Building, supporting, and cultivating opportunities for Indigenous peoples and communities of color through cultural arts and activism.
 

Our Roots:

Driven By Community

Indigenous Roots began its work in 2007 from a dance and drum community circle known as Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli.  This community circle continues to share traditional Mexica Nahua dance, drum and song. Through the years, Indigenous Roots has evolved to meet the growing need to reconnect with ancestral knowledge systems. Additional classes such as song, instrument, language, and philosophy were created to meet the requests of community members.

 
 
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Sergio Cenoch & Mary Anne Quiroz 

Co-Founders | Co-Directors

Together with their four children, Sergio Cenoch and Mary Anne Quiroz, have been practicing and promoting traditional Mexica Nahua culture for over two decades.

Sergio Cenoch Quiroz was born in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1989. Rooted in his cultural identity, Sergio Cenoch began organizing cultural events in high school, highlighting Mexican indigenous festivities such as Dia de los Muertos. His passion for arts and culture merged with dance at Johnson High School, where Sergio Cenoch co-organized a Mexican folkloric and Mexica Aztec dance group. Today, Sergio Cenoch teaches and shares the ancestral knowledge, traditions and ceremonies that has been taught to him by his elders and teachers. 

 Mary Anne Quiroz was born in Manila, Philippines and is passionate about arts and culture. At the age of six, Mary Anne expressed her interest for dance in ballet and Polynesian dance in various dance schools in the Philippines. Her grandmother, Lola Esther, taught her traditional Filipino dances. After immigrating to the United States in 1989, Mary Anne became involved in community  work as a youth organizer and found her passion for arts advocacy and community engagement.

Like their teachers and elders, Sergio Cenoch and Mary Anne Quiroz value the concept of duality and uphold the four virtues of a Mazehual with their family and community: Respect, Honesty, Gratitude and Service.

 

 

Our Board of Directors

Lolita GranadoS - Chair

Lolita Granados is a Clinical Support Associate for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. Granados has extensive professional experience in community relations, cultural advocacy and community organizing. Granados has a Masters Degree in Rhetoric/Scientific and Technical Communication from the  University of Minnesota and has received several awards and recognitions for her outstanding community work: 2006 Partners in Human Rights Education, former member; 2004 Scientific and Technical Communications Association, former member, Associate of Internet Researchers, former member; 2003 MN Immigrant and Refugee Consortium, former member; 2002 City of Minneapolis Affirmative Action Roundtable, former member.

 

Hue Schlieu - Treasurer

Hue Schlieu advocates for racial and gender equity in her current role with Saint Paul Public Schools. She recently graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Master's Degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. In addition to serving as Treasurer on Indigenous Roots' Board of Directors, she also serves as a Board Director for Urban Boatbuilders.

 

Jennifer Almanza - Secretary

Jennifer Almanza has been partnering with moms and babies for over 20 years. At age 19, she began to attend births as a culture-centric doula working mainly with teens from the Latinx and African diaspora and the sovereign Native nations. After working both independently and for the Turtle Women Doula Project, Jennifer attended nursing school, graduating in 2005. Since earning her RN she has worked as a labor and delivery nurse and a level II NICU nurse at Regions Hospital and as a high risk pregnancy case manager with HealthPartners. In 2015 Jennifer was awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a community-based midwife and is currently in her final year at the University of Minnesota. Deeply interested in how thoughtful policy can impact disparate US maternal outcomes, she is involved with a powerhouse research team at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and Health Policy Management that seeks to understand and mitigate racial disparities in women’s obstetric health in Minnesota and the nation. Living on the west side of St. Paul for the past 20 years, Jennifer hopes to continue to serve her community as a midwife for years to come!

 

Maria Ligeralde 

Maria Ligeralde is a long-time educator and scholar. Maria received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education (University of Minnesota) and Master's Degree in Special Education (Arizona State University). With over 14 years of experience in in diverse urban and rural K-12 Education, Maria is passionate in advocating and providing educational equity for all young scholars. Maria currently works as a Special Education Teacher at El Centro School District.