Press Release

COP28: NDN Collective to Co-Host Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion, Center Indigenous Climate Solutions on Global Stage

For immediate release: November 29, 2023

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – At this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), NDN Collective is partnering with the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus to host the Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion for the second time, providing a critical space for global Indigenous communities from across the world to advance climate justice and build collective power. This year, NDN Collective’s delegation is attending as an UNFCCC accredited organization for the first time. 

NDN Collective’s presence at COP28 comes soon after the launch of their Indigenous Climate & Just Transition Fund, which aims to raise and distribute $100 million to Indigenous Peoples’ frontline organizations and communities across the Americas and the Pacific who have been furthering climate justice and place-based projects for decades with little to no resources. 

“This year’s COP28 agenda will have a direct and significant impact on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and wellbeing for generations to come,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective’s Director of Policy and Advocacy. “As we continue advocating for the phase out of fossil fuels – which has been cited as the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – we must also center a just transition. This means having nuanced dialogues about direct access, climate finance, and scaling renewables, as the expansion to electrification poses threats to Indigenous territories with a rapidly increasing need for critical minerals. The bottom line is that Indigenous Peoples must be at the forefront of all decisions around climate policy.

“The decisions made this year have the potential to strengthen Indigenous self-determination or violate our rights, preserve and build food sovereignty or further destroy ecosystems, threaten our sacred places or protect them. For Indigenous Peoples, it’s not just the climate that is on the line – it’s everything that informs our cultures and identities. And that is why we are here – our voices must be at the center of these negotiations.” 

“Settler colonialism and the extractive based capitalism that it perpetuates is the root cause of climate change,” said Nick Tilsen, president & CEO of NDN Collective. “Indigenous Peoples have experienced the impacts of these failed systems firsthand, which is why we keep fighting to implement Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge systems essential to creating climate solutions for all of humanity and Mother Earth. 

“We must continue shifting resources and decision making power away from white institutions and to the Indigenous-led ones that are accountable to frontline communities. We are here to build new movement infrastructure that challenges the status quo and implements Indigenous led climate solutions – all while fighting for LANDBACK and the right of Indigenous Peoples everywhere to return to their homelands.”

As a movement organization, NDN Collective has a lot to offer in these international negotiations,” said Janene Yazzie, NDN Collective’s Southwest Regional Director. “We continue effectively redistributing resources towards efforts to build place-based infrastructure that upholds the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and supports effective climate action.

“The issues created by climate change are a matter of life and death for Indigenous Peoples, and are further exacerbated by so-called climate solutions that threaten the lands, territories, and resources of Indigenous Peoples across the globe. At COP28 and beyond, we will hold the line with our Indigenous relatives to ensure our solutions are upheld, our knowledge systems and ways of life are protected, and our rights fully respected and implemented in all discussions around the impacts of climate change.”


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. 

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