Announcing the 2021 Cohort of NDN Changemaker Fellows

April 21, 2021

Announcing the 2021 Cohort of NDN Changemaker Fellows

The 2021 NDN Changemakers are organizers, activists, social entrepreneurs and cultural practitioners who are challenging the status quo and building a better future for all people and Mother Earth.

NDN COLLECTIVE IS HONORED TO ANNOUNCE THE SECOND COHORT OF NDN CHANGEMAKER FELLOWS

These 21 NDN Changemakers are Indigenous leaders from throughout Turtle Island and beyond who are radically transforming Indigenous communities by defending Indigenous lands and rights, developing sustainable solutions for the future, and decolonizing their day-to-day lives, their families, communities and Nations. They are organizers, activists, social entrepreneurs and cultural practitioners who are challenging the status quo and building a better future for all people and Mother Earth. 

“It’s a true blessing to support such a committed group of Changemakers. They epitomize the fortitude and persistence of our people– those who are dedicated to building their communities, changing their communities, and loving their communities. We all thrive because of people like them. They are the leaders, the organizers, the teachers and healers we need for the future generations,” said Gaby Strong, Managing Director of the NDN Foundation. 

The 2021 Cohort of NDN Changemaker Fellows

“We know that within our people lies the power and potential to transform our communities, build beautiful and regenerative Nations, and to educate and heal one another,” said Dr. PennElys Droz, Program Officer. “The NDN Changemakers are true embodiments of the determination, strength, and personal commitment it takes to do this difficult work.”

“By supporting Indigenous changemakers, we are supporting their projects, families, and communities,” said Nicole Yanes, Program Officer of the NDN Foundation. “Our people have the solutions to address the challenges that our communities face.”

The NDN Changemakers featured here were advanced in recognition of their service, powerful leadership, and remarkable potential, and we are deeply honored to now be a part of their stories. Each fellow was uplifted and selected by grassroots members of their region in a process which involved more than 400 applicants from 21 different regions across Turtle Island and surrounding Island nations.  All of the changemakers who have participated in the fellowship application process have given us so much hope and inspiration for the future.

Now, we’re introducing the 2021 NDN Changemakers to you:

Marjorie Kunaq-Tahbone, Iñupiaq and Kiowa
Nicole Sue Francis, Mi’kmaq
Tsanavi Spoonhunter, Northern Paiute and Northern Arapaho
Dr. Priscilla Settee, Swampy Cree First Nation
Mariana Harvey
, Yakama Nation
Konwanahktotha Alvera Sargent
, Mohawk Nation
n̓aasʔałuk (John Rampanen), ʕaḥuusʔatḥ (Ahousaht) and qiłcmaʔatḥ (Keltsmaht)
Sakej Doucette
, Mi’kmaw
Halay Turning Heart
, Yuchi
Elena Terry
, Hocak

Dustin J. Whitford, Chippewa-Cree
Olepika
, Inuit
Andre Perez
, Kanaka Maoli
Amy R. Juan
, Tohono O’odham
Amie Charlie
,  Gwitch’in and Kaska First Nations
Roberto Múkaro Borrero
, Guainía Taíno
Heber Uc
,Mayan Peninsular
Edith Ñuu
, Savi
Citlaly Simón Morales
, Ñähñü
Isabel Cristina Murrieta López
, Opata
Donna Ashamock
, Eeyou/Inninew (Cree)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2021 CLASS OF NDN CHANGEMAKER FELLOWS

Movements for social and environmental justice are made up of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and amidst some of the most challenging circumstances. The NDN Collective is honored to join and support this group of NDN Changemakers on their journey.  With the NDN Changemakers Fellowship, we are investing into Indigenous self-determination and supporting Indigenous-led solutions on a local level.

Stay tuned for more content from NDN Collective where we introduce the fellows in greater detail and share more about the work they’ll be doing in the coming year. 

About NDN Collective

NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.

January 2023 Edition

Stay Informed. Take Action.

Subscribe to the NDN allies newsletter

Sign up to get our newsletter. Delivered once per month.

We care about the protection of your data and would never sell your email or share it with anyone without your permission.

Doubling Down for LANDBACK: Q & A with Nick Tilsen After 2.5 Year Legal Battle Comes to an End Posted 1 month ago
In this Q & A interview, Nick shares some of his reflections and big picture takeaways from the past two and a half years. Nick faced up to 17 years behind bars after a #LANDBACK protest in the Black Hills on July 3, 2020.
NDN Collective Announces Community Action Fund Grant Partners Posted 2 months ago
“NDN Collective is honored to invest in the self-determination and leadership of these organizations, collectives, organizers, and cultural practitioners. They are on the frontlines defending our communities from resource extraction, combating the polluters fueling climate change, and standing up for the human rights of Indigenous peoples."
NDN Collective Shares Program Intention of Collective Abundance Fund Ahead of Official Launch Posted 2 months ago
“While this financial commitment is unprecedented and significant, funding alone won’t solve the racial equity gap. Movement building must continue. Policy and advocacy work must continue to disrupt, dismantle, and shift the economic systems that don’t work for us. We can all play a part in that.”
All Charges Dismissed Against Nick Tilsen in 2.5 Year Long Case Posted 2 months ago
“My case held a mirror up to the so-called legal system, where prosecutors – fueled by white fragility and fear of Indigenous power – wasted years of state resources to intimidate, criminalize, and violate me. The fact that I’ve gone from facing 17 years in prison to all charges dismissed is not a coincidence or an act of justice – it’s evidence that the charges were bogus from the start."
NDN Collective Announces 2022 Community Self-Determination Grantee Partners Posted 2 months ago
“This cohort of grantee partners represents some of the most impactful work happening across Turtle Island—defending the air, land and water; developing Indigenous economies based on regenerative principles; and revitalizing our languages, cultures and ceremonies in ways that illuminate the path for the next generations.”
NDN Collective & Rewiring America Release IRA Memo for Tribes & Indigenous Communities Posted 2 months ago
Households could save $140,000 on energy bills over 25 years with efficient energy infrastructure – which would both help build Indigenous wealth, and help families divest from the volatile oil and gas markets. 
NDN Collective Statement on COP27 Negotiation Outcomes Posted 2 months ago
"We call on nation states to sever their relationships to the fossil fuels industry, fully commit to phasing out of fossil fuels, and utilize the core tenets of a Just Transition. Anything less is a failure to all of humanity.”
NDN Collective Responds to Mass Shooting of 2SLGBTQIA+ Relatives in Colorado Springs Posted 2 months ago
"As 2 spirit and queer individuals we long for spaces that are safe. We long for spaces that we can show up in and be our unapologetic queer selves without the fear of persecution. What happened to our relatives in Colorado is a violation of that sacred space and only triggers a more profound hyper vigilance of our spaces, our communities and of ourselves."
COP27: NDN Collective's Recap of Week One at the United Nations 27th Annual Conference of the Parties (COP) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt Posted 3 months ago
"Our delegation has been participating in the Indigenous Peoples Caucus and the Local Communities Indigenous Peoples Platform, as well as tracking negotiations, meeting with government officials, and more."
COP27: NDN Collective Meets with White House Climate Advisor Posted 3 months ago
In their discussion with White House Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi, NDN Collective, alongside frontline Indigenous and Black organizers touched on issue areas including IRA, mining, oil and gas leases.

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