In this episode, Nick Tilsen visits with longtime mentor Dune Lankard, who shares stories and knowledge from his fight to protect his homelands in southcentral Alaska. From protecting millions of acres, to standing up for the bears, to fighting climate change while feeding the people with kelp, Dune shows what it means when he says, “ocean back.” As Dune says, “if it’s not regenerative then just don’t do it.”

Dune Lankard, Eyak Athabaskan of the Eagle Clan from Cordova, Alaska, has been fighting to protect his homelands in the Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta his entire life. He waged successful battles in protecting over a million acres in the Copper River Delta, was lifted up by Times Magazines as one of the Heroes of the Planet, selected by Asoka as one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, won numerous awards for this work, and has mentored many in this movement just by being a warrior fighting for mother earth. His work has influenced Nick, many we work with, and the creation of NDN Collective.

On this episode:
Dune Lankard, Eyak Athabaskan, President and Founder of Native Conservancy


In episode 3, host Nick Tilsen invites André Perez and Camille Kalama to unpack the ongoing fight for ‘Āina Back. As we know, #landback is a global Indigenous fight to liberate the land, the people, and in this episode we’re reminded about the importance of leaning into our kuleana – or “responsibility” to collectively partake in healing our relationship with mother earth.

Instagram: @huli.nvda

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When Indigenous people say that we are fighting for LandBack by any means necessary, we aim to address the multi-pronged approach we take within the movement. We know that not one tactic alone will liberate the people and our land. In episode 4 of the LANDBACK For the People podcast, NDN Collective President and CEO Nick Tilsen and guests speak to how the legal system, although colonial, is still a viable avenue to fight for LandBack. Our esteemed guests of Episode 4: Phillip Tinker, Osage attorney at Kanji & Katzen, specializing in the matters of tribal sovereignty, jurisdiction, and powers of government Nicole Yanes, NDN Collective Director of Grantmaking and citizen of the Opata Nation, bringing over 10 years of experience in community organizing and nation building for Indigenous people. Check out this episode!
In this episode, Nick Tilsen sits down with Sunny, Hermus and Anissa, local organizers to Rapid City, SD working on NDN Collective’s #RapidCityVsRacism campaign. Together they start to unpack the linkage between racism and LANDBACK. The trio share personal stories of Indigenous power building as they fight against racism in the Hesapa. CALL TO ACTIONS: Text: “rapidvracism” to 50302 Local to Rapid City: Rapid City vs Racism Town Hall, June 8th, 2023 Check out this episode!
In this first episode of LANDBACK FOR THE PEOPLE, Nick Tilsen sits at the table with matriarch Madonna Thunder Hawk (Oohenumpa Lakota). Madonna jokingly calls herself the Forest Gump of Indigenous resistance, since, over the last 55 years, she’s been at almost every focal point in the fight for Indigenous liberation. Through numerous decades of resistance efforts, from the occupation of Mount Rushmore in 1971 and the takeover of the BIA headquarters in 1972, to the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 and unforgettably Standing Rock in 2016, Madonna exemplifies what it means to be a true Warrior Woman. Nick and Madonna lay bare how generations of Indigenous people have met across politics and places for the sake of LANDBACK, revealing moments in the movement that were unimaginable. In this conversation, we are reminded of the blood and ancestral memory of our deep connection to land and water, inheriting the movement knowledge and stories of those before us in preparation for a liberated future. Madonna continues to honor the matriarchs of the Red Power Movement through the Warrior Woman Project, a collaborative of matriarchs, storytellers, and archivists who “bring to light the radical impact of Indigenous women” throughout history. Check out this episode!