Date: Thursday September 14th, 2023 — Monday August 14th, 2023

Time: 6:00 pm

The current “psychedelic renaissance” has seen both renewed interest in the therapeutic potential of traditional plant medicines, and a rise in cultural appropriation and infringements on Indigenous Peoples’ rights in this burgeoning industry.

Potowatomi Woman and Truth and Reconciliation Consultant Kim Haxton will join Sussan Yáñez, Mapuche, Andean, Euroamerican Cultural Facilitator, in a discussion on culturally respectful approaches to Indigenous knowledges and concrete actions that can be taken to curtail harm. Drawing on their ongoing research, they will share insights into walking with plant medicines, and how this can diminish the collateral damages to Indigenous Peoples and communities.

6pm: Screening of Sussan Yáñez’s short documentary the land teaches us our ceremonies not the laboratory
6:30pm: Conversation between Kim Haxton and Sussan Yáñez
7pm: Audience Q&A

Sussan Yáñez is a mother, artist, and cultural facilitator of mixed Mapuche, Andean, German, Spanish, and English ancestries and a grateful guest on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ and xwməθkwəy̓əm territories.

Sussan has received training from Jolene Andrew and Cease Wyss through the Resurfacing History Project into cultural facilitation and is currently the Operations Manager for the Indigenous Matriarchs for Media Lab (, which offers state-of-the-art techniques and technologies to Indigenous artists for XR/AR/VR environments and characters.

Sussan has been working on independent community research with the Wixárika nation on their laws, traditions, and protocols regarding responsibilities associated with holding ceremony and carrying medicines. She was recently selected among the Response: Resonance 2022 Indigenous cohort at The Polygon Gallery where she produced and screened a short documentary called the land teaches us our ceremonies, not the laboratory on the effects of the psychedelic movement as cultural genocides. She currently works as a Cultural Facilitator with the UBC Centre for Migration Studies on a research project called “Belonging on Unceded Territories”, in supporting respectful relations with Indigenous peoples of the lands.

Kim Haxton (Potowatomi) is from the Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario. She has worked across Turtle Island and abroad in various capacities but always with a focus on local leadership.

Her deep understanding of the need for genuine restoration has far-reaching implications as leaders seek vision and all people seek direction to address the mounting pressure of a system incongruous with the values of the natural world. Kim has developed and facilitated programs in land-based education, ceremonies, and leadership for the past 30 years, including as co-founder of Indigeneyez.

She takes her place among thought leaders in the area of decolonization, particularly as it applies to language, art, economics, and gender. She encourages the “lateral liberation” of consciousness by drawing from the embodied knowledge of Indigenous peoples. In multi-day workshops, she moves people through a personal process of questioning what is truth and what is simply constructed – effectively rupturing what we “know.” True expression of respect, harmony, inclusion, and equity can come from this place.

Banner image: Sussan Yanez, the land teaches us our ceremonies not the laboratory, 2022

  • The Polygon Gallery

See what’s up next.