NDN Colletive

Defend.​Develop.​Decolonize.

NDN Collective is a national organization dedicated to building Indigenous power

Defend

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Our people, communities, and nations

Negative resource extraction pollutes our water, destroys our land, contributes to climate change, and violates the rights of our people. Organizing our communities, making our voices heard, and utilizing a wide variety of tactics is imperative in shifting the political and financial systems that impact all aspects of life.

Develop

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Regenerative and sustainable Indigenous communities

We need to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We are doing this through regenerative community development, renewable energy investments and social enterprise development.

Decolonize

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Our minds, communities, and sovereign nations

The decolonization of our communities and people is directly related to our ability to prosper. Through the revitalization of our Indigenous ceremonies, culture, languages and life ways we will continue to strengthen our identity and break free from the oppressive systems that disconnect us from achieving the healing, growth and connection to spirit that is integral for us as Indigenous people.

5 Divisions to benefit Indigenous-led organizations, communities, people, tribes, and movements:

Foundation

Works to increase philanthropic investment.

Fund

Provides access to capital investments and loans.

Partners

Increases capacity and skills to build resilient communities.

Action

Advances the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the environment through organizing, advocating, and building Indigenous-led movements and campaigns.

Action Network

Lobbies for policy change to advance the rights of Indigenous Peoples and improve the environment.

We are unapologetically, unabashedly, NDN. United like never before, we rise together—arm in arm—to equip all Indigenous Peoples with the tools needed to become architects of their future. Through a holistic approach to infrastructure, funding, advocacy, consulting, and philanthropy we are fostering a world of justice and equity for all people and the planet.

About Us

Leadership

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Nick Tilsen

President & CEO

Oglala Lakota

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Kim Pate

Managing Director, NDN Fund

Cherokee and Choctaw

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Alberta Eagle

Executive Support Manager

Oglala Lakota

Board Members

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Crystal Echo Hawk

Pawnee of Oklahoma

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Dave Archambault II

Oglala Lakota

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Judith LeBlanc

Caddo

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Edgar Villanueva

Lumbee

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Princess Daazhraii Johnson

Neets'aii Gwich'in

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Kahoʻokahi Kanuha

Hawaiian

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Melina Laboucan-Massimo

Lubicon Cree First

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Wahleah Johns

Navajo

For more information please contact us at info@ndncollective.org

Nick Tilsen - President & CEO

Nick Tilsen

President & CEO

Oglala Lakota

Nick Tilsen is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota. He has over 15 years of experience working with non-profits and tribal nations on numerous projects dedicated to creating social change. Before launching NDN Collective Tilsen was the founding executive director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Since 2013, he has served as a local point of contact for President Obama’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, working to make targeted investments into America’s poorest communities. This community-based work has led Tilsen to become a national leader in the Equity Movement. In 2014, he was selected as an ASHOKA Fellow, joining a global network of the world's leading social innovators. And in 2016, Tilsen was selected as Rockefeller Foundation Fellow Global Social Innovation. He works tirelessly to bridge governmental and philanthropic partnerships in order to maximize community impact by getting resources and support to those leading positive social change in Native American communities. Tilsen sits on the boards of the Indigenous Peoples Power Project, the Water Protector Legal Collective, and helped with on the ground organizing in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock. He firmly believes that we need to both defend Indigenous nations from destructive resource extraction while simultaneously building the sustainable communities of tomorrow.

Kim Pate - Managing Director, NDN Fund

Kim Pate

Managing Director, NDN Fund

Cherokee and Choctaw

Kim Pate has specialized in representing the interests of low-income women, families, Native Americans and disadvantaged communities for twenty years. Prior to joining the NDN Collective, she helped develop and launch the Native CDFI Network, a trade association of Native CDFIs that promotes policies that support access to capital in Native communities. Before her position at NCN, Pate developed a successful consulting practice that provided economic development services to Native American communities. Earlier in her career, she was Chief External Relations Officer for the Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) in Washington, DC. During her fifteen years at Prosperity Now, Pate created and managed a national Community Development Financial Institution, the National Fund for Enterprise Development, led enterprise development and microenterprise programs and policy, and managed strategic events, partnerships and communications. She holds a Law Degree from University of California at Los Angeles School of Law and is admitted to practice in Nez Perce Tribal Court and California. She received a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University.

Alberta Eagle, Oglala Lakota  - Executive Support Manager

Alberta Eagle

Executive Support Manager

Oglala Lakota

Alberta Eagle is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota. She was born and raised in Pine Ridge, SD and now currently resides in Rapid City, SD with her family. Eagle attended New Mexico State University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration with minors in Management and Marketing. She has worked in various finance and administrative support positions within non-profit organizations for over 13 years and embraces pride, accountability and responsibility in the work she provides.

Crystal Echo Hawk, Pawnee of Oklahoma - Pawnee Nation

Crystal Echo Hawk

Pawnee of Oklahoma

Crystal Echo Hawk is an enrolled member of the Pawnee of Oklahoma and President and CEO of Echo Hawk Consulting. Echo Hawk Consulting advises tribal and philanthropic clients on grant making, program development, communications, strategic partnerships and policy change strategies. Areas of expertise include: Charitable giving in Indian Country, food sovereignty, nutrition, health, early childhood development, revitalization of Native languages, issues related to the protection of tribal sovereignty and Native youth. Currently, Echo Hawk Consulting is co-leading an unprecedented national initiative, Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions. Prior to leading Echo Hawk Consulting, Echo Hawk served as the Executive Director for the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation from 2009-2014. She received both her Master’s Degree in Social and Political Thought and Bachelor’s Degree in European History from the University of Sussex at Falmer, England

Dave Archambault II, Oglala Lakota  - Hunkpapa/Oglala Lakota

Dave Archambault II

Oglala Lakota

Dave Archambault II in an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota. He is the Chief Consulting Officer for First Health Care, empowering Tribal Nations through health care. Archambault was the 45th Chairman for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Prior to Chairman, he was employed at United Tribes Technical College as the director of a US Department of Labor workforce grant (TCC DeMaND Workforce), a project that focuses on developing the workforce in Indian Country. Archambault earned his Associates of Science in Marketing, Associates of Arts in Business Administration at Sitting Bull College, a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration at North Dakota State University, a Master’s Degree in Management at University of Mary, and was honored with a Honoris Causa Doctorate of Law Degree from Vermont Law School. Recently, he emerged as a global leader for Indigenous Peoples’ rights as he led his Nation’s opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Judith LeBlanc, Caddo - Caddo

Judith LeBlanc

Caddo

Judith LeBlanc is an enrolled member of the Caddo of Oklahoma. The Native Organizers Alliance is a national Native training and organizing network which provides Native organizers, tribal governments and non-profits trainings based on traditional Indigenous knowledge values and practices. LeBlanc co-chaired the May 2016 Fertile Ground Planning Committee and co-edited the Fertile Ground II: Growing the Seeds of Native American Health Final Report. The convening gathered 200 Native community, tribal leaders, public health experts and members of the philanthropic community to share case studies and strategies for healthier Native communities, highlighting the urgent need for philanthropy to invest in Indian Country. LeBlanc is currently working with tribal governments, traditional elders and Native community groups in South Dakota who are organizing to protect the hydroscape.

Princess Daazhraii Johnson, Neets'aii Gwich'in

Princess Daazhraii Johnson

Neets'aii Gwich'in

Princess Daazhraii Johnson is Neets'aii Gwich'in and her family is from Arctic Village, Alaska. Johnson is the former Executive Director for the Gwich'in Steering Committee and is a founding member of the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition. She also has experience working on climate adaptation for tribes through her on-going work with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. Johnson received a B.A. in International Relations from The George Washington University and a Masters in Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage with a focus on Environmental and Science
Education. She has been a member of the SAG-AFTRA Native American Committee since 2007 and also serves on the Board of Dancing with the Spirit, a program that promotes spiritual wellness through music. In 2015 Johnson was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is based in Alaska and is currently creative producing an animated series for the WGBH that will premiere on PBS in 2019.

Edgar Villanueva, Lumbee

Edgar Villanueva

Lumbee

Edgar Villanueva in an enrolled member of the Lumbee. He is the Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation where he leads grant making and advocacy supports for education justice. Villanueva is a nationally-recognized expert on social justice philanthropy, previously holding leadership roles at Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and at the Marguerite Casey Foundation. He currently serves on the chair of the board of directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and is a trustee of Andrus Family Fund. Villanueva is also an instructor with The Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and is the author of Decolonizing Wealth, a new book that offers alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the social finance sector.

Kahoʻokahi Kanuha, Hawaiian

Kahoʻokahi Kanuha

Hawaiian

Kahoʻokahi Kanuha is a Hawaiian from Hōlualoa, Kona Kai ʻŌpua, Hawaiʻi, where his family has resided for generations. He is fluent in Hawaiian language and is an educator at ʻAha Pūnana Leo, a Hawaiian Medium Family Based Education Preschool system in the Hawaiian Islands. Kanuha received his B.A. from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in 2013 and is currently enrolled at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo completing his M.A. he emerged as a leader in the struggle to protect Maunakea in 2015. Kanuha organizes events and educational presentations in his community and is active in the struggle for Hawaiian sovereignty and independence as well as the struggle for the revitalization and normalization of Hawaiian language. He is a co- founding member of the Hawaiʻi based organization HULI (Hawaiʻi Unity and Liberation Institute) which aims to provide NVDA (non- violent direct action) training in Hawaiʻi.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Cree First

Melina Laboucan-Massimo

Lubicon Cree First

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is a member of the Lubicon Cree First from Northern Alberta, Canada. She has worked on social, environmental and climate justice issues for the past 15 years. Currently a Fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation, Laboucan-Massimo’s research is focused on Climate Change, Indigenous Knowledge and Renewable Energy. For over a decade, she worked as a Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada and the Indigenous Environmental Network internationally. Laboucan-Massimo has written for a variety of publications and produced short documentaries on the tar sands, climate change, water issues and Indigenous cultural revitalization. She has also worked on the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada after the suspicious death of her sister Bella whose case still remains unsolved. Laboucan-Massimo holds a Masters degree in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria with a focus on Renewable Energy in First communities. Her most recent project is hosting a TV series called Power to the People, which documents renewable energy, food security and eco-housing in Indigenous communities across North America. Laboucan-Massimo currently serves on the Board of 350.org as well as the steering committees of Indigenous Climate Action, Energy Futures Lab, and Seeding Sovereignty.

Wahleah Johns, Navajo

Wahleah Johns

Navajo

Wahleah Johns is a tribal member of the Navajo from Tonizhoni, Arizona. She currently resides in Oakland, CA with her two daughters and husband. She co-founded Native Renewables, an organization working to provide solar energy for tribal communities. Johns has over 15 years of community organizing for water protection, economic and environmental justice. She serves as the Chair of the Navajo Green Economy Commission.