Medicinal Plants, White Flowers

Protect Medicinal Plants

RICHELLE THOMAS

RICHELLE THOMAS

Innovator

Doctoral Student, the University of Arizona and Leader of Protect Medicinal Plants

Richelle Thomas, doctoral student at the University of Arizona and leader of Protect Medicinal Plants (United States), is studying the impacts of legacy mining on the Navajo Nation and through greenhouse studies. She will study how heavy metals from contaminated soils potentially impact indigenous medicinal plants that are utilized by indigenous peoples. Her research will be instrumental in developing safety usage guidelines and risk assessments that can be used by traditional practitioners in indigenous communities around the world to ensure public safety.

NATHALIE KELLEY + BLU HUNT

NATHALIE KELLEY + BLU HUNT

Advocate

Actresses, Advocates

Nathalie Kelley is an actress of Indigenous Peruvian descent, most recently starring in Dynasty and The Baker and the Beauty. With a background in Social Science and Policy, Nathalie is passionate about using her gifts as a storyteller to tell stories that educate and inspire. She is a recent graduate of Kiss The Ground’s soil advocacy program, and on the board of the Fungí Foundation. She is passionate about using her IG platform of 1.5 million followers as a means of giving a voice to the voiceless: namely the soil, the water, the fungí, the forest and to dedicate her life to preserving bio and Myco-diversity on the planet.

Blu Hunt is an American actress best known for her roles as Inadu/The Hollow in The CW supernatural drama series The Originals and as August Catawnee in the Netflix science fiction drama series Another Life. Blu made her film debut as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage in the superhero film The New Mutants, which is part of the X-Men film series. Blu is Native American -- her great-grandfather was Apache and her grandmother lived on the Oglala Lakota Pine

GOALS

ADDRESS THE POTENTIAL HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATION FROM LEGACY MINING IN MEDICINAL PLANTS UTILIZED BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
1

Goal 1: RESEARCH HEAVY METALS IN SAMPLES

Utilize advanced analytical chemistry (ex: ICP-MS, X-ray fluorescence) and biological techniques (plant root border cell detoxification activity) to quantify and visualize uranium and arsenic in samples.
2

Goal 2: SAFETY USAGE GUIDELINES + RISK ASSESSMENT

Develop risk assessments and safety guidelines for traditional practitioners to ensure public safety. Once this model is established it has the potential to be utilized by Indigenous communities domestically and internationally.
3

Goal 3: COMMUNITY MEDICINAL PLANT GARDEN

Develop a community garden composed of medicinal plants for traditional practitioners and community members to utilize to ensure safety of medicinal plant usage should there be a potential risk of harvesting these plants from contaminated soil.

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Alone, change can seem impossible. But when we join together, we are unstoppable.