NEW YORK -- Desmond Madera is a member of the Blackfeet and Colville tribes, and he is in love.
His girlfriend, Beedoskah Stonefish, is a member of the Lenape Nation, the original inhabitants of Manhattan. The two met at a gathering, where Desmond saw Beedoskah dancing across the room.
"I was definitely pretty nervous, just because she's, like, really pretty. And, like, I thought I was pretty goofy and goofy-looking. So I was just really nervous." Says Desmond of the first time he met Beedoskah. "Just to see her smile just makes me feel happy."
Beedoskah feels similarly. "Yeah, I feel like he's singing for me, so I dance for him."
While the two exemplify how important gatherings like this gathering are to connecting members of Indigenous tribes across North America, the gathering was also was significant because of where it was being held: On the Island of Manhattan, which was the Lenape Tribe's ancestral homeland until they were forced to leave 300 years ago.