a serene forest with dappled sunlight.

Vancouver IslandUniversity

Naut sa Mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research

Naut sa Mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research

Working together, as one mind and spirit

As psychedelic therapies re-emerge in Canadian research, the Naut sa mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research aims to advance research that aims to co-create a collaborative space, focusing on Indigenous and Western ways of knowing in the development of inclusive psychedelic programming, education, and research. Working with a diversity of stakeholders across Canada, we aim to promote a collective understanding of the necessary elements of medicine-assisted therapies that will optimize health and wellness outcomes for all.  

Coming together in this way is what Snuneymuxw First Nation Elder Geraldine Manson calls Naut sa mawt, working together, as one mind and spirit.  

Under Construction 

An innovative development process is underway centred on the promotion of equitable relationships and co-creation that honor multiple ways of knowing (with a focus on Indigenous and Western ways). The coming together of diverse ways of knowing becomes the catalyst in the creation of a ‘third space’ (Soja, 1996), where aspects cultural knowledge come together for the purpose of co-creating a shared knowledge space.

This document serves as an initial framework that is guiding our way forward (by Jimena Garcia).

Off and Running

Providing innovative treatment within a program of research. The Centre will promote safe and effective access to psychedelic medicine through patient-centred research. Currently, the Centre is already supporting multiple studies, including psilocybin (within a community of practice) to address end of life distress and alzheimers, MDMA for the treatment of fibromyalgia, and Ketamine-assisted therapy (withing a community of practice) fire fighters facing PTSD. 


We are delighted to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders in the ongoing development of this emerging field, including Roots to Thrive, Royal Roads University, Psychedelic Data Society, ChangeMark Research and Evaluation, the First Nation Health Authority, Island Health, Filament Health, Optimi Health, and Bloom Psychedelic Therapy and Research Centre.

A serene forest in the fall.

We aim to pave the way for research-informed programming that promotes reconciliation with ourselves; with one another; with the natural and spiritual world. Our collective intention is to promote decolonization as we move at the pace of trust, prioritizing authentic, honest and equitable relationships between members.

The Naut sa mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research strives to embody a commitment to decolonization, equity and harmony.

Historically, psychoactive medicines have been used by Indigenous cultures since time immemorial, interrupted in the West as a result of a colonization. In North America, after a time of prohibition, they are re-emerging, and are described as psychedelic (translated in Latin as mind manifesting). From a traditional Indigenous vantage point, the nature of these medicines could be more accurately described as Spirit manifesting.  Together, these varying approaches have the potential to reconcile the mind-body space and the heart-spirit space, cultivating the awareness and compassion necessary for reconciliation (of self, of others, of cultural paradigms). 

In the co-creation of a collaborative space, from the Western approach, we will be informed by participatory action and patient-oriented research strategies. From the Indigenous approach, led by Indigenous Knowledge Stewards, we aim to honour Indigenous teachings, such as the Snuneymuxw First Nation’s One Canoe Family Mode and Mi’kmaq Elder Albert Marshall’s guiding principles of Etuaptmunk (Two-Eyed Seeing: “to see from one eye with the strength of Indigenous ways of knowing, and to see from the other eye with the strengths of Western ways of knowing, and to use both eyes together”).

For more information about the Naut sa mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research, please contact NCPR@viu.ca.