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Our Story

As psychedelic therapies gain renewed attention in Canadian research, the Naut sa mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research seeks to foster a collaborative environment that integrates Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to advance inclusive psychedelic programming, education, and research.

By engaging with diverse stakeholders nationwide, our goal is to cultivate a shared understanding of the essential components of medicine-assisted therapies that will maximize health and wellness outcomes for all individuals.

In 2018, a grant was received by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to support a collaborative multidisciplinary team to develop an evidence-informed resilience program, which was later named Roots to Thrive.

Between 2019 and 2021, a program of research dedicated to exploring the potential of psychedelic medicine as a complementary approach to first-line mental health treatment in Canada underwent iterative development. The program demonstrated promising results, but due to the absence of public programming focused on this area, additional funding was sought to expand its scope. Subsequently, grants were secured from esteemed organizations such as the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, the Regional Initiatives Fund, as well as philanthropic contributions and support from the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR). These grants provided the necessary resources to expand the program within a quality improvement framework, with a strong emphasis on community engagement, resilience, and reconciliation (with self, with one another, and across cultures). The program adopted a three-pronged approach, encompassing research (knowledge collection, translation, and implementation), equity-informed service delivery, and education, guided by the principles of re-establishing connection to community and the promotion of resilience.

The Naut sa Mawt Centre represents a three prong approach to advance the field of psychedelic medicine in a framework that focusses on a reconciliation-based process, and rapid translation of our collective learning to the frontline of education and service delivery

  • Service Delivery. Actualized through the Roots to Thrive Society for Psychedelic Therapy, and other collaborators in the onboarding process. 
  • Research (knowledge collection, translation, mobilization). The Nawt sa Mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research is informed by the concept of a collaborative 'third space', with an evidence and relationally informed framework guiding next steps.
  • Education (rapid translation of learning to the frontline of psychedelic education). Demonstrated through VIU's PATGC program, and other emerging post-secondary and non profit education programs in Canada.

In 2022, to support the iterative nature of the organization, and a sustainable service delivery pathway, Roots to Thrive became a non-profit society, collaborating with Vancouver Island University as a focus of research, and the primary practicum site for the Psychedelic-assisted Therapy Graduate Certificate (PATGC) program. 

In 2023, the Naut sa Mawt Centre for Psychedelic Research launched to expand the learning system, inviting researchers, and education and program developers to join us in our effort to share our collective learnings for the benefit of all.