Healing Seekers began in 2006 when I awakened to the horrific reality that our rainforests were being destroyed at an alarming rate. The once beautiful, pristine Amazonian rainforest was being logged and cleared, and with its destruction was the tremendous loss of many known and unknown species of life. With every lost species there was the distinct possibility of the loss of a medical cure or treatment. Additionally, the villages were quickly becoming more westernized resulting in the loss of knowledge about their healing practices and ways of life. At that point, I realized it was imperative to document through video as much of this pristine environment and its people as I could. The Healing Seekers’ project was not initially intended to be a multi-media project, but rather a means to help researchers utilize the knowledge and wisdom of these priceless cultures, before they faded into unknown history. It was only after discovering the quality and potential impact of our video footage that it became a priority to focus our efforts on producing educational video segments for students and the general public.
Documenting indigenous healers and their methods of healing is especially significant to me as a pharmacist because I know how vital their contributions have been to our world’s arsenal of pharmaceuticals. Additionally, it is imperative to show these ecosystems and their interconnectedness to every human being, especially to those who have ever taken a prescription medication or herbal product. Furthermore, it is important to show how these indigenous cultures and healers have affected the lives of billions of people all over the world. This is yet another reason we as a global community must protect them, their environments, and all forms of life.
After personally witnessing the devastation of the Amazon, I decided that the destinations for the Healing Seekers’ Expeditions would be selected based on the following critical factors:
- The expedition destinations will be areas of highest biodiversity (the regions with the greatest number and most unique species of life) and,
- Will have the status of a ‘hot spot’ (those areas most threatened with serious habitat loss and destruction) and,
- Will be chosen based on the critical threat to intact indigenous cultures.