Advisory council

Grow Medicine

is a project of the indigenous medicine conservation fund (IMC FUnd)

Grow Medicine’s Advisory Council is the IMC Fund Education Committee, a group of members with different roles within the fund supporting all educational content.

The content shared through Grow Medicine has and will continue to receive guidance and support from the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund Education Committee. 

The IMC Fund Education Committee membership has Indigenous representatives from different biocultures, IMC Fund technical advisors and program managers. 

Grow Medicine receives information about the biocultures, assessments, and projects from the IMC Fund and then distills it for a Western audience.

This content then goes back to the IMC Education Committee for final approval, before being shared with the public through Grow Medicine.

This process models right relationship principles with Indigenous communities and ancestral traditions.

IMC Fund Education Committee members

Lucy Benally

IMC Fund Board Member; Peyote Seat on the Conservation Committee; IMC Fund Education Committee Member

Lucy Benally, Diné (aka Navajo) from the Diné nation, is located in the 4-corners area of the United States of America. She is of the Tabatha (Edgewater) clan, born for the Ashihii (salt) clan, maternal grandfather 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 B.S. 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. She is a firm believer in the conservation, protection and preservation of sacred plant medicines.

Victoria Anahi Ochoa

Seat on the Conservation Committee; IMC Fund Education Committee Member

Victoria has degree in psychology; she worked as a psychotherapist in the ministry of health in Sonora Mexico. She is president of the “Yoomomoli” civil association made up of Yaqui women. In the last 10 years she has been an activist defending water and territory and for that reason she has been harassed, threatened and put her life and that of her family at risk. She is currently the director of the Yaqui Intercultural Medicine Clinic, the first clinic in Mexico and in the world that includes entheogenic medicine treatments in public health health systems.

Victoria deeply believes that to remember who we are, we must harmonize our relationship with the land while allowing the flourishing of our native spirituality. Through traditional medicine that attends to health in a bio-psycho-spiritual way. We harmonize and heal the relationship of our indigenous peoples with their territory to achieve the defense of water and thus be able to defend life in all its forms. Having healed our indigenous worldview and recovering our indigenous leadership, we will be able to build intertribal alliances based on interculturality, to give life to a new socio-political model that is in alignment with nature. Once we remember, conserve and preserve the ancestral knowledge that we have forgotten as a product of the systematic violence that has hit our people, we will be able to weave reconciliation and foster a culture of peace from the heart. Finally, we will be able to shed light on the illusion of separation, so that all of our society, local and global, remember that there is no division between nature and human beings.

Victoria was born and raised in Vicam, Sonora, Mexico one of the 8 Yaqui towns, She has 2 small sons, in whom she tries to instill respect for everything that exists, and a deep love for their culture and their roots.

Sutton King

IMC Fund Program Manager & Nationally recognized indigenous rights activist

Sutton is an Afro-Indigenous member of the Menominee and Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and 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. In 2021, Sutton was named an NYU Female Founder and “one of the 100 most influential people in psychedelics” by Psychedelic Invest and PsychedStudio. 

She is the co-founder and President of Urban Indigenous Collective, an Indigenous lead public health NGO advocating for and providing access to culturally appropriate healthcare for Urban Natives in the tri-state area. As the Indigenous Program Officer for Riverstyx Foundation, Sutton works with a team that facilitates a relationship between the Psychedelic Space and Indigenous traditional cultures that centers Indigenous sovereignty.

Andrea Langlois

Member of the Iboga and Ayahuasca technical committees; Member of the IMC Fund Education Committee

Andrea Langlois is Canadian, with ancestral lineages from France and Germany. In addition to her role as advisor to the Fund, she is the Director of Engagement at the International Centre for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service (ICEERS).

She holds a M.A. 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 the 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.

Sandra Suasnabar Alberco

IMC Fund Education Committee Chair and Facilitator, Program manager

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.

Tanya Kammonen

Member of the Ayahuasca technical committee, member of the Imc Fund education 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.

Laura Dawn, M.Sc

Director of Grow Medicine

Laura Dawn, M.Sc. is the Founder and Director of Grow Medicine. She is the host of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast and has a Masters in Science specializing in creativity studies & change leadership.

Laura Dawn is at the forefront of exploring the intersection between leadership, psychedelics and creative problem-solving, helping leaders and teams unlock innovative solutions to the complex challenges we collectively face. Learn more about Laura Dawn here.

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