protection and regeneration of the medicines, ecologies & traditional knowledges Indigenous communities have honored for thousands of years.

“Generational healing for Indigenous people is what medicine conservation is about. Because by ensuring that you have supply of healthy medicine, you are ensuring that every child has healthy medicine, and in turn, that is a chance at a healthy life.”
— Sandor Iron Rope / Oglala Lakota Native American Road Man

The Threat

Indigenous keystone medicines, traditional cultures and territories are at risk of cultural and physical extermination.

As the world comes to embrace their healing potential, how do we ensure the original holders of these sacred medicines are respected and uplifted in this search for our collective healing? 

What's a 'Keystone' Medicine?

Irreplaceable; without substitutes; an essential component of an ecology and culture. 

Ayahuasca
Toad
Peyote
Iboga
Mushrooms

The Opportunity

We are in a historic moment, where different movements are connecting to the imperative for systemic change, by coming together in right relationship in cross-cultural alliances.

What we do now will create capacity for precious Indigenous cultures and knowledges to be whole in the future and take the leadership we need as a humanity to prosper in harmony with Nature.

Our Mission

Ensuring a future where Indigenous Peoples, their medicines and knowledges thrive for generations to come.

As an Indigenous-led philanthropic vehicle we work to ensure the resilience of our Peoples in the face of cultural appropriation, environmental extractivism, human rights violations and climate change.

Partnering with funders globally, informed by robust ecological and community-based assessments, we build alliances with organizations on ground, fund their efforts anddo strategic engagement with leaders of each bio-culture. 

Our Commitments

Our commitment grows from listening.

— In response, the fund will..

Build a new philanthropic paradigm of right relationship and trust between Indigenous communities and funders.

Work to ensure strategies are in place that reduce harm from increasing global pressure
and strengthen traditional medicines and the Indigenous cultures that steward them.

Ensure conservation strategies are Indigenous-led and strengthen the core principles of Unity, Territory, Autonomy and Sustaining Culture.

Being a mechanism for benefit-sharing by the psychedelic industry and the broader community.

Advance the realization and recognition of Indigenous Peoples rights.

Amplify the voices of traditional knowledge holders and the crucial importance of the health of their cultures for humanity and the planet.

Ayahuasca

Bansteriopis caapi & Psychotria viridis

Ayahuasca

With the proliferation of Ayahuasca tourism and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon, there is a great threat to the integrity of ancestral knowledge, ceremonial lineages, and ecologies of the Banisteriopsis caapi (vine) and Psychotria spp. (Chacruna).


Our Conservation Strategy

Indigenous ayahuasca communities are developing programming  to preserve traditional knowledge, develop integrated agricultural models, and conserve land. Adjunct strategies include fair trade and direct benefit models, and encouraging ethical development of non-Amazonian sources of medicine for non-indigenous ceremony.

Ayahuasca

Risks

  • Deforestation of limited natural habitat (agriculture, illegal drug trade, oil and wood industry)
  • Over-harvest, improper harvest, and Black Market trade
  • Loss of biocultural knowledge through Indigenous urbanization and increased globalization
  • Dramatic increase in global demand and tourism

Opportunities

  • Ecological: Regenerative/Integrated agriculture models and protection of wild Ayahuasca
  • Cultural: language preservation, supporting elder healers, building common spaces for ceremony and community strategy, etc.
  • Economic: Direct benefit from exchange models for traditional/Indigenous users
  • Sovereignty: Strengthening alliances between tribes
  • Legal: Indigenous land rights, importation laws, legal protections for healers, government recognition

Ayahuasca

Projects

Colombia 
  • UMIYAC (Cofán, Inga, Siona, Coreguaje, Kamentsá)
Peru
  • ASOMASHK (Shipibo)
  • Organización Intercultural Oni Xobo (Shipibo)
  • Community and Organization Gift Packs (Shipibo)
Brazil
  • Indigenous Ayahuasca Conference
  • Yorenka Tasorentsi (Asháninka)
  • The Nixiwaká Institute (Yawanawá) 
Ecuador
  • Yage Ai Tsampi Na'e (A’i Cofán)
Assessments
  • Further community-based needs assessments across the Amazon basin
  • European Ayahuasca composition and chemical analysis

Ayahuasca

Bansteriopis caapi & Psychotria viridis

Ayahuasca

With the proliferation of Ayahuasca tourism and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon, there is a great threat to the integrity of ancestral knowledge, ceremonial lineages, and ecologies of the Banisteriopsis caapi (vine) and Psychotria spp. (Chacruna).


Ayahuasca

Our Conservation Strategy

Indigenous ayahuasca communities are developing programming  to preserve traditional knowledge, develop integrated agricultural models, and conserve land. Adjunct strategies include fair trade and direct benefit models, and encouraging ethical development of non-Amazonian sources of medicine for non-indigenous ceremony.

Ayahuasca

Risks

  • Deforestation of limited natural habitat (agriculture, illegal drug trade, oil and wood industry)
  • Over-harvest, improper harvest, and Black Market trade
  • Loss of biocultural knowledge through Indigenous urbanization and increased globalization
  • Dramatic increase in global demand and tourism

Ayahuasca

Opportunities

  • Ecological: Regenerative/Integrated agriculture models and protection of wild Ayahuasca
  • Cultural: language preservation, supporting elder healers, building common spaces for ceremony and community strategy, etc.
  • Economic: Direct benefit from exchange models for traditional/Indigenous users
  • Sovereignty: Strengthening alliances between tribes
  • Legal: Indigenous land rights, importation laws, legal protections for healers, government recognition

Ayahuasca

Projects

Colombia 
  • UMIYAC (Cofán, Inga, Siona, Coreguaje, Kamentsá)
Peru
  • ASOMASHK (Shipibo)
  • Organización Intercultural Oni Xobo (Shipibo)
  • Community and Organization Gift Packs (Shipibo)
Brazil
  • Indigenous Ayahuasca Conference
  • Yorenka Tasorentsi (Asháninka)
  • The Nixiwaká Institute (Yawanawá) 
Ecuador
  • Yage Ai Tsampi Na'e (A’i Cofán)
Assessments
  • Further community-based needs assessments across the Amazon basin
  • European Ayahuasca composition and chemical analysis

Ayahuasca

Toad

Incilius alvarius

Toad

The Incilius alvarius toad is rapidly being removed from its habitat in massive quantities, and although we know the decline in wild populations is severe, we do not yet know the extent of the devastation.


Our Conservation Strategy

It is vital that “red-list” species threat abatement and restoration studies are completed to understand Bufo’s proximity to extinction. Although there is not a documented history of Indigenous use, because of the threat to Bufo, Indigenous communities in Mexico have been granted regulatory authority to engage in restoration and monitoring of use, and must be empowered to do so. 

Toad

Risks

  • Over-harvesting
  • Improper milking of gland secretions and Black Market trade 
  • Loss of habitat in Sonoran desert
  • Dramatic increase in global demand

Opportunities

  • Ecological: Complete Threatened Species Sustainability Assessment
  • Habitat: Regeneration and creation of new ponds
  • Legal: Yaqui regulatory authority over harvesting permits
  • Education: Encourage use of synthetic 5meO-DMT

Toad

Projects

  • Population assessment of Incilius alvarius
  • Habitat restoration in Yaqui territory
  • Conservation and regional educational campaign in the Sonoran Desert
  • Yaqui Intercultural Healing Clinic

Toad

Incilius alvarius

Toad

The Incilius alvarius toad is rapidly being removed from its habitat in massive quantities, and although we know the decline in wild populations is severe, we do not yet know the extent of the devastation.


Toad

Our Conservation Strategy

It is vital that “red-list” species threat abatement and restoration studies are completed to understand Bufo’s proximity to extinction. Although there is not a documented history of Indigenous use, because of the threat to Bufo, Indigenous communities in Mexico have been granted regulatory authority to engage in restoration and monitoring of use, and must be empowered to do so. 

Toad

Risks

  • Over-harvesting
  • Improper milking of gland secretions and Black Market trade 
  • Loss of habitat in Sonoran desert
  • Dramatic increase in global demand

Toad

Opportunities

  • Ecological: Complete Threatened Species Sustainability Assessment
  • Habitat: Regeneration and creation of new ponds
  • Legal: Yaqui regulatory authority over harvesting permits
  • Education: Encourage use of synthetic 5meO-DMT

Toad

Projects

  • Population assessment of Incilius alvarius
  • Habitat restoration in Yaqui territory
  • Conservation and regional educational campaign in the Sonoran Desert
  • Yaqui Intercultural Healing Clinic

Toad

Iboga

Tabernanthe iboga

Iboga

With growing popularity of Ibogaine clinics across North America and Europe, the exclusive wild populations of Tabernanthe iboga in Gabon are already greatly diminished, threatening the ancient rituals and rite of passage ceremonies essential to the Bwitists
— 52 ethnic groups including Bantu and Pygmy peoples.

Our Conservation Strategy

By supporting village-based iboga plantations, fostering relationships with government and exporters, developing fair-trade standards, and exploring iboga alternatives (ie. voacanga), local communities could generate sustainable Ibogaine sources for Indigenous and wide global use.

Iboga

Risks

  • Dramatic increase in Global Demand
  • Overharvest, improper harvest and Black Market trade 
  • Possibility of Gabonese government monopoly on trade
  • Bwiti practitioners unable to access Iboga in their own communities

Opportunities

  • Legal: Creating a framework for Nagoya Protocol that benefits Bwiti communities 
  • Economic: Small village scale plantations and training in cultivation for local and fair-trade markets
  • Reciprocity: Fostering a responsible tourism model that is generative for local communities 
  • Education: De-stigmatization of traditional knowledge in Gabon through key alliances
  • Agriculture: Fostering the cultivation of alternative sources of Ibogaine such as Voacanga africana in west-central Africa

Iboga

Projects

  • Blessings of the Forest
  • Iboga Temples Project
  • Iboga Water Project
  • Assessment of alternatives to T. iboga 
  • Assessment of non-Africa-based cultivation possibilities

Iboga

Tabernanthe iboga

Iboga

With growing popularity of Ibogaine clinics across North America and Europe, the exclusive wild populations of Tabernanthe iboga in Gabon are already greatly diminished, threatening the ancient rituals and rite of passage ceremonies essential to the Bwitists
— 52 ethnic groups including Bantu and Pygmy peoples.

Iboga

Our Conservation Strategy

By supporting village-based iboga plantations, fostering relationships with government and exporters, developing fair-trade standards, and exploring iboga alternatives (ie. voacanga), local communities could generate sustainable Ibogaine sources for Indigenous and wide global use.

Iboga

Risks

  • Dramatic increase in Global Demand
  • Overharvest, improper harvest and Black Market trade 
  • Possibility of Gabonese government monopoly on trade
  • Bwiti practitioners unable to access Iboga in their own communities

Iboga

Opportunities

  • Legal: Creating a framework for Nagoya Protocol that benefits Bwiti communities 
  • Economic: Small village scale plantations and training in cultivation for local and fair-trade markets
  • Reciprocity: Fostering a responsible tourism model that is generative for local communities 
  • Education: De-stigmatization of traditional knowledge in Gabon through key alliances
  • Agriculture: Fostering the cultivation of alternative sources of Ibogaine such as Voacanga africana in west-central Africa

Iboga

Projects

  • Blessings of the Forest
  • Iboga Temples Project
  • Iboga Water Project
  • Assessment of alternatives to T. iboga 
  • Assessment of non-Africa-based cultivation possibilities

Iboga

Peyote

Lophophora williamsii

Peyote

Used for over 10,000 years, with over 300,000 Native Americans currently relying on it for healing of addiction and cultural survival, Peyote is greatly threatened and without intervention, could be extinct within 20 years. 


Our Conservation Strategy

Through regeneration of native peyote populations, spiritual and ecological harvest, land access, community engagement, and regional nurseries, Indigenous communities are actively reclaiming protection and stewardship of their sacred medicine.

Peyote

Risks

  • Loss of habitat due to agricultural, mining, and energy production 
  • Over-harvest, poaching, improper harvest, and Black Market tourism
  • Disconnection from traditional bio-cultural knowledge
  • Lack of Indigenous access to land
  • Pressure on medicine sovereignty from psychedelic movement

Opportunities

  • Ecological: Repopulation and regeneration of native habitat
  • Cultural: Conservation education at sacred sites and at home
  • Legal: Protection of Indigenous sovereign regulatory frameworks
  • Access: Sustainable distribution systems 
  • Community: Outreach and organizational capacity building
  • Land-base: Reconnection to and protection of land access through strategies such as ownership, leasing, novel relationship building

Peyote

Projects

  • IPCI - Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative
  • Wixarika Territory, Ceremonial Centers and Governance Projects
  • Numu Husi Kahne
  • Chapter Peyote Self-Sufficiency Project

Peyote

Lophophora williamsii

Peyote

Used for over 10,000 years, with over 300,000 Native Americans currently relying on it for healing of addiction and cultural survival, Peyote is greatly threatened and without intervention, could be extinct within 20 years. 


Peyote

Our Conservation Strategy

Through regeneration of native peyote populations, spiritual and ecological harvest, land access, community engagement, and regional nurseries, Indigenous communities are actively reclaiming protection and stewardship of their sacred medicine.

Peyote

Risks

  • Loss of habitat due to agricultural, mining, and energy production 
  • Over-harvest, poaching, improper harvest, and Black Market tourism
  • Disconnection from traditional bio-cultural knowledge
  • Lack of Indigenous access to land
  • Pressure on medicine sovereignty from psychedelic movement

Peyote

Opportunities

  • Ecological: Repopulation and regeneration of native habitat
  • Cultural: Conservation education at sacred sites and at home
  • Legal: Protection of Indigenous sovereign regulatory frameworks
  • Access: Sustainable distribution systems 
  • Community: Outreach and organizational capacity building
  • Land-base: Reconnection to and protection of land access through strategies such as ownership, leasing, novel relationship building

Peyote

Projects

  • IPCI - Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative
  • Wixarika Territory, Ceremonial Centers and Governance Projects
  • Numu Husi Kahne
  • Chapter Peyote Self-Sufficiency Project

Peyote

Mushrooms

Psilocybe species

Mushrooms

As psilocybin becomes a frontline medicine of the psychedelic renaissance in the 2000s we are committed to remembering and addressing trauma left by psychedelic interests of the 60s in the communities of the Mazatec Sierra.

Today, traditional lineages are disrupted and knowledge of the 15+ psilocybin fungus species and their specific uses and ceremony has dwindled. Indigenous medicine families are urbanized, live in financial poverty, and generally have lost access to their traditional medicine ways.

Our Conservation Strategy

Indigenous mushroom tribes of the Sierra Madre should receive reparations/benefit sharing from the psilocybin industry through legal frameworks and industry standards. As resources come into these communities, it is vital to strengthen community based governance in order to assess biocultural conservation needs, as well as the passing on of traditional language and healing practices.

Mushrooms

Risks

  • Very few intact wisdom and healing traditions due to past intercultural interactions
  • Uneven benefit from psychedelic tourism to local communities 
  • Loss of species from agricultural practices
  • Further loss of biocultural knowledge through urbanization

Opportunities

  • Economic: Direct benefit from exchange models to traditional/Indigenous users
  • Cultural: Youth programs for language and traditional ceremonies 
  • Reciprocity: Community needs assessment for reparations work
  • Legal: Economic frameworks in Mexico for Nagoya Protocols
  • Ecological: Land and species preservation
  • Clinical: Intercultural healing clinics

Mushrooms

Projects

  • Community-based needs assessments in the Sierra Mazateca

Mushrooms

Psilocybe species

Mushrooms

As psilocybin becomes a frontline medicine of the psychedelic renaissance in the 2000s we are committed to remembering and addressing trauma left by psychedelic interests of the 60s in the communities of the Mazatec Sierra.

Today, traditional lineages are disrupted and knowledge of the 15+ psilocybin fungus species and their specific uses and ceremony has dwindled. Indigenous medicine families are urbanized, live in financial poverty, and generally have lost access to their traditional medicine ways.

Mushrooms

Our Conservation Strategy

Indigenous mushroom tribes of the Sierra Madre should receive reparations/benefit sharing from the psilocybin industry through legal frameworks and industry standards. As resources come into these communities, it is vital to strengthen community based governance in order to assess biocultural conservation needs, as well as the passing on of traditional language and healing practices.

Mushrooms

Risks

  • Very few intact wisdom and healing traditions due to past intercultural interactions
  • Uneven benefit from psychedelic tourism to local communities 
  • Loss of species from agricultural practices
  • Further loss of biocultural knowledge through urbanization

Mushrooms

Opportunities

  • Economic: Direct benefit from exchange models to traditional/Indigenous users
  • Cultural: Youth programs for language and traditional ceremonies 
  • Reciprocity: Community needs assessment for reparations work
  • Legal: Economic frameworks in Mexico for Nagoya Protocols
  • Ecological: Land and species preservation
  • Clinical: Intercultural healing clinics

Mushrooms

Projects

  • Community-based needs assessments in the Sierra Mazateca

Mushrooms

Our Governance Model

Assessment Based,
Indigenous Led.

— Catalyzing Indigenous-led projects with supportive bridge activities.

The IMC governance structure is comprised of three committees to inclusively represent Indigenous and western expertise on the conservation implementation of each medicine, the operational management of the fund, and the spiritual integrity of its overall processes.

Media & Culture

Expanding consciousness,
more consciously.

— Shifting culture to inform sustainable and ethical choices

- Raising biocultural awareness by informing journalism, media, and legislative and commercial efforts to include Indigenous and conservation perspectives.


- Driving the conversation on Benefit Sharing and Consent with Government and psychedelic industry and philanthropy.


- Creation of Grow Medicine, an online platform designed to influence public awareness about medicine use best practices and benefit sharing. The guide covers ecological impact, cultural impact, respectful exchange, and offers crowdfunding opportunities.

team

Who we are.

— Team, Funders, Partners, Advisors

Board of Directors

Lucy Benally
Miguel Evanjuanoy 
T. Cody Swift
David Bronner

Operations Committee

Miriam Volat
Kelly Erhart
Sutton King
Les Szabo
Tanya Kommemen

Conservation Committee & Spiritual Advisors

Claude Guislain
Miguel Evanjuanoy
Lucy Benally
Lila Vega
Anahi Ochoa
Anny Ortiz
Miriam Volat
Kat Harrison
Ricard Faura
Eusebio De La Cruz

Technical Assessment Partners
Conservation Committee
‍—

Lucy Benally

IMC Board Member; Conservation Committee; Education Committee

Lucy Benally, Dine (aka Navajo) from the Dine Nation, located in the 4-Corners area of the United States of America. She is of the Tabaaha (Edgewater) Clan, born for the Ashihii (Salt) Clan, Maternal Grandftaher is of the Taachiinii (Red Streak running into the water) Clan and her paternal grandfather is of the Bit’ahnii (Folded Arm ) Clan. Married to Steven S. Benally with three children and three grandchildren. With a BS. Degree in Education, M.A. in Bilingual Education, and as a Retired Educator, she is a founding member of the Youth Committee with Azee’ Beenahagha of Dine Nation in educating Dine Youth on Peyote conservation, reconnection and instilling essential life skills and information on Peyote way of life for their sustainability, stability and security. A firm believer in the conservation, protection and preservation of sacred plant medicines.

Miguel Evanjuanoy

Board Member, Conservation Committee

Miguel Evanjuanoy Chindoy is a member of the Inga people from Putumayo, Colombia. He was born in a beautiful hilltop village part of an Indigenous territory named Yunguillo, where the local cosmovision and collective work are the pillars of community life. Miguel is a community leader and environmental engineer and has been devoted follower of yagé (ayahuasca) medicine since his childhood years. He acts as a spokesperson for the Union of Indigenous Yage Medics of the Colombian Amazon (UMIYAC). Specifically, his work focuses on the role that Indigenous spirituality plays in territorial defence and environmental conservation. He is also interested in how yage medicine practiced by local, Indigenous traditional healers contributes to peacebuilding, the improvement of community health, and the reconstruction of the social fabric in war torn rural Colombia.

Recently Miguel has been speaking internationally about the impact that development models based on extractive economy and on the depletion of earth’s vital resources are having on the Amazonian biocultural ecosystems. On behalf of his organization and community, he is also taking a stand against cultural appropriation and the indiscriminate commercialization of Indigenous practices and sacred plants, with the claim that this “marketed spiritualty” is negatively impacting both Indigenous peoples and urban users alike.


Jamela Neslie Ntsame Mboumba

Conservation Committee

Jamela Neslie Ntsame Mboumba lives in Libreville, Gabon. She lived and studied in Gabon and also in Ghana, where she graduated in management and marketing, so she is fluent in both French and English. Jamela was initiated in the Mbiri and Dissoumba traditions when she was eight years old. Since then she has been a practitioner and dancer in the Dissoumba tradition, having performed in several countries. Jamela has been collaborating with the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund since 2022.

Victoria Anahi Ochoa

Conservation Committee; Education Committee

Victoria Anahí Ochoa from the Yaqui tribe is an activist, land and water protector, born and raised in Vicam, one of the eight Yaqui towns in the state of Sonora, Mexico. Anahi is a mother of two little boys, whom she is committed to raise with respect towards life and profound love for their culture and roots. Anahi also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has worked as a psychotherapist for the Mexican ministry of health. She is also the president of Yoomomoli Civil Association formed by Yaqui women. Anahi is currently the director of the Intercultural Yaqui Medicine Clinic, the first clinic in Mexico and the world that offers entheogenic medicine and treatments within the public health system. 

Anahi’s commitment to the biocultural conservation of Toad, Incillus Alvarious, is rooted in her belief that to remember who we are, we shall harmonize our relationship with the earth and promote the prosperity of native spirituality through the practice of traditional medicine that tends to our health in a bio-spiritual way. In this way, we will harmonize and heal our relationship with our Indigenous peoples and their territories towards the protection of water. The result will be the protection of life in all its forms. Once our Indigenous cosmovision is healed and having re-established our leadership, we will be able to build inter-tribal alliances based in a intercultural approach that will birth a social political model aligned with nature. Once the ancestral knowledge that has been forgotten as a result of systemic violence has been remembered, conserved, and preserved, we will be able to weave reconciliation and promote a culture of peace. Finally, we will be able to provide light into the illusion of separation to our society, both local and global, to remember that there is no division between nature and humans. Unfortunately, and given her passionate activism work in the last decade, Anahi and her family have been at risk, harassed and threatened.

Anny Maria Ortiz

Conservation Committee; Toad Technical Committee

Anny is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Human Ecology, in the department of human development and family studies. Over the past 15 years she had the opportunity to work in a variety of therapeutic programs in Mexico, the US and Costa Rica including, most recently, a treatment center in Baja, Mexico that was using ibogaine to aid in the treatment of substance use disorders, where she introduced the use of 5-MeO-DMT derived from the Sonoran Desert toad (Incilius alvarius) as a complement to ibogaine. Doing this work was deeply meaningful, but also personally troubling given how it has contributed to the exploitation of the toad populations in her native Sonora. Seeing first-hand the therapeutic effects of the 5-MeO-DMT experience motivated her to pursue graduate school to research this therapeutic potential in a more rigorous way, and to connect with an interdisciplinary team of experts, along with several non-profit organizations, to explore avenues for toad conservation and protection in its endemic habitat.

Over the past several years she has been collaborating with Yaqui tribe leaders and activists, as well as international organizations (e.g., Riverstyx foundation) and academic institutions to support the vision of establishing an Intercultural Medicine Clinic in Yaqui territory. At this innovative clinic, substance use disorders and other mental health conditions are treated with the aid of psychedelic medicines in culturally adapted ways, all within a framework of inter-tribal alliances, for, and by indigenous peoples under the auspices of Mexico’s Department of Public Health.


Technical Committee
‍—

Ricard Faura

Iboga Technical Committee

Ricard Faura is Catalan and lives in the forests of Barcelona, Spain. He is an advisor to the IMC Fund for issues related to iboga and ayahuasca biocultures mainly. He has a PhD in Social Psychology, with extensive training in Anthropology and Psychology, and he has been a professor of Psychology and Humanities at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) for 20 years. In addition, he is a bridge weaver at ICEERS, where he has been working for years on issues related to biocultural conservation of Indigenous medicines and knowledges.

After years of personal work and collective growth with natural medicines, plants, mushrooms and psychedelics, and together with diverse communities around the world, he became personally committed to the conservation of different ancestral knowledges that, despite being full of great wisdom, have been fiercely attacked by the expansive global society and are at risk of disappearing. This commitment to ancestral knowledges reaffirmed his determined support for the processes of Indigenous peoples and communities and the ecosystems that have traditionally stewarded them, understanding that this collective work of conservation can also have very positive impacts for the rest of the human communities and for our planet as a whole.

Claude Guislain

Ayahuasca Technical Committee

Claude Guislain is Peruvian, spending most of his time in the Peruvian Amazon and in Brazil. He is a member of the Ayahuasca Conservation Committee and an advisor in relationships with Indigenous leaders and healers. He trained as an anthropologist in Belgium but very rapidly he realized he had much more to learn and give by being closer to Indigenous systems than to academia. His journey brought him close to different masters from the Shipibo, Arhuaco, Tubu, Yawanawa, among others. After many years of quest, his role revealed itself to be a Bridge between worlds. He has been an Ayahuasca retreat facilitator since 2008 and an advocate for the Indigenous cause in different domains. The extraordinary possibilities he has witnessed from his teachers’ mastery - the healings, the teachings, the stories, the medicines, the technologies, the messages… - gave him the firm conviction that a true Alliance between Ancestral Indigenous Wisdom and modern Science is the key for overcoming the great challenges of our Time. His calling is “People are United”.


Andrea Langlois

Iboga and Ayahuasca Technical Committee; Education Committee

Andrea Langlois is Canadian, with ancestral lineages from France and Germany. For the last 20 years she has made her home on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen speaking peoples of Victoria, British Columbia. She holds an MA in Communications from Concordia University, and is a trained facilitator with a passion for organizational development, systems change, and whole-person living. For the past 5 years she has served as the Director of Engagement for the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research and Service. In this role she has been working collaboratively on issues related to biocultural conservation of Indigenous medicine and knowledge within a context of increasing international interest in plant medicines, particularly ayahuasca/yagé and iboga. She’s committed to personal and professional exploration of the Original Principles of right relationship, responsibility, and reciprocity, and how they can form the basis of healing for humans and the planet. Andrea is an advisor to the Technical Committee of the IMC Fund.

Lila Vega

Iboga Technical Committee

Lila Vega is a Nahua / Activist and Healer representing the  Iboga & Ayahuasca bioculture. Lila is a transpersonal psychologist and integrative psychotherapist, acupuncturist, somatic therapist, herbalist, death doula, sorcerer, curandero, activist, advocate of the mystical experience, and lover of the mystery, of psychosis, and of the gaze of panthers at night. He is the director of the non-profit AWE through which he coordinates projects around psychosis, death, and rites of passage; and serves as the director of the Psychedelic Therapy Training. 

Riccardo Vitale

Ayahuasca Technical Committee

Riccardo Vitale is an Italian anthropologist, with more than 15 years of continuous fieldwork experience in Latin America. He earned a PhD from Cambridge University with a thesis about the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico. His expertise covers human rights, anthropology in armed conflict, social movements, indigenous politics, gender relations within social movements, sustainable development, resilience, climate change adaptations and indigenous practices of yagé medicine, spirituality and resistance. Riccardo is a former adviser of a plethora of international humanitarian and development bodies such as: Oxfam America, the UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council, ICG and GIZ, amongst others.

Since 2016 Riccardo works as a fulltime adviser for the Union of Indigenous Yagé Medics of the Colombian Amazon (UMIYAC). His tasks within UMIYAC range from fundraising to advocacy, to capacity strengthening, and non-extractive (“the-other-way-around”) anthropological research, aimed at “reinforcing indigenous communities, rather taking from them”. His current areas of work include: the use of indigenous spiritual practices and yagé (ayahuasca) as peacebuilding tools; the indigenous, local use of yagé to heal war traumas; the role of yagé medicine in territorial defense; and the effects of the cultural appropriation and commercialization of traditional knowledge and practices. 

Operations Staff
‍—

Benjamin De Loenen

Co-Director

Benjamin De Loenen is a Belgian born, living in Spain. He studied audiovisual media in the Netherlands where he graduated with his documentary Ibogaine - Rite of Passage (2004) which introduced him to the globalization of plant medicine. This led him to founding the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service (ICEERS) in 2009, which he serves as Executive Director.

In the 12 years leading the organization he became more and more aware of the vital importance of indigenous peoples, their communities, territories and knowledge in the moment of crisis we are living in as a humanity, which led him to deepen his relationship with indigenous leaders since 2017. Benjamin supports the development and management of the IMC Fund in the capacity of interim co-director. Benjamin is the father of a young daughter.

Tanya Kammonen

Program Manager & Ayahuasca Technical Committee

Tanya Kammonen is a Canadian living in the Amazon in Peru. She works primarily in the ayahuasca part of the IMC Fund’s projects, in addition to behind-the-scenes support. She is trained as a molecular biologist and naturopathic doctor, and worked in ayahuasca integration and retreat facilitation before diving into a more interculturally informed investigation into self, then healing, and ayahuasca. This inquiry led to an appreciation that the ceremonies we use in the West are still very active parts of the traditional cultures that kept them alive for generations, and she thinks conserving and protecting those cultures is essential for true integration and healing at a level that goes beyond self.

Tanya is a mother of two small kids in an intercultural family, raising them in a way that integrates their ancestral language and traditions with her own Western roots. 


Sutton King

Program Manager  

Sutton King, MPH, Afro-Indigenous of the Menominee and Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, is a graduate of NYU School of Global Public Health. She is a nationally recognized Indigenous rights activist, published researcher and social entrepreneur dedicated to developing and scaling innovative solutions to improve Indigenous health equity across sectors. Her focus centers access benefit sharing and culturally appropriate methodologies within technology, healthcare and business. She joins the IMC Fund as an Ambassador and Bridge Builder sitting on the operations committee. 

In 2021, she was named an NYU Female Founder and “one of the 100 most influential people in psychedelics” by Psychedelic Invest and PsychedStudio. In 2022, Business Insider recognized her as one of the 16 most influential women shaping Psychedelics.

Ivan Sawyer García

Program Manager

Cultural entrepreneur, media producer and indigenous rights activist. Among other things he has been involved in different cultural exchange, sustainability and indigenous knowledge preservation initiatives in different parts of North and South America for over a decade. Collaborating with different organizations such as the Global Ecovillage Network, NuMundo.org, Four World International Institute,  Global Alliance of Territorial Communities and with events such as the Consejo de Visiones – Guardianes de la Tierra in Mexico

Ivan is the founder of Voces de Amerikua, a collaborative media laboratory that supports and promotes the voices of indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America and their efforts to protect their Culture, Land and Rights, using impact campaigns, social media and documentaries. . 


Sandra Suasnabar Alberco

Education Committee Chair and Facilitator

Sandra Suasnabar Alberco is an Expressive Arts Therapist and Community Worker of Andean, Indigenous ancestry, originally from Peru. She holds an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy and Psychology, and has 15+ years of experience supporting diverse communities affected by complex inter-generational trauma, violence, and systemic oppression. Sandra describes her professional path as both unique and generous. Through the diversity of her experience and the communities she has served, Sandra has contributed to and been influenced by a wise textile of wisdom.

Sandra’s practice has taken place in community-based, non-profit, social justice, education, and health-based settings in Canada. She has worked as a a therapeutic counsellor, advocate, manager, educator, and consultant; with each role being deeply informed by her lived experience and intersecting identities. In recent years, Sandra and her family have lived and worked in rural-northern Indigenous communities. Sandra remains deeply connected to her ancestors’ knowledge, culture and worldviews as she contributes to her community and raises her new baby.


Miriam Volat

Co-Director

Miriam Volat M.S. is a researcher, educator, organizer, facilitator and ecologist with a passion for soils and nutrient cycles. She works nationally and internationally to increase health in policy and community design. She is the co-director of Riverstyx Foundation, and is on the board of directors of the Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative (IPCI) and the maps public benefit corporation.

COntact Us

Thank you.

— Leave us a note if you'd like to connect.

Thank you! Your message has been well received. We'll be in touch...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.