“The intimate relationship between the vegetable world and the human organism, its manifested in particular in the fact that certain plants produce substances that can influence the depths of human mind and spirit. The wonderful, unexplainable and even dreadful effects of this plants show the importance that they had in religious life of the ancient cultures, and the worship as magical and sacred drugs which they are still treated by certain native groups that keep their traditions”
– Albert Hoffman y Richard Evan Schultes
Nierika is a Wixarika word that has many meanings… Nierika is the portal that connects the worlds, Nierika is an eye of God, a mirror, the face of the divine… It can also refer to a peyote family, the visionary sacrament of the Wixarika people through which they can be in contact with the realm of the sacred.
The Interdisciplinary Association for the Preservation of the Indigenous Traditions with Sacred Plants in the American Continent; NIERIKA AC, is an non-profit Civil Association that has as its objectives the research and biocultural preservation of the indigenous traditions, rites and ceremonies in which sacred plants are used, as well as elaborating proposals of regulation for the use of this plants in intercultural medicine contexts.
In Nierika A. C. we hold the firm conviction that the traditional indigenous medicine and western science coexist in one and the same reality for the service of humanity. That’s why we encourage interdisciplinary dialogues gathering together traditional healers and professionals in the area of health, communication, law, social and natural sciences, etc. This way, we strive to relocate the scientific value that the use of sacred plants has for humanity, as well as the territory where they grow and the tangible and intangible practices that contextualize them.
Nierika A. C. seeks the rescue and preservation of the indigenous wisdom and their medical and religious traditions with sacred plants, facilitating the dialogue between science and tradition, to build an academic multidisciplinary platform that allows the development of an intercultural medical model, that nourishes both from the traditional knowledges of the sacred plants in the western continent, as well as modern science. Nierika A. C. also drives its efforts to the preservation of the peyote and its traditions, for being a biocultural patrimony of the people of North America and humanity. Nierika A. C. drives reforms in the national and international public policy to facilitate the investigation with psychoactive plants with psychotherapeutic purposes, contribuiting to the modern science and the integral wellness of human beings.
Nierka A. C. operates mainly in three work axes:
Institutional strategic actions of Nierika A.C. and of
Institute of Intercultural Medicine Nierika
2012 – 2022
The Multidisciplinary Association for the Preservation of the Indigenous Traditions of the Sacred Plants of the American Continent – NIERIKA, a non-profit civil association, was established in October 2012, in response to a regulatory vacuum, evident to various professionals, academics and indigenous leaders. In the continent. After more than two decades of fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon studying ayahuasca from the perspective of intercultural medicine; and, in Mexico, USA and Canada, working with diverse indigenous Peyote cultures, Nierika A.C. has proven to be an instrumental organization in the development and promotion of peyote conservation projects and scientific research on the therapeutic potential of naturally occurring entheogens.
The work and achievements of Nierika A.C. and the Nierika Institute of Intercultural Medicine has allowed us to work very closely with various indigenous organizations of sacred plants throughout the Continent, establishing solid links of intercultural work; in the field of psychedelic research and entheogenic intercultural medicine, Nierika is part of a wide network of academics and leading researchers in this field, affiliated with renowned Universities and psychedelic research institutes around the world. Nierika A.C. It is considered a reputable and reliable institution that receives funds from different foundations and international funds for the promotion of mental health, the conservation of indigenous medicines and the advancement of psychedelic science in the world.
The prevailing consensus among the actors in this field, including academics, scientists and public servants, is that public laws and policies are insufficient and need to be updated and adapted to our contemporary socio-cultural reality; and that they start from a transdisciplinary review of the scientific evidence on their therapeutic potential, of the traditional empirical knowledge that various original cultures still have about these entheogenic plants and that set parameters for their uses; that promotes the conservation of indigenous biocultures and the integrity of their ancestral knowledge, and that, at the same time, promotes research and its regulated management for therapeutic purposes and psycho-spiritual development under a clear and defined framework.
Nierika A.C. has organized and co-organized various congresses and conferences in this field of knowledge since 2010 with national and international universities, constantly promoting dialogue with public institutions for more than a decade. Nierika received the first registration certificate before the RENIECYT NO.2014/19796 in 2014, and in 2020, she obtains the RENIECYT code 1703375 for the project: Dialogue of knowledge around the therapeutic potential of psilocybin-containing mushrooms – a transdisciplinary study through through neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, history and indigenous traditional knowledge. Nierika is currently in dialogue with the INP to advance research protocols as part of this project.
In the field of public policy, Nierika A.C. It has fostered inter-institutional dialogue between civil society, academia and the different powers of the State for more than a decade. Nierika A.C. I participated as a CSO in the United Nations General Assembly UNGASS 2016 and subsequently I was part of the high-level inter-secretariat meetings with the Mexican government to elaborate the implementation plan of the UNGASS 2016 recommendations. As part of this work Nierika BC I am part of the Mexican diplomatic mission twice in the international conventions in Vienna, Austria, during the regular work period of the CND, a commission attached to the Crime and Drugs Division of the United Nations. She also participated as an invited CSO in the Sixty-third Regular Session of CICAD, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission CICADE, in 2018.
Since its creation in 2012, Nierika A.C., has been given the task of exposing the problem generated by the pejorative connotation of the term drug when referring to entheogens of natural origin and sacred plants, and the enormous regulatory vacuum that governs plants. sacred and their uses; presenting recommendations to various instances of the Federal Government and International Organizations for the creation of a multidisciplinary committee of experts to develop a management plan for the pharmacopoeia of entheogens of natural origin, in order to harmonize the Mexican laws that govern the matter with international treaties on the rights of indigenous peoples, the ILO treaty 169, the Vienna Conventions CND, D.D.H.H. always from a Public Health and Mental Health perspective.
At this time Nierika A.C. She is collaborating on bill initiatives in both chambers of the Congress of the Union and is currently advising two law initiatives; one in the Chamber of Deputies and another, which is about to appear in the Senate in the following ordinary period. Both reform initiatives contemplate the creation of a new classification within Art. 245 LGS, to identify entheogens of natural origin, distinguishing them from isolated psychotropic substances, with the recommendation to instruct the elaboration of secondary laws that contemplate a comprehensive framework that favors the conservation of indigenous biocultures of sacred plants; and, that contemplates the application and access for therapeutic purposes within a public health framework.
October 29, 2012 – The Multidisciplinary Association for the Preservation of the Indigenous Traditions of the Sacred Plants of the American Continent is constituted before Notary 124 of the State of Mexico, on October 29, 2012
November 2012 – Nierika AC submitted a position as a CSO regarding the Prior Justification Study for the Creation of the Wirikuta Biosphere Reserve, published by the Mexican federal government through the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) through the Diario Official of the Federation on October 15, 2012, making various recommendations that include: the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples, the promotion of scientific research and a regulatory framework for plants that represent biocultural heritage before CONANP and COFEMER.
March 2013 – Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The therapeutic potential of entheogens for the treatment of addictions: a qualitative investigation on the effects of ayahuasca. 3rd National Congress: Histories and Practices of drugs. After the ban. National School of Anthropology and History, Mexico D.F.
April 2013 – Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The therapeutic potential of ritual ayahuasca use in the treatment of addictions Psychedelic Science – International Congress of Psychedelic Science – Oakland, California-USA.
July 2013 – Nierika AC co-sponsor of: The Breaking Convention: University of Greenwich, United Kingdom – Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: Peyote and mental health
Presentation by Armando Loizaga Pazzi: In defense of the sacred territory of Wirikuta SLP
October 2013 – Presentation of the preliminary protocol for ATOP-Mexico by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder and Psic. Armando Loizaga Pazzi : Workshop meeting for the elaboration of the ATOP project: Evaluation of the results of the use of traditional Amazonian medicine and the ayahuasca in the treatment of addictions and other mental health disorders – Nierika AC sponsored the visit of the IMCA State of Mexico to the ATOP meeting, Tarapoto, Peru
March 2014 – Second day of intercultural medicine in Yaqui territory, Loma de Guamuchil Sonora – community intervention with care for patients and their families, presentation before the Traditional Guard and Pueblo Mayor
March 2014 -Intercultural University of Edo de México, Toluca -Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga Velder: Contributions of traditional medicine to mental health. IV international congress of intercultural health. Traditional medicine: Sustenance and Reality.
April 2014 – Autonomous University of the State of Mexico – Nierika AC together with the UAEM, Faculty of Anthropology Toluca organizes and sponsors the Second International Congress of Traditional Medicine and Public Health: Sacred Plants, Culture and Human Rights bringing together academic researchers, experts from various cultures and officials of the government of the State of Mexico.
Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga Velder: From vision to practice: Factors that influence the results of treatments in psychotherapeutic uses of ayahuasca – International Congress of Traditional Medicine and Public Health. Sacred Plants, Culture and Human Rights. Autonomous University of the State of Mexico UAEM, Toluca
Presentation by Psic. Armando Loizaga Pazzi: The treatment of addictions from an intercultural perspective: integration of ayahuasca in a model of transpersonal psychology – International Congress of Traditional Medicine and Public Health. Sacred Plants, Culture and Human Rights. Autonomous University of the State of Mexico UAEM, Toluca
July 2014, Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga Velder: Hallucinogens in the treatment of addictions in the course: Addictions New perspectives – Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz National Institute of Psychiatry
September 2014. Nierika AC is co-organizer of the World Ayahuasca Conference in Ibiza Spain
Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga Velder: Ayahuasca as a catalyst for psychotherapeutic processes and participation as an expert in the round table: psychotherapeutic uses of ayahuasca – World Ayahuasca Conference -World Ayahuasca Conference, Ibiza, Spain
Presentation of the film: Huicholes – The Last Guardians of Peyote – Nierika AC co-production – World Ayahuasca Conference -World Ayahuasca Conference, Ibiza, Spain
September 2014 – Proof of registration with the RENIECYT NO.2014/19796
February 2015 – Nierika accompanies the Wirarika Regional Council to Laredo Texas USA to meetings with the Native American Church of North America and indigenous organizations from the United States and Canada on the conservation of peyote in the USA and Mexico.
April 2015 – Third day of intercultural medicine in Yaqui territory, Loma de Guamuchil, Sonora, community intervention with care for patients and their families, presentation before the Traditional Guard and Pueblo Mayor
July 2015 – Senate of the Republic – First Meeting of Indigenous Peoples
Table on regulation of sacred plants – Nierika AC – Armando Loizaga Pazzi keynote speaker
November 2015, Tarapoto, Peru – Nierika AC co-organizer of the 8th forum. Inter-American Council on Indigenous Spirituality CISEI – Lecture: Peyote and Mental Health
Sacred Plants are not Drugs, publication
November 2015. Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The use of Ayahuasca in traditional medicine and intercultural psychotherapy for the treatment of substance dependence. 4th World Congress of cultural Psychiatry: Natural Disasters, Conflict, Insecurity, Migration and Spirituality. Vallarta Port,.
November 2015 Nierika AC with INAH SEP CONACULTA Ethnographic and ethnobotanical exhibition of peyote and the cultures of a sacred cactus at the Museo Regional Potosino, San Luis Potosi
December 2015 – UASLP Faculty of Medicine Seminar – The therapeutic potential of peyote and other entheogens for the treatment of addictions and other mental health challenges
February 2016 – Mirando, Texas – Nierika accompanies the Wirarika Regional Council to Laredo Texas USA to work meetings with the Native American Church of North America and indigenous organizations from the United States and Canada on the conservation of peyote in the USA and Mexico.
February 2016 – New York, USA, Participation in the United Nations General Assembly UNGASS 2016 as a CSO with the theme: sacred plants collateral victims of the war on drugs. Nierika A.C. recommends the creation of an analysis committee at the international level to protect the biocultural heritage of plants and recognize their therapeutic potential within a human rights framework.
February 2016 Within the framework of the exhibition: The cultures of a sacred cactus Nierika co-organizer together with INAH, COLSAN and the Ministry of Culture. The presentation: Peyote biocultural heritage. Discussion around the legal, therapeutic and ecological aspects aimed at its conservation and regulation.
February 2016 – Nierika manages the visit of the Wirarika Regional Council to Laredo Texas USA to work meetings with the Native American Church of North America and the National Native American Council of Indigenous Churches of the United States and Canada on the conservation of peyote in the USA and Mexico
September 2016 – Nierika A.C. participates as a CSO through the General Directorate of Liaison with Civil Society Organizations of the SRE in the inter-secretariat meetings in the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights for the implementation of the UNGASS recommendations
December 2016. Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: New perspectives for the treatment of addictions with traditional medicine. II Forum of ancestral medicines. Treatment for Addictions and other Mental Health Pathologies Technological University of Pereira, Colombia
February 2017 – Nierika A.C. participates as a CSO in the inter-secretarial meetings for the implementation of the UNGASS recommendations, focusing its approach on access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes
March 2017 – Nierika AC becomes a member of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs – International CSO with headquarters in Vienna
March 2017 – Nierika AC joins the IDPC as a member of the International Drug Policy Consortium
March 3-17, 2017 – participation of Nierika A.C as part of the Mexican delegation through the DGVOSC in the Sixth tenth session of the Commission on Narcotics and Drugs CND at the UN Vienna, Austria EU
April 2017 – Nierika AC co-sponsor of the international congress: Psychedelic Science, MAPS, Oakland, E.U.A. – Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: Evaluating the efficacy of ayahuasca assisted treatment for substance dependency – Presentation Psic. Armando Loizaga Pazzi: Strategic actions for the conservation of peyote in Mexico
July 12, 2017 – LXIII legislature – Chamber of Deputies 4th Conversation: Interculturality: The recognition of intercultural practices in contemporary Mexico
Interdisciplinary dialogues between academics and representatives of indigenous peoples on ancestral knowledge and its legislation
August 28, 2017 – LXIII legislature – Chamber of Deputies 5th Conversation: Sacred Plants and their Regulation in Mexico today Continuation of the discussion on sacred plants and regulatory frameworks that integrate scientific knowledge and human rights
February 23 – 25, 2018, – Nierika AC is Co-sponsor of the Sacred Plants of the Americas Congress – Ajijic, Jalisco
March 13-17, 2018 participation of Nierika AC in the Mexican delegation through the DGVOSC SRE in the Sixth First Session of the Commission on Narcotics and Drugs CND, Vienna, Austria UE
April 2018 – Nierika AC participates in the Sixth Third Regular Session of CICAD
Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission advisory body of the OAS on drugs
April 2018 – Nierika A.C. presents: The rescue of traditional indigenous knowledge about sacred plants and their incorporation into mental health sciences before the high-level work meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in the Undersecretary for Multilateral Human Rights Affairs at the invitation of the General Directorate of Liaison with Civil Society Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
June 2018 – Nierika AC – member of the board of directors at the IPCI – Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative, period 2018 – 2020 – Miranda, Texas USA
August 2018 – Nierika facilitates an intertribal meeting in Wirikuta of indigenous organizations for the conservation of peyote between the Wirarika Regional Council and the Indigenous Initiative for the Conservation of Peyote – IPCI non-profit indigenous organization with a conservation agenda of Peyote Biocultures – Nierika AC board member
October 2018 – Nierika A.C. accompanies the Wixarika delegation and the IPCI to the World Parliament of Religions within the context of the indigenous peyote conservation initiative in Toronto, Canada
October 2018: Participation of Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder as an expert in the panel. Psychedelic Medicine: From Tradition to Science, Broad Institute and Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
November 2018: Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The integration of traditional uses of psychoactive plants into modern therapeutic contexts. International Forum on Full Spectrum Harm Reduction, Senate of the Republic, Mexico City
November 2018 – Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The resurgence of clinical research with psychedelics – – Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM.
May 31 to June 2, 2019, Girona, Spain
Participation of Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder as a speaker at the World Ayahuasca Conference: Ayahuasca in the treatment of mental health
June 2019: Participation of Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder as an expert in the Psychedelic Medicine panel – The Founders Forum, London
October 2019: Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga Velder – The therapeutic potential of Ayahuasca in the treatment of mental health challenges Yale Psychedelic Science Group, New Haven USA
October 2019: Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga Velder – Traditional and modern approaches to psychedelic science. Columbia University, New York USA
November 2019: Keynote lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: Regulation and clinical potential of psychedelics- Sixth University Congress on Psychoactive Substances. UNAM
November 14 to 18, 2019, Mirando Texas – Nierika AC facilitates intertribal meeting between the Wixarika Regional Council and the Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative – IPCI talks on conservation strategies for sacred territories and biocultural heritage
February 2020 – Nierika AC jointly with the European Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies in Sciences and Human Rights – Knowmad issue a position as a CSO before the World Health Organization in the framework of the review of public policies that regulate the accessibility of controlled substances for purposes doctors and scientists recommending that all controlled substances for medical purposes be integrated into the pharmacopoeia and be accessible to patients
July 2020: Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: Towards an Integrated Practice of Bufo: Lessons from Psychedelic Medicine. Bufo Alvarius World Congress. Mexico City
September 2020: Lecture by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The Contribution of Indigenous Plant Medicine Traditions to Modern Psychedelic Medicine. Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
October 2020 – Approval by CONACYT of the project: Dialogue of knowledge around the therapeutic potential of mushrooms containing psilocybin – a transdisciplinary study through neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, history and traditional indigenous knowledge, such as established by agreement F/3578 signed by the frontier science program, FORDECYT-PRONACES /848260/2020.
Signing of an agreement with the BUAP (Autonomous University of Puebla), for the execution of the institutional fund of the National Council of Science and Technology. Nieirka A.C. Institution jointly responsible for the project with RENIECYT registration 1703375.
October 2020: Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum: Presentations by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: Treatment of addictions with psychedelic plants; Participation in the Vision for the Future of Psychedelic Psychotherapy panel and Roundtable on Supervised Integrated Psychedelic Practice – Vancouver, Canada
November 2020: Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: therapeutic uses of mushrooms containing psilocybin- Seventh University Congress on psychoactive substances. National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM:
February 2021- Presidential Commission of the Justice Plan for the Yaqui People – Regional work visit with CONASAMA and traditional authorities of the Yaqui people within the framework of the Justice Plan for the creation of the Intercultural Medicine Clinic in Yaqui territory – Point 3 of the Justice Plan: The National Addictions Commission CONADIC undertakes to manage and provide technical assistance for the creation of a center to treat addictions, depression and anxiety
April 2021: Presentation: The therapeutic potential of mushrooms with psilocybin from a transdisciplinary perspective- International Psilocybin Symposium Instituto Chacruna
July 2021: Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: Dance and Entheogens. Colloquium XVII Neurohumanities National Institute of Psychiatry, CDMX
August 2021: Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The therapeutic potential of hallucinogens in the treatment of addictions, Virtual Congress new paradigms, new challenges in the care of substance use disorders. CDMX
September 2021. Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The therapeutic potential of sacred mushrooms from a transdisciplinary perspective, International Congress: Sacred plants in The Americas II, Chacruna Institute,
October 2021. Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: The status of psychotherapy with hallucinogens. Lecture Series: Psychoactive Substances in Context, UNAM
April 2022: Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder. The therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms and psilocybin for the treatment of mental health challenges. Senate of the Republic, Mexico
May 2022: Keynote Presentation by Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder: Traditional Medicine, Culture, and Psychedelic Science: Healing for Substance Abuse and Addictions. World Summit on Psychedelic Assisted Medicine and Therapies, Toronto, Canada