Fordham’s annual Native American Festival returned to Rose Hill with in-person performances on Saturday, Nov. 20.

The festival, which was first held in 2017, took place at the McGinley Center Ballroom. It featured dancing, singing, and storytelling from the group the Thunderbirds, whose members represent several different indigenous tribes around the world. The musician Heno Josephine also performed.

Chanelle Dortch, a junior at Fordham College at Lincoln Center who helped organize the event, said that her knowledge of Native America communities had expanded dramatically in her time at Fordham, thanks to her involvement with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which sponsored the event.

“I was just really happy to be here in person, and to actually see it live, because that’s not something I’ve experienced before,” she said.

“There is so much that is either forgotten or glazed over, especially in such rich communities like the native and indigenous communities across the world. It’s important to go back and say, ‘This is important work; these are things that need to be known, and we need to celebrate all these communities that have suffered harm.”


Patrick Verel is a news producer for Fordham Now. He can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 636-7790.