Healing & Justice for Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous communities have been systematically deprived of rights, sovereignty, and resources for hundreds of years. As a result, Native Americans have the highest rate of suicide, and highest rate of teenage suicide (18.5 per 100,000), nearly double U.S. average, as well as the lowest life expectancy (55 years), largely due to diabetes and alcoholism. Law enforcement kill Native Americans at the highest rate, just above the rate for Black Americans, with 18 times as many fatal encounters with police as whites.
Peyote is an ancestral Medicine, a revered plant utilized in ritual and Indigenous identity for thousands of years, and came to the northern tribes at a time of peak colonial devistation, providing healing and cultural resiliency. Peyote has been an integral part of Native American survival.
The Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative (IPCI) was created in 2017 out of an understanding that spiritual reconnection and the therapeutic engagement in ceremony and culture is essential to restoring Indigenous community health.
“Throughout all the years that I had lived on earth, I now realized that I had never known anything holy. Now, for the first time, I knew something holy.”
~Winnebago man, after his first Peyote meeting
Today, the Medicine is in crisis and the way of life that depends upon it is threatened. The vicious cycle of economic exploitation has depleted supply of the Peyote in the traditional gardens of Mexico and Texas, while restricting access to this healing Sacrament from the Indigenous communities and Native American Churches who rely on Peyote’s nourishment. Protecting the Medicine from further decline is the same as protecting Indigenous sovereignty from further erosion. This Medicine’s conservation and regeneration is a sacred right and responsibility facing Peyote Peoples today.
Your Donation Will Directly Fund
Building the Peyote Nursery & Welcome Center
- Our state-of-the-art research nursery is a seminal, groundbreaking effort to propagate Peyote on the land and a major step towards repopulating the Peyote Gardens. Our Welcome Center will host Indigenous Peoples from across the Americas and serve as a storehouse to display sacred and historic items and documents.
Leases with Ranchers
- Leases with local ranchers will restore access to tens of thousands of acres for Indigenous communities to conduct spiritual and sustainable harvests of the Medicine, a key step towards creating a sovereign Native Peyote economy.
- Your donation will also support Indigenous communities and families to visit the Peyote gardens to deepen their relationship to the Medicine through educational programing and youth harvest.
View the full documentary and learn more at ipci.life
Indigenous Conservation Effort
Our core strategy for addressing the Peyote crisis in Texas and Mexico is creating land access for ecological harvest (promoting regrowth), reestablishing plant populations (replanting), and supporting a system of conservation management and distribution (assessments, rancher incentives, and policy) fundamentally tied to Indigenous sovereignty. We know that the unification of Peyote Peoples and the protection of the sacred Medicine weave together to create an ecological and cultural conservation movement that heals every generation to come.
Ritual use of Peyote has been part of Indigenous identity throughout the Americas for thousands of years, serving as a form of cultural connectivity and communal healing for Peyote Peoples against a backdrop of devastation. Amidst the brutal and systematic suppression of native culture, spirituality, and ways of life in the 1800s Peyote Medicine became a pan-Native American religion and served to revitalize native identity and spiritual connection. To protect their sacramental use of Peyote, Native American tribal groups began incorporating as individual Native American Churches in 1918. It was not until 1994 that the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments protected the rights of members of federally recognized tribes to use, possess, and transport Peyote for their traditional religious purposes throughout the US.
The Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative (IPCI) supports an ecological and cultural harvest that strengthens indigenous sovereignty and medicine pathways, for all peyote peoples across the Americas. In a time of ecological crisis, it is vital that indigenous communities are leading the path towards regenerative, respectful, and healing relationships with the medicine. IPCI seeks to increase the supply of the medicine for future generations and strengthen indigenous sovereignty as traditional medicine keepers.
Your gift to the IPCI will nourish a spiritual homesite for all indigenous peyote peoples that will serve as a source of medicine, education, pilgrimage, and healing. Please share this campaign with your friends and family who value indigenous rights, healing, land conservation, reciprocity, and traditional medicine.
Thank you for considering a donation to the IPCI. We have several gifts available to show our gratitude, including exclusive opportunities to learn with IPCI leadership, IPCI hats and beautiful, framed photographs of our gardens at the spiritual homesite.