Es un nombre de la lengua nokevana que significa dos cosas. Es la fuerza y la luz de un rayo y también es el nombre de una rono ( serpiente) paje (curandera)
A Nokevana name, referring to a healing spirit, and also to lighting. It is the strongest expression of nature.
The representation of the Warrior, embodying an attitude of courage, love and compassion.
We came into contact with Noke Koi 15 years ago. It instantly became clear that they were in dire need of support. The situation was very difficult and only worsening for the 163 families divided into 16 villages that comprise the Noke Koi Nation. Action needed to be taken immediately.
At first, earning their trust and communication were top priorities. They had already been lied to by outsiders many times over, and politicians had made their way to the villages with empty promises as well.
We began forging relationships and bringing basic support. Our family and friends helped us to provide them with food, clothes, and even cash. But the tribe’s reality was so desperate, we saw the clear need for more powerful and meaningful support. Kana Samurai Foundation was established in 2015 for this purpose.
Since then, the foundation has built three community centers and shelter for dozens of women and children. We have provided access to fresh, clean, running water to everybody in one village. We’ve built a community kitchen and a restroom, and provided food, clothing, livestock, electricity, and a boat for transportation. We also made several professional services — doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, electricians, plumbers, builders and more — available to them.
With your help, we have impacted hundreds of lives.
Jaime Sebastian Mejias
Professor Jaime Sebastian Mejias (or “Mito” as his friends and family call him), is the original founder of the Kana Samurai Foundation. Mito is a Martial Arts professional holding a 5th Degree in Taekwondo, a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Black Sash in Wing Chun Kung Fu. He owns Samurai Inti Martial Arts in Frisco, Texas, where he has been an instructor for over 20 years. Mito teaches and leads hundreds of students through his teaching of “The Way of the Heart” at his academy, where people of all ages and backgrounds can come to learn about self defense and betterment through the practice of Martial Arts. He is a TedX speaker and sought-after mentor. His passion for the Kana Samurai Foundation was born when he realized the purpose of being strong and courageous was to help people in need, which develops compassion, the highest attribute of the heart. Ever since then, he has been on the front line of serving the families of the Nokekoi people.
Born and raised in Santiago, Chile, Carli Henriquez obtained her MSN, BSN, and RN credentials from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is currently an Associate Manager of Nursing and Qualified Bilingual Clinical Staff at Parkland Health. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN, BSN, RN in USA and Chile), and she is a business owner (Pro-case Management in Chile). She is a dedicated professional with over 14 years of experience, committed to providing high-quality and compassionate care to diverse populations. Her nursing background includes adult and pediatric clients in areas of Oncology, Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Neurology, among others. Carli is an experienced seminar speaker, grant researcher and published journal author. She defines herself as a happy person, and a passionate yogi. She loves music, traveling and nature. She has been part of Kana Samurai Foundation since the beginning, as part of the Board and acting as secretary.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Federico Gallera obtained his BA in Psychology from University of North Texas, three months prior pursuing his career as an educator. He is a certified K-4 bilingual teacher with over 15 years of experience as a bilingual educator and language coach both in Argentina and in the United States. From 2003-2008 he was an elementary second grade teacher for Dallas Independent School District, helping newcomers to adapt to the country, language and culture of the US. He loves music, theater, languages, sightseeing and nature. He was a member and founder of the “To Surf or Not to Surf” acting company, where he performed for five years in different theaters in Buenos Aires. Currently, he is becoming fluent in Portuguese and Italian. As of 2023, he serves as Kana Samurai Foundation’s Secretary.
Nils Palsson began serving as Kana Samurai Foundation’s Treasurer in 2023. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and English and a certificate in Non-Governmental Organizations from New York University, a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and a Teaching Certificate from Dominican University of California’s School of Education and Counseling Psychology. After spending several years as a grassroots community organizer and radio host in Northern California’s rural Lake County, Nils was displaced from his home by record-breaking wildfires in 2015. He served as Communications Director for Transition US, a national nonprofit that supports sustainability and re-localization efforts across the country, and he has run for United States House of Representatives twice, on a platform of social, racial, environmental and economic justice for all. Nils has spent the last few years teaching high school, writing, and most recently surviving cancer. He lives in Sonoma County, CA, he loves exploring nature and climbing trees, and his best friend is his ten-year-old daughter, Satya Rose.
Board Members at Large
Alfonso “Choncho” Silva
Board Member at Large
Since his childhood, music has always been a priority for Alfonso Silva (known as “Choncho” to his friends). At Liceo de Música in Copiapó, Atacama, Chile, Choncho received the first tools to become forever linked to the world of the arts. During his university studies as a sound technician in Santiago, Chile, he unexpectedly discovered the world of sound therapy through his encounter with the didgeridoo, the world’s oldest wind instrument. He has specialized in event production, sound engineering, and sound therapy. In 2012, he embarked on a series of trips that exposed him to diverse cultural exchanges, prioritizing his love for Native American peoples. He has been an active contributor to the artistic and cultural sectors in Copiapó, particularly in the areas of early education, artistic training, and audience development. In 2016, he joined the Proyecto Ser Humano Foundation as a sound engineer for the Culturarte program. From 2017 to 2022, he held the positions of Manager of Cultural Production and Manager of the Culturarte Program. In April 2020, he was selected to participate in the Regional Scenic Design Training program offered by the Teatro Puerto alliance and the National Association of Scenic Designers, graduating in January 2021 from the online-face-to-face training. He continued to expand his knowledge in the field, completing the Diploma in Scenic Design course at Universidad de Chile from April 2021 to February 2022 and the second year of the Regional Scenic Design Training program between August 2021 and February 2022.
Eric D. Gordon, MD.
Board Member at Large
Eric Gordon is the Founder and Medical Director of Gordon Medical Associates, and an expert in chronic illness, medical research and consulting. In addition to over 40 years of clinical practice, Dr. Gordon is engaged in clinical research. In 2007-2009, he created a series of medical symposia, bringing together leading international medical researchers and cutting-edge clinicians focusing on ME/CFS, Lyme disease, autoimmune diseases and autism. He has worked with Dr. Robert Naviaux,who has done ground breaking research into metabolomics, mitochondrial function, and chronic inflammatory disease. In 2016 Dr. Gordon was co-author with Dr. Naviaux on a groundbreaking study, “Metabolic Features of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). His deep respect for the individuality of patients is the heart of his practice. The point is to carefully listen to each patient and correlate their subjective experience with pertinent objective laboratory tests, to determine unique treatment guidelines that allow the innate wisdom of the body to overcome illness and restore good health.
Nafysa Parpia, ND
Board Member at Large
Dr. Parpia has spent the last decade treating patients with complex chronic illness from all over the US and the world. She is a sought-out speaker at medical conferences and summits and she sees patients from all over the country at Gordon Medical in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is on the Board of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, and is a Scientific and Medical Advisor for Neurohacker Collective. She received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University and her Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia. Her specialization is patients with tick-borne illness, environmentally acquired illness, mold/mycotoxin illness, autoimmunity, fibromyalgia and ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Investigating to discover and remove the underlying cause(s) while providing symptom relief, she uses cutting-edge laboratory tests, and deep intuition applied to the full range of scientific data to unravel the mystery of each patient’s illness. Dr. Parpia then creates treatment plans that are highly personalized and healing. Modalities she uses include a synergistic blend of regenerative medicine, oral and intravenous micronutrient therapies, peptide therapies, botanical medicine, pharmaceuticals, injection therapies, functional nutrition, and lifestyle counseling.
Board Member at Large
Michael is a social impact entrepreneur and community leader. Early in his career he founded a progressive high school and then a school for indigenous Hawaiians. He has served as the chief executive or in senior leadership positions at leading-edge educational institutions and social impact organizations in California and Hawaii. After a successful tenure as an independent school leader, Michael determined to bring his leadership to equity and social impact programs for our most disadvantaged populations. He served as the Executive Director of a community development program partnering with California State early childhood schools in marginalized socio-economic zones throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. After successfully navigating a merger with WestEd, Michael served as the founding Managing Director of Advancement and Strategy for Meristem and Rudolf Steiner College. Meristem, a social enterprise workforce development program for adults with developmental and behavioral disabilities, was scaled from seven existing specialized colleges throughout the United Kingdom. Rudolf Steiner college functions as a long-standing teacher training college, biodynamic agricultural training program, and center for personal growth and spiritual development.
Michael founded a private consulting practice focused on Quality Management Systems (QMS) development and certification to the International Organization for Standards (ISO). He served as the Director of Economic Development Services for Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. Michael is the founder and visionary of the Santa Clara County Covid-19 Bridge to Recovery Program, convening regional economic and workforce development stakeholders to respond to the economic devastation of Covid-19 on our most vulnerable populations. Michael serves as a corporate mentor for the Santa Clara University Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. He currently leads strategy and innovation for Goodwill of Silicon Valley.
His areas of expertise include progressive education, state early childhood programs, community partnerships, government relations, strategy and design, workforce and economic development, community development, systems leadership, business development, stakeholder engagement, management and operations, fund development & Advancement, evaluation & impact, quality management systems, governance & board relations, organizational development, and equity.
Powa Katukina – Edilson Rosa da Silva
Cacique General (General Chief) of the Nokekoi Nation
Powa Katukina was born and raised in the Amazonian rainforest. Coming from a long lineage of leaders and medicine people, he has experienced firsthand the advancement of the modern world into his homeland, including deforestation and climate change. He has devoted his life to the preservation of la floresta, the rainforest and its ecosystem. Poa and his people have been the guardians of the rainforest since the beginning of time.
Powa was chosen by his people to become the Cacique General (General Chief) of the Nokekoi Nation in 2020. His top priorities to help his people are advancing food security and sustainability, expanding educational opportunities, promoting healthcare for all (especially children, expecting mothers and the elderly), expanding access to clothing and infrastructure, and preservation of the sacred Nokekoi culture and its original roots – all of which are essential aspects of the Kana Samurai Foundation’s purpose. For this reason, Poa joined KSF’s Board of Directors in 2023, deepening our bonds of mutual respect and kinship as we work together on common projects to benefit the rainforest and those who protect it.
Chief Powa often reflects on the state of the world, how governments don’t help protect the sacred jungle and how corporations make things worse by failing to respect nature, the water, the animals and the people. He is the true definition of a leader in the front line protecting the rainforest and every living being in it.