Directed by Armando Loizaga
Produced by Nierika AC
Sunday, April 23, 2017 • 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM • California Room
Nierika AC, Multidisciplinary Association for the Preservation of the Indigenous Traditions of Sacred Plants, has been working on for over six years on the Peyote Conservation Project which has the objective of preserving the peyote cactus and its ceremonial uses for spiritual and medical purposes. For the Wixarika (huichol) people the sacred land of Wirikuta is the birth place of the Sun and also of the Older Brother Tamatzkayumari or Hikuri or Peyote and Wirikuta is the University. In the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert, Wirikuta is being threatened by mining projects, toxic dumping grounds and industrial agriculture. Sustainability of peyote is fundamental for the cultural survival of the Wixarika people and also to the indigenous people in the USA and Canada that pray with this plant as part of the NAC. The short-film is an unpolished collage of material from different sources that have collaborated with Nierika that describes the Wirikuta defense movement and invites to a live discussion on the challenging topic of peyote preservation and sustainable management.
Armando Loizaga is the President of Nierika AC, a non-profit NGO based in Mexico. He has dedicated over 20 years to the study of addictions and sacred plants. The Peyote Conservation Project works hand in hand with the Wixarika and lays out a strategy to reconsider peyote as a cultural and spiritual patrimony of indigenous peoples that calls for a sustainable development approach to sacred plants and tending to the natural environments where they grow. His work currently centers on advancing clinical research protocols that employ sacred plants and participating closely in traditional uses and psychedelic drug policy discussions with different levels of Mexican government and international agencies.