Spirit Root Medicine People
Indigenous Two Spirit Lifeways is a wellness project based in both Ohlone & Tiwa Territory. We offer community healing circles for Indigenous Two Spirit & QTBIPOC relatives. We welcome all Natives, Pacific Islanders, Mexica, Taino, Yaqui, all relatives from the South, African, Caribbean, Tibetan, & all Indigenous folx from around the globe. Our circles are offered by Two Spirit community toward decolonization, healing and reclamation of our medicine & lifeways.
Above image: The hand of a sacred two spirit connecting with a sacred tobacco plant.
Meet Our Core Team
Kuya'karanuta'ni Gonzalez - Project Director
Kuya'karanuta'ni Gonzalez (formerly RaheNi) is a Two Spirit Afro-Borikua Taino Ceremonialist, Sacred Artist, Culture Bearer & Cultural Organizer. Kuya is deeply committed to the work of healing our collective wounds of colonization, modernization & industrialization. They are passionate about creating sacred space & Altars for the facilitation of ceremonies rooted in indigenous wisdom. They are blessed to have been walking on the Red Road for almost three decades. Kuya is Project Director & core facilitator for Spirit Root Medicine People: Indigenous Two Spirit Lifeways, a wellness project for the Two Spirit/QTBIPOC Community. They are also a core member of the Healing Clinic Collective, a Huichin (Oakland, CA) based grassroots healing justice project which strives to plant seeds for a return to the sacred. One way the HCC does this is by offering free healing clinics rooted in Ancestral traditional medicine ways. Additionally, Kuya teaches workshops focused on healing, medicine making, self care & Ancestral remembrance. They have taught meditation in many settings including prisons and to women with cancer. As a caregiver, they have helped many in their journey to the other side. They have completed a year long Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation Training, a year long intensive in Commit to Dharma and a year long intensive in the North American Nonviolent Communication Leadership Program. Kuya has over 2 years of accumulated silent retreat practice, they have completed 4 traditional vision quests & almost three decades of indigenous ceremonial practice & vipassana practice. They are also a Master Gardener & Indigenous Permaculturist.
Ave Padilla - Project Manager
Ave Padilla (they/them) is a queer nonbinary Chicanx femme living on unceded Tiwa land- so called New Mexico. They were born on Tiwa territory (El Paso, TX) and are a descendant of the regions of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Zacatecas, and Durango. Ave is a circle keeper, land steward, aspiring farmer/burlesque performer/builder who is passionate about breaking intergenerational cycles of violence and the collective healing and liberation of all QT & BIPOC people. Ave is a Licensed Master Social Worker, and has spent the last decade supporting families living with cancer. They are a circle keeper for survivors of childhood sexual abuse through Hidden Water, an organization that takes a restorative justice approach for healing. Ave currently serves on the board of Health Equity Alliance for LGBTQIA+ New Mexicans (HEAL+NM).