July 4, 2020

NDN Collective Announces Black Hills Bail and Legal Defense Fund Following Mt. Rushmore Arrests

Following arrests of Indigenous Land Defenders blocking the road to Mount Rushmore on Friday, July 3, NDN Collective announces a bail and legal defense fund.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 4, 2020

Rapid City, South Dakota — Friday’s acts of courage and civil disobedience by Indigenous people and our allies defending sacred lands in the Black Hills resulted in arrests and we imagine eventual criminal charges for these brave Defenders. These men and women were standing against the continued desecration of sacred lands that were stolen by the United States federal government from the Lakota Oyate to satisfy the greed of capitalism in this country. We are calling on friends and allies to donate to the Black Hills Legal Defense Fund to support these Land Defenders.

As it stands today, Mount Rushmore is a national symbol of white supremacy, active erasure of Indigenous people in our homelands, and the continued exploitation of BIPOC bodies for the American dream. The federal government stole Paha Sapa (the Black HIlls) and allowed a member of the klu kluxx klan, Gutzon Borglum, to vandalize a holy mountain in with the faces of colonizers in memory of European encroachment, broken treaties, human rights violations, and acts of genocide against Indigenous and BIPOC people throughout Turtle Island. 

Photo by Willi White, NDN Collective.

Before being led off in handcuffs, Nick Tilsen, President and CEO of The NDN Collective said, “Our people have fought for this land and we will continue to. This won’t be the last. Our goal isn’t just to resist, but to radically imagine a better future.”

Mount Rushmore is an active symbol of white supremacy and systematic racism. In comradery with our allies and standing as Indigenous people, we made a stand against Donald Trump, the President of the United States, who entered Oceti Sakowin Territory without the free prior and informed consent of the Tribal Nations in this region. 

Photo by Willi White, NDN Collective.

Krystal Two Bulls, a Native Veteran and Founder of Voices of the Sacred who was also arrested, shared from on the ground on Friday, “I’m a Native veteran, and here we have the national guard being deployed against US citizens. The US Military is the mechanism that upholds white supremacy and perpetuates militarism. We don’t need the military here, especially on this land, because this is Lakota territory. I’m a warrior, first and foremost I’m Oglala and Northern Cheyenne. Half of those soldiers down there probably don’t want to do this work.  They have to follow orders. Deploying them on our own people, their neighbors and community members is wrong, and disgraceful. What I’m doing, in standing here for my people, that’s real service.”

The President’s uninvited presence in these sacred lands is a further desecration to the Paha Sapa.  At a time of social and racial reckoning in this country, Trump has perpetuated a white supremacist narrative that has further divided the country. Standing in solidarity with all people of color, we as Indigenous people and our allies are committed to the dismantling of white supremacy and systemic racism in this country.

###

About the Black Hills Legal Defense Fund

“The Black Hills Legal Defense Fund” is fiscally sponsored by the NDN Collective, a National Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building the collective power of Indigenous People, communities, and Nations. NDN Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations to this fund are tax deductible. For more, visit http://bhlegalfund.org/

About the NDN Collective

Founded in 2018, the NDN Collective’s mission is to build the collective power of Indigenous Peoples, communities, and Nations to exercise our inherent rights to self-determination, while fostering a world that is built on a foundation of justice and equity for all people and the planet. We do this through building Indigenous power in partnership with the philanthropic and investment sectors. For more, visit www.ndncollective.org

MEDIA CONTACT: 
Sarah Manning, NDN Collective Director of Communications
[email protected], (605) 791-3999

BAIL AND LEGAL FUND DONATION CONTACT:
Michael Johnson, NDN Collective Director of Advancement
[email protected], (605) 791-3999

August 2022 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.

NDN Collective Hosts Extreme Heat and Climate Change Webinar

Brandi Douglas

Posted 4 days ago
The webinar included a presentation by Dr. Gaurab Basu, of Cambridge Health Alliance, in collaboration with the NDN Collective Climate Justice Team, providing information needed to prepare and adapt to the heat and climate change health equity crisis.
Impacts of Permitting Reform Proposal on Tribes and Indigenous Communities

NDN Collective Climate Justice Team , Dr. Kyle Whyte

Posted 4 days ago
This analysis and summary, co-authored by the NDN Collective Climate Justice Team alongside Dr. Kyle Whyte, organizer and Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, captures the impacts of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) permitting reform proposal and is based on the most recent draft text released on September 21, 2022. 
NDN Collective Announces Open Application Period for NDN Changemaker Fellowship Posted 5 days ago
“We are honored to offer this fellowship and recognize visionary Indigenous changemakers who are working towards defending their territories, sustainably developing and decolonizing their communities.” 
Honoring Youth and Families: NDN Collective 3rd Annual Backpack Giveaway Provides More Than School Supplies

Brandi Douglas

Posted 2 weeks ago
“Our hope is that this event starts the kids' school year off in a good way and shows them we recognize, value and honor them.”
NDN Collective Officially Opens Doors of Rapid City's First Indigenous-Led School for Indigenous Students Posted 3 weeks ago
"It is important for students to see themselves in what they are learning everyday, and to have the opportunity to be who they are, learn their language, and be recognized for their inherent Indigenous genius. At Oceti Sakowin Community Academy students will have the opportunity to do this, which is what the ancestors have wanted for our wakanyeja – our children.”
Indigenous Groups From North America Write Letter to Chilean Leadership, Supporting Monumental Provisions in Proposed Chilean Constitution Posted 3 weeks ago
"Chile’s newly proposed constitution sets a precedent for the U.S. and other governments to not only recognize it is beyond time to update our draconian constitutions, but also that integrating Indigenous rights into our core laws will move us towards truly achieving equity and justice."
Sko Vote Den Artist Showcase Brings Music and Voter Engagement to Santa Fe

Brandy Calabaza

Posted 3 weeks ago
Bringing Indigenous relatives together through art and music for a fun and interactive event aimed at the power of voting, encouraging attendees to utilize their ability to vote in the upcoming election as a means of building and reclaiming Indigenous power.
NDN Collective Takes One Step Closer to Building Tiny Home Community for Houseless Relatives in Rapid City

Brandi Douglas

Posted 1 month ago
NDN Collective’s tiny home community development, Gliúŋ, to provide essential needs, access to resources, security and belonging to unhoused Indigenous relatives in the Rapid City area.
NDN Collective to Co-Host ‘Sko Vote Den Artist Showcase’ in Santa Fe Posted 1 month ago
“Indigenous people have been shut out of the political sphere for far too long – it’s time to show up for ourselves and our communities, by centering our issues, our solutions, and electing our people to office.”
NDN Collective Responds to Gov. Noem’s Updated Social Studies Standards Posted 1 month ago
“The newly proposed SD social studies are merely another reflection of Governor Noem’s refusal to address inequity and racism –  whether it be in policy, practice, or curriculum. The proposed social studies standards do not accurately reflect the truths or experience of Indigenous people, specifically those of the Oceti Sakowin."

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.