forest mushrooms again

Meet the Teaching Community


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Photos by Wesley Taylor

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Elder in Residence

As we reconnect with the pilot light within, we help light the way for others.

Elder Geraldine Manson serves as a mentor for the Psychedelic-assisted Therapy program, and with students and Faculty in Health and Human Services and the Shq’apthut/Gathering Place. 

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Coordinating Chair

I'm honored to support the collective weaving of wisdom and science in the delivery of psychedelic medicine.

Dr. Shannon Dames RN, EdD comes with over 20 years of experience in healthcare and education and now serves as a nursing professor and the R&D Director for the Roots to Thrive.

Pamela Kryskow

Medical Chair

It's a pleasure to join this talented community as we cross this historical threshold in mental healthcare.

Dr. Pamela Kryskow comes with many years of experience as a first responder and researching physician in psychedelic medicine. She serves as a Medical Director for Roots to Thrive.

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Clinical Psychologist and Research Mentor

Dr. Zach Walsh PhD comes with a rich history researching cannabis and psychedelic medicines.  He now serves as a Professor in the UBC Department of Psychology and as a registered clinical psychologist. He is also collaborating in the development of a microcredit Master's Program between VIU, University of Ontario, and UBC.

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Registered Nurse, Ceremony and Practicum Site Mentor

Dr. Gail Peekeekoot RN, DMin brings decades of experience working with Indigenous communities and as a facilitator of ceremony. She now supports ketamine and psilocybin-assisted therapy with RTT-KaT.

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Social Work, Harm Reduction, and Practicum Site Mentor

Cody Callon MSW comes to this community with many years of experience in social work and mental healthcare.  He now provides ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin-assisted therapy research for Numinus Wellness.

Registered Clinical Counsellor (and TiP) Mentor

Todd Haspect comes to this community with Indigenous roots, advocating for equity informed care in his role as a registered clinical counsellor in mental health and substance use. He specializes in psychedelic integration and now serves as the lead RCC for RTT-KaT.

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Psychiatrist and Practicum Site Mentor

Dr. Crosbie Watler MD, Psychiatrist comes with decades of experience on the frontlines and as a thought leader in mental healthcare.  He now serves as the a Director for RTT-KAT and MyCommunity Thrives, incorporating the best of modern medicine with holistic/integrative healthcare.

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Cultural Safety Mentor

Dr. Zhiish McKenzie MD is Anishnabai and a member of the Temagami First Nation.  She serves as a Clinical Instructor & Indigenous Portfolio Co-Director at the Faculty of Medicine at UBC and as an MD in the RTT-KaT program.  She is especially connected to the spiritual healing inherent in psychedelic medicine.


Functional Medicine, Psychiatric Nursing, and Practicum Mentor

Andrea Lemp RPN, MA joins us with many hats, including her role as a nurse, administrator, educator and functional medicine expert.  Andrea concluded her 30 year hospital and community career, shifting from the limits of conventional psychiatry to a holistic approach, addressing the root cause of disease. She now serves as a psychedelic-assisted therapist and the functional medicine lead for Roots to Thrive.


Non-Violent Communication, and Practicum Site Mentor

Wes Taylor comes to the table with decades of experience incorporating nonviolent communication and restorative justice in psychotherapy and psychedelic-assisted therapy frameworks. He currently shares his talents with First Nations Health Authority and Roots to Thrive.


Somatic Energy Modalities and Practicum Site Mentor

Helen Watler joins us as a somatic energy practitioner and instructor with a wealth of experience and advanced certifications in Eden Energy Medicine and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Her work heightens awareness at the level of body-mind, supporting the innate capacity for healing. Helen supports ketamine and psilocybin-assisted therapy for Roots to Thrive.


Physician and Practicum Site Mentor

Dr. Valorie Masuda MD serves as a palliative care physician, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at UBC, as the President of the My Community Journeys Society, and the lead physician overseeing psilocybin-assisted therapy for end-of-life care. 


Legal Mentor

Jennifer Tobe MA, LLB joins this community as a lawyer with a focus on federal jurisdiction administrative law, specifically the regulatory and policy side of cannabis and drug law.  She focusses on legal pathways to advance psychedelics in Canada. She is also collaborating in the development of a microcredit Master's Program between VIU, University of Ottawa, and UBC.

Registered Nurse Mentor

Kate Browning has over 20 years of experience in nursing and midwifery, integrative energy healing, psychotherapy, and psychedelic medicine. She currently serves psychedelic-assisted therapist with Numinus wellness.


University of Ottawa, Spiritual Health Mentor

Dr. Anne Vallely PhD serves as an Associate Professor in Anthropology of Religion through the University of Ottawa.  Her research explores psychedelic / entheogenic facilitated mystical-type experiences and discern their similarities to (and differences from) naturally occurring mystical states.  She is also collaborating in the development of a microcredit Master's Program between VIU, University of Ontario, and UBC.

University of Ottawa, Clinical Psychologist and Practicum Site Mentor

Dr. Monnica Williams is a clinical psychologist, Associate Professor, and Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities at the University of Ottawa. She serves as the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut. She is also collaborating in the development of a microcredit Master's Program between VIU, University of Ontario, and UBC.

Spiritual Health Mentor

Marnie Roper comes to the team with an extensive history as a change agent in spiritual, cultural, and mental health. She now works as a Spiritual Health Practitioner with the local health authority and serves as a Roots to Thrive and Ketamine-assisted Therapy facilitator.



Registered Nurse Mentor

Joanne Hall's BIO is coming soon.


Registered Clinical Counsellor Mentor

Tamara (Tamar) Pearl's BIO is coming soon.