Joseph Mays (Chacruna): Conservation and Indigenous Reciprocity


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As the Psychedelic Renaissance blossoms, many healers and business leaders are rightly looking at environmental conservation and reciprocity with Indigenous wisdom keepers. Joseph Mays is Program Director for the Chacruna's new Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative (IRI). On the podcast, he shares some powerful ways for the psychedelic community to cultivate a healthy relationship with Indigenous people in the Americas.

On the show, we discuss the Indigenous worldview as it pertains to psychedelic healing. We learn about Chacruna’s Ayahuasca Community Committee on which Joe sits and consider what well-meaning people might get wrong about reciprocity. Joseph explains the details of the Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative and its successes so far. Finally we discuss what it means to use interest in psychedelics to raise funds for effective altruism.

Joseph Mays is an Ethnobotanist, a researcher and a writer. He is the program director of Chacruna’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative where he conducts research and builds connections with small Indigenous communities throughout the Americas to support Chacruna’s mission of increasing cultural reciprocity in the psychedelic space.

If you’d like to go deeper on this subject, join us for Maya's first collaborative event to raise awareness and funding for IRI on Wednesday, September 22. Donate by registering for the event.



  • :09 - Indigenous understanding invites you to step into a relationship
  • :14 - Chacruna and the Ayahuasca Community Committee
  • :17 - IRI, the Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative
  • :23 - What well-meaning people get wrong about indigenous reciprocity
  • :32 - Successes of the fund after its first quarter
  • :44 - Using interest in psychedelics to raise funds
  • :51 - Joseph speaks to psychedelic practitioners

46 episodes