Our rich grantee criteria conversations and field assessment distilled into three main focus areas for project identification in 2020:
Novel Research and Education
Our intent is to advance female identifying/non-binary led orgs or projects that will benefit women and/or BIPOC communities. Research and educational projects must represent fresh ideas and perspectives that are relevant and impactful to the psychedelic field and to present moment of pandemic/racial equity/isolation/mental health education.
Medicine Conservation and Indigenous Knowledge
As interest in psychedelics burgeons and expands, we are interested in seeding and nourishing the roots of psychedelic knowledge and medicines. The Medicine Conservation and Indigenous Knowledge group focused on uplifting projects and individuals that are women-focused, not broadly funded, centered on Indigenous voices and highlighting the biocultural preservation and development of medicine and practices through engaging in reciprocity and supporting communities to share knowledge as they choose to.
Decentralization of Power and Accessibility
We focused on strengthening underrepresented parts of the psychedelic scene to support equity, inclusivity and true diversity. Decentralizing power means uplifting the voices and leadership of grassroots groups and cultures who carry entheogenic wisdom that is vital to individual and societal healing. Access means making psychedelic medicines/therapies accessible to marginalized & disadvantages communities. As we move towards mainstreaming psychedelic medicines, it is essential to embrace structures that decentralize power, to ensure a broader flow of information and resources, and to honor the regenerative abundance created by diversity on all levels.
We believe this will make the wider psychedelic movement more resilient, robust and widely resourced in return.
We are honored to have been able to recognize the work of the organizations listed below in 2020:
The pandemic has shown us that revitalization of botanical medicinal knowledge is crucial for the survival of indigenous communities with no access to the national health services.
Thanks to funds from organizations like Femtheogen, elderly women healers were able to organize hands-on pedagogical activities that strengthened botanical, medicinal practices and knowledge.
All the women coordinators and participants unanimously agreed that this pilot project was empowering and useful, as it helped transmitting elders' knowledge to the younger generations. For this reason, the program is going to be replicated in all the territories covered by the UMIYAC benefitting five different amazonian indigenous peoples.
UMIYAC (the Union of Indigenous Yagé Medics of the Colombian Amazon) was created in 1999 and includes five indigenous groups from the Colombian Amazon rainforest. They work to preserve the Amazon rainforest and to revitalize and protect Indigenous cultures and ancestral medicine. They are spiritual authorities, medicine men and women of knowledge, and their role is to ensure the health of the territories and the physical and spiritual wellbeing of communities and territories.
With the grant the POC Psychedelic Collective can host and cultivate high quality spaces designed by and for people of color— if there is a psychedelic renaissance already occurring then it is crucial and urgent we have an infrastructure in place to do so now. The focus is on specific racial informed traumas and joys and how they relate to psychedelics, and to facilitate that kind of community and safety from racism takes resources; your support will help us meet the challenge more than adequately.
Funds would go towards software to broadcast virtually and reach as many minds as possible; branding; web help; and pay for the emotional labor of panelists and guests. Part of the funds would also go towards a transition to a post-pandemic world and preparation for what comes after.
The People of Color Psychedelic Collective (POCPC) is a body of members dedicated to psychedelic healing and education based in the United States. We nurture leaders to work in our communities to undo the harms caused by the war on drugs and oppressive systems of injustice. The POCPC brings psychedelic education to people of color around the world. Providing leadership, support, and resources, our organization creates spaces for people of color as psychedelics obtain decriminalization and legalized status for therapeutic purposes.
We are committed to a psychedelic revolution that increases accessibility, as well as financial and technical infrastructure, to communities of color while reducing harm and dangers stemming from lack of diversity. We provide outreach, events, and educational content specifically created by and for people of color to further knowledge of psychedelics.
Thanks to this grant from Femtheogen, we were able to create a collection of beautiful video interviews to be used as a video podcast series, called Ramatian Tapon - Raíces Actuales - Modern Roots. The flexibility and trust woven into the granting process were greatly appreciated, especially as a new organization without a proven track record of successfully completing projects. We worked with a core team of 7 people in the creative and filming processes, and included a total of 42 different people in the interviews and performances for a total of 28 video-podcast episodes. All of the participants received a monetary gesture of gratitude for their time, which although hasn't created long-lasting solutions, is still impactful, especially during the pandemic where there has been much less available work than usual, and especially for artists and Shipibo folks who normally depend on tourism for their income. As a new organization, we were able to make several tech purchases that will continue to support us in our work in arts and culture as well as in other areas.
The greater impact we anticipate will be in the launch of the series, where our intention to inspire urban youth to value and take interest in their own culture will be realized as folks watch and share the episodes. Our mission and vision include creating meaningful relationships, honoring ancestral practices of medicine and art, breaking barriers between cultures, and seeing human beings living with spirit and flowering from the heart. This podcast series is an expression of that, as was the process of its creation.
While the area of arts and culture isn't directly related to medicine conservation, we see it as an important piece of the larger puzzle. We hope to continue this work to continue finding the hidden gems that exist within the living ancestors here, and to continue linking that wisdom to the youthful modern expressions that are surfacing in the present day.
Oni Xobo is an intercultural organization based in Pucallpa, Peru, that works with and focuses on the conservation of Shipibo culture. Working primarily in the areas of medicine conservation, which has to do as much with the traditional practice as it does with the ecological pieces, and art and culture, we seek to investigate and implement projects that honor both ancient wisdom and modern expression. We are currently a small team of artist-doctors, and are dedicated to doing our work from the heart, so that the universe may flourish.
ONCA - IBOGA INITIATIVE
Mabandji is a spiritual path practiced by indigenous women of the Congo basin, mostly of Pygmea, Tsogo, Sango, Simba, Fang, and Punu descent. The once-in-a-lifetime Initiation into Mabandji is the most important stage of this spiritual path. It is a right of passage that involves weeks of complex rituals accompanied by the ingestion of big amounts of Iboga, and with the support of the spiritual mothers (the shamanic elders) and of the whole community.
Through Initiation, the Mabandji initiates receive powerful healing for themselves, and also uncover important truths of the collective. During these initiations, the Mabandji serve as a bridge between the spiritual world and the community, bringing back important answers to collective suffering.
The financial support of the FTC to these women helps immensely to strengthen the resilience of these indigenous communities while also helping to assure the continuation of the tradition as new initiates begin to prepare to become the next generation of elders.
YAQUI INTERCULTURAL CLINIC
The intercultural entheogenic mental health training program is being developed together between the Yaqui Tribe (Vicky Anahi Ochoa), Nierika AC (Armando and Anya Loizaga), U of Wisconsin (Anny Ortiz) a local MD, plus the Yaqui team consisting of four psychologists (two female and two male), one nurse, and one traditional healer.
Nierika has supported this project with technical knowhow and training, and in 2020 elaborated a proposal for an intercultural entheogenic medicine clinic that was included in a Presidential Commission of Justice for the Yaqui tribe. Presidential instruction has been embraced by the Department of Health under direct supervision of the National Commission of Mental Health and Addictions (CONASAMA) to establish the intercultural clinic in Yaqui territory.
This intercultural entheogenic medicine project includes intertribal exchange including immersion in entheogenic medicine both theoretical and experiential with two Ayahuasca ceremonies, one syncretic Quechua Lama tradition and another in the Huni Kuin tradition.
Altered Spaces is a design consultancy focused on disability justice and creating sensory supportive environments for people who experience altered states.
Sensory supportive design addresses widespread impacts of overstimulation while centering the bodily autonomy and agency of people who experience altered states. Femtheogen understands that people who experience altered states need community support for self-determination, not incarceration, and gave funds towards design infrastructure that can be incorporated across a diverse set of environments. Health service user experience design, self-paced multisensory experiences, and sensory supportive harm reduction all comprise components of the abolitionist care infrastructure
Altered Spaces is helping to build. Femtheogen's material support and deep respect for neurodivergent modes of operating has been a healing collaboration.
FTC ELDER FUND
We the FTC inaugural cohort recognize that the emergence of this collaborative, and the deep insights steering our process are inextricably woven with the work of many women before us, that continue to inspire and influence the collective field of entheogenic medicine and psychedelics at large. Whether the work has been public,private or invisible, The Femtheogen Collaborative sees you. Through this work, we have begun envisioning and co-creating a future that honors feminine consciousness, draws from the wealth of the whole and uplifts the voices of those underrepresented in the psychedelic movement.
May we deepen our collective commitment to removing barriers and healing structures that limit us all.
CHURCH OF MUNAY