Grow Medicine is a project of the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund


click the question you’re interested in

Q: How did grow medicine get started?

In 2020, Laura Dawn started the initiative of developing Grow Medicine. In the process of launching Grow, she connected to the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund (IMC Fund). Then, through a partnership collaboration became a project of the IMC Fund. Laura Dawn is now the Director of Grow Medicine.

Q: How Do we Choose the Organizations
We feature on Grow Medicine?

Grow Medicine features Indigenous-led organizations that have been through an in-depth 5-stage due-diligence process undertaken by the IMC Fund that spans months and years.


1. Establishing Trusted Relationships:

This is the foundation of the process, beginning in places where we have received requests and a clear invitation to engage in dialogue. This means that the first step in our due diligence approval process is establishing trusted relationships with potential partners.

2. Community-Based Assessment:

Through trusted relationships, the Fund does an in-depth community-based assessment which includes listening to what the community is asking for support with. This places ancestral wisdom and the intelligence of how these communities are organized at the forefront of the funding process.

The assessment process allows the IMC Fund to gain a clear understanding of the ecosystem at large and a comprehensive grasp of the landscape, the challenges, relationships, and the politics underneath our partnering organizations. This is to ensure that the fund is supporting initiatives that are serving the collective community at large and not creating division.

3. Building a Bridge of Understanding:

Technical advisors partner with Indigenous conservationists to understand the assessments to identify high leverage conservation approaches and identify projects with high community support.

4. Proposal Development:

From there, proposals are developed in collaboration with the conservation committee members and on-the-ground partners to develop project budgets, timelines, plans for ongoing implementation, and establish key alliances between partners.

5. Proposal Review

Conservation Committee, Operations Committee, and Spiritual Advisors convene to review and approve proposals across the 5 keystone medicines. These committees track ongoing progress and technical support needs.

Q: will you be featuring
other organizations?


The IMC Fund has a suite of approved Indigenous-led initiatives for each of the keystone medicines. 

Grow Medicine will be featuring and highlighting the various organizations. 

Q: How can I support the launch
of grow medicine?

Thank you for asking! Please share this website with your community! Sign up to join the Grow Medicine Community below. 

Sign up to support the Launch of GrowMedicine

May 31st launch date


Keystone is an ecological term defined as “irreplaceable; without substitute; an essential component of an ecology and culture.”

Think about a traditional arch that’s built with rocks. Right at the top of the arch is the keystone. 

This is where the name comes from.

If you take the keystone out, then the whole arch falls down. A keystone organism, a keystone culture, keystone bioculture, keystone medicine, shows that if you remove it, then the whole system falls apart without it.


"is a term that somehow invites attention to the connections – tangible and intangible – between local cultures, territorial governance systems, sustainable livelihood traditions, and the experience of sacredness. Furthermore, it bolsters claims of significance and rights in ways that simultaneously convey beauty, responsibility, wholeness, caring.”

~ Ken Wilson

What does “Right Relationship” mean?

The concept of “right relationship” is central to many indigenous cultures, and reflects an animistic perspective that all-natural elements in the world have a soul and spiritual presence. 

And because everything is alive we live in relationship with all the elements, the land, air and water, plants and animals, our ancestors and fellow human beings.  

Right relationship speaks to a core understanding of the interconnectedness and a recognition of the inability to compartmentalize. Being in right relationship is a way of talking about living in a sustainable, balanced, harmonious, and loving way with all living beings and with all of nature.

What Does “Do No Harm” Mean?

Do no harm means we are engaging with precautionary principles. This means we need to slow down and think about the future we want to be contributing to and consider the potential unintended consequences that may result from the actions we take. 

When considering harvesting or consuming medicines, attending plant medicine ceremonies, influencing policy changes, or traveling to other countries seeking plant medicine experiences, we need to consider the principle of “do no harm” to prevent the perpetuation of ecological damage or cultural and social disruption. In some cases, this might mean refraining from the use of medicines to support the conservation of it. 

What does “solidarity-based support” mean?

Solidarity-based support means unequivocally supporting Indigenous people on their terms. It requires first and foremost listening and then providing support in a way that is being requested and asked for.

Solidarity-based support is built on the foundation of Unity, as related to the principle of do no harm. Offering solidarity-based support is how we stay in right relationship, so we can be good allies with Indigenous knowledge holders and communities. 

By participating in benefit-sharing through Grow Medicine, it means you unify behind this vision and mission that was created by these traditional knowledge holders.

What is a bioculture?

A biocultural approach to conservation reflects the dynamic interconnected relationship that exists between cultural and biological diversity. 

If we want to support the thriving of traditional knowledge holders and their communities, we need to look at the entirety of the intertwined relationship between biology, ecology, social structures, cultural knowledge, etc, not as isolated parts, but within an interconnected whole.

benefit sharing

is based on a global standard developed over 30 years ago by hundreds of Indigenous leaders, called

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing.

What is the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing?

ABS is an international agreement to conserve biodiversity, and was created in 2010 as a supplementary agreement to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The aim of the Nagoya Protocol is to provide a framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits (both monetary and non-monetary) arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, thus contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and respecting the rights of cultural heritage.

This is incredibly important for us to understand,

especially now, at this time where humanity stands on the precipice of the sixth greatest extinction,

and we find ourselves here directly as a result of our behavior. Therefore, we have a responsibility. Taking action that supports biocultural biodiversity is directly related to ensuring biodiversity and cultural diversity are thriving for the next seven generations.