Issue #04 / 2022

Social Change Happens in Community

Asserting Ourselves on Indigenous Lands

Participants in a march from Memorial Park to the Federal Court House in Rapid City. Photo by Angel White Eyes for NDN Collective.

In the spirit of upholding our mission of defending, developing and decolonizing, these past weeks have presented us with opportunities to lean into the work that we are called to do. At NDN Collective, we are dedicated to community-centered action that supports a future built on collectivism and self-determination.

In this month’s newsletter, we uplift the much-anticipated Dakota Access Pipeline Report from our Climate Justice Campaign Team, we highlight the steadfast action of the NDN Collective and surrounding Tribal Nations and community members in addressing systemic racism in Rapid City, we celebrate the launch of “The Right of Return is LANDBACK”, a position paper in solidarity with Palestine authored by our LANDBACK Campaign Team, and we celebrate both the selection of a Regional Advisory Committee for the Collective Abundance Fund and for NDN’s honor of receiving the Skoll 2022 Award for Social Innovation. Continue reading for all of this, and so much more!

We are honored to do this work in community with all of you.

Climate Justice Campaign Launches DAPL Report

“Faulty Infrastructure and the Impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline”

A comprehensive report, over a year in-the-making

Since 2021, the NDN Collective Climate Justice Team has been working with a team of engineering experts to produce a report that details how the Dakota Access Pipeline is technically unsafe and why the entirety of the DAPL regulatory process has lacked integrity. After a year of research and collaboration, NDN Collective’s Climate Justice Campaign has released the much anticipated report “Faulty Infrastructure and the Impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline— a first of its kind. 

“While we as NDN Collective and the Climate Justice team are honored to bring resources like this report to our communities to embolden our fights for the protection of our lands and waters, it is important for readers and policymakers to understand that the due diligence within this report should have been carried out in the first place by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Center for Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Protection Agency. DAPL is yet another case of environmental injustice where the burden is put on a vulnerable community to expose wrongs and hold these agencies accountable to their own laws and regulations,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign Director.

Read and Share NDN Collective’s Press Release on the DAPL Report

Check out additional media highlights on the DAPL report below:
Download and Read the Full DAPL Report Here

NDN Collective Responds to Rapid City Hotel’s Racial Discrimination

Hotel owner threatens to ban all Natives from local hotel, ignites call for action

Hundreds Gather in Rapid City, SD to march with Tribal Leaders as they deliver ‘Eviction Notice’ to the Grand Gateway Hotel. Photo By Willi White for NDN Collective.

NDN Collective Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against the Grand Gateway Hotel

Last month, a hotel owner in Rapid City publicly stated her intent to ban all Native Americans from her businesses– the Grand Gateway Hotel and the Cheers Lounge– following a tragic and fatal shooting on the hotel property involving Native Americans. Hotel owner Connie Uhre stated that because she couldn’t tell who was a “good Native” or “bad Native,” that all Native Americans would be banned. In response to this egregious behavior, NDN Collective took swift action, filing a federal civil rights class action lawsuit against the Grand Gateway Hotel, and organizing community action including a march and rally.

“It’s heartbreaking and painful to take blows like this on a daily basis. This isn’t an Indian problem, this is a white supremacy problem and it shows up in businesses like the Grand Gateway Hotel, and in city council, too. Those who abuse their power are the decision makers who keep real education out of our schools, much-needed resources from our communities, Native children from their families, and our people in prison. Despite this mistreatment, Native people remain resilient.” Said Sunny Red Bear, NDN Collective Racial Equity Campaign Director.

Read NDN Collective’s Full Statement and Press Release Here

Audio & Video: Grand Gateway Hotel Refuses Service to Native Americans

Following the statements made by hotel owner Connie Uhre, Native American staff of the NDN Collective were denied rooms at the Grand Gateway Hotel on two separate occasions. NDN Collective Director of Racial Equity Sunny Red Bear attempted to book a room on Monday, March 21, and was told by the front desk attendant that the Grand Gateway Hotel does not allow local residents to book hotel rooms, stating that this was a policy due to the fact that rooms allegedly were getting “trashed” by locals. 

When Red Bear asked for the attendant to produce a copy of their policy to not rent rooms to locals, the attendant was unable to produce a copy of their policy. “We’re not allowed to rent to locals,” said the attendant. “We’ve had a lot of issues with people just coming in and using our rooms to just party and kind of trash the place.”

Read the Full Blog with Audio and Video

Tribal Leaders of Oceti Sakowin Deliver Notice of Trespass and Eviction to the Grand Gateway Hotel

From the NDN Blog:

Citing the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, five Tribal leaders of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nations) led a march on Saturday in Rapid City, delivering a notice of trespass and posting it on the door of the Grand Gateway Hotel. Asserting Tribal sovereignty and naming the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, the signatories took a stand for their People, for civil rights, and for the sovereignty of the Oceti Sakowin on their own ancestral lands.

Read the Full Blog Here

The Right of Return is LANDBACK

NDN Collective Releases Position Paper on Palestine

On Palestinian Land Day (يوم الأرض), NDN Collective released the Position Paper, “The Right of Return is LANDBACK”, authored by NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign Team. The paper names NDN Collective’s deep commitment to its Palestinian relatives and emphasizes why NDN Country should also stand for Palestinian liberation. 

“LANDBACK as a call from the people has existed since the first confrontation with settler colonialism. It is an international call, one that is understood anywhere people are fighting back against ethnic cleansing, dispossession, and domination. LANDBACK is a demand that gets to the heart of colonial violence and it is one that gives us a dignified pathway to freedom. For 74 years, we Palestinians have resisted oppression under a brutal israeli occupation and the zionist movement that targets us inside and outside of our homeland. 74 years since our Catastrophe, our demands have never dwindled: the Right of Return for every Palestinian and full liberation of our homeland,” said Nadya Tannous, NDN Collective LANDBACK Organizer

Read the Full Press Release Here

NDN Live: Palestinian Land Day and the Right of Return is LANDBACK

Lorenzo Serna, NDN Collective’s Director of Tactical Media, hosted a discussion with the NDN Collective LANDBACK Campaign Team on the recently launched ‘Right of Return is Landback’ position paper and Palestinian Land Day.

Watch the Full Palestinian Land Day Livestream Discussion

“From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free.”

From the NDN Blog:

Through 74 years of zionist occupation, it is a day that protests not only the theft of land by so-called israel, but also the ongoing policies of erasure that aim to purge Palestinian presence from their land. Land Day is marked every Spring by bursts of red poppies across Palestine, representing the people who have lost their lives in the struggle for home. 

Today on Palestinian Land Day, we uplift the ongoing struggle of our Palestinian relatives for liberation of their homeland and full return for all Palestinian people. We reaffirm that our solidarity as people runs deep and is both historical and ongoing.

Read the Full Blog Here
Check out media coverage on “The Right of Return is LANDBACK” Position Paper

NDN Responds to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem

Executive Order Signed Restricting Critical Race Theory in K-12 Schools

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an Executive Order on Tuesday, April 5, claiming to restrict the teaching of Critical Race Theory in South Dakota Schools in grades K-12.

“Noem’s executive order is yet another move that tragically diminishes the capacity of our young people to see difficult historical truths with empathy,” said Sarah Manning, Director of Communications at NDN Collective. “We need leadership whose actions ensure all of our youth will have enriching learning opportunities that prepare them for a transformative future. This executive order does the exact opposite, setting our children back and undoing generations of victories from civil rights leaders, Native educators, and policymakers in South Dakota and nationwide.”

Read the Full Press Release Here

NEW Collective Abundance Fund Committee Selected

NDN Collective Announces Regional Advisory Committee

Native community leaders and representatives from reservation and urban areas in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota were selected to support the development of the Collective Abundance Fund from a $50M Bush Foundation award to NDN Collective to support closing the racial wealth gap. The Regional Advisory Committee will be key to building the regenerative movement while supporting reciprocal relationships that are marked by collective learning, knowledge sharing and consideration of diverse insight as part of NDN Collective’s respective areas of work and commitment.

 “Listening and learning across our Native communities will inform how the program looks and supports the needs of our relatives. We sought out members across the tri-state region who know their communities well and are deeply committed to improving the wellbeing of Native families and communities. Whether that is through education, housing, entrepreneurship, movement building, grassroots organizing or tribal governance, they are all working in areas that uphold the health and vibrancy of Indigenous peoples,” said Terri Peterson, NDN Foundation Program Manager for the Collective Abundance Fund.

Read the Full Press Release Here

NDN Collective Honored with Skoll Award for Social Innovation

“Celebrating Extraordinary Leaders and Organizations Working to Create a More Equitable World”

Each year, the Skoll Foundation presents the Skoll Awards for Social Innovation to a select group of social innovators whose work targets the root causes of societal problems that are ripe for transformational social change. NDN Collective is deeply honored to receive this award, and we extend our gratitude to the Skoll Foundation.

“The Skoll Award for Social Innovation celebrates the extraordinary leaders and organizations working to create a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous world for all. Awardee organizations receive $1.5 million in unrestricted funding to scale their work and increase their impact. They receive an additional $750,000 in flexible support to make subgrants to key partners and to extend their capacity in areas like monitoring and evaluation and communications.”

Watch the Skoll 2022 Awardee Video Honoring NDN Collective Here

NDN Collective in the Media

News Articles, Broadcasts, and Panels

Radio: “Local Business Owner Wants to Ban Indigenous Peoples – Activists to March in Rapid City”

Two KOTA Radio segments dig into the details spurring the response by NDN Collective and local community members towards the blatant racism exhibited by the owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel.

Listen to the Full KOTA Episode Here
Listen to Sunny Red Bear, NDN Racial Equity Director, Speak More on Her Experience at the Hotel
Radio: “NDN Collective Radical Imagination Campaign Invites Artists to Apply for $50,000 Grants

NDN Collective Director of Grantmaking, Tina Kuckkahn, featured on KOTA Radio following the launch of the 2022 Radical Imagination Open Application Phase. Tina discusses the grant opportunity for Indigenous artists and creatives.

Listen to the Full Episode Here
Book Review: “Required Reading” – Curated by NDN Collective

NDN Collective’s “Required Reading” reviewed by KOTA Radio. The book review touches on the tenants of Indigenous activism in the area of climate justice.

Listen to KOTA Radio’s Entire Review of “Required Reading.”
Article: “NDN Collective Shows Us How to Invest in Indian Country Rooted in Indigenous Values”

Featuring NDN Fund Managing Director Kim Pate, this piece discusses how NDN Collective’s Fund bridges capital gaps in Native Communities and embraces multiple approaches to building Indigenous power. The article also highlights various loans that NDN Fund has supported thus far.

 Read More on Northwest Area Foundation’s Highlight of NDN Collective’s Fund
Podcast Episode: “Free, Prior, and Informed Consent: Navigating Indigenous Land Rights and the Clean Energy Sector”

NDN Collective Southwest Regional Director, Janene Yazzie, Featured on podcast on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.

Listen to the Full Podcast Featuring Janene Here

Our Ecosystem Continues to Grow!

NDN Collective Welcomes Janene Yazzie, Southwest Regional Director

Janene Yazzie (Diné), Southwest Regional Director

Janene is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She has over 12 years of experience as a community organizer and human rights advocate deeply rooted in local community issues. Beginning from her community Tsé si’ áni, in Diné Bikéyah, she has worked on the intersections of climate change, water security, food security, energy development, and nation building with indigenous communities and indigenous-led organizations in the US, Canada and Latin America.

Working at the local, national, and international levels of governance, she has built expertise in advancing Indigenous Peoples rights through policy and facilitating rights-based approaches to development through holistic, place-based solutions. She has a background in International Policy and Human Rights.

Meet all of NDN Collective’s staff here

Take Action!

Participant holds up ‘Silence is Violence’ sign at Eviction Notice March in Rapid City, SD. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

Boycott the Grand Gateway Hotel: Volunteer to Support both Virtually or In-Person

NDN Collective’s Racial Equity Campaign created the following form for those interested in supporting boycott efforts against the Grand Gateway Hotel. Sign up to support virtually or in-person. Options to support include writing online reviews, phone banking, writing letters, and showing up on the picket line.

NOTE: NDN Collective will share more on the boycott in next month’s newsletter.

Online Form: “Join Boycott Grand Gateway”

NDN Collective is Hiring!

Join our Team of Indigenous Movement Builders

Deputy Director of Communications

With special attention to media strategy, narrative and copy editing, the Deputy Director of Communications  works across a host of disciplines and platforms, including email, social media, blogs, website, and management of internal and external communications systems.

Learn More About the Deputy Director of Communications and Apply Here
Executive Assistant to the President and CEO

The Executive Assistant to the President & CEO provides services essential to the mission of the organization and the day-to-day operations of the President’s Office. This position also provides support to the organization’s Board of Directors.

Learn More About the Executive Assistant Position and Apply Here
Administrative Assistant

The Administrative Associate duties and responsibilities include providing administrative support to the President & CEO and Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. This position will ensure efficient operation of the President’s office on a daily basis.

Learn More About the Administrative Assistant Position and Apply Here
Digital Organizer

The Digital Organizer will be responsible for building relationships with important community stakeholders including non-traditional partners through targeted outreach efforts.

Learn More About the Digital Organizer Position and Apply Here
Racial Equity Organizer

The Racial Equity Organizer engages and mobilizes the public and coalition partners on racial equity and other priority issues, coordinates volunteer events, builds community conversation and oversees outreach efforts.

Learn More About the Racial Equity Organizer Position and Apply Here
Federal Grant Writer

The Federal Grant Writer will perform opportunity research, lead federal application development, and steward relevant contacts within the Federal government programs to ensure successful partnerships with federal granting agencies. 

Learn More About the Federal Grants Writer Position and Apply Here
Information Technology Director

The Information Technology (IT) Director will oversee NDN Collective’s IT function and the implementation of new IT systems and policies.

Learn More About the IT Director Position and Apply Here
Advancement Coordinator

The Advancement Coordinator will be part of a team of NDN staff and consultants to ensure we reach our fundraising goals each year, ensuring the organization is financially resourced to carry out our mission and goals.

Learn More About the Advancement Coordinator Position and Apply Here
Finance Tech

The Finance Technician performs a variety of technical, and administrative financial support duties in the financial activities of the organization.

Learn More About the Finance Tech Position and Apply Here
Vice President

The Vice President provides leadership and oversight for Operations, Advancement, Finance, Human Resources, Legal and Compliance, Communications, Fiscal Sponsorship and Research and Evaluation functions at NDN Collective.

Learn More About the Vice President Position and Apply Here
Media and Public Relations Officer

The Media & Public Relations Officer acts as the primacy media contact for the NDN Collective ecosystem and the President & CEO, creating and managing communications and messaging that shape public opinion and increase awareness of the NDN brand.

Learn More About the Media and Public Relations Officer Position and Apply Here

Research and Evaluation Manager

The Research and Evaluation Manager will contribute to NDN Collective’s overall success by supporting research and evaluation efforts to understand and continuously evolve how the NDN Collective ecosystem of organizations drives social change.

Learn More About the Research and Evaluation Manager Position and Apply Here

Program Associate, NDN Partners

The Program Associate provides administrative and programmatic support to the NDN Partners Managing Director in planning, developing business strategies, building client relationships and identifying new business opportunities as part of the NDN Eco-system, internally and externally.

Learn More About the Program Associate Position and Apply Here

Reporting to the Director of Finance, the Controller contributes to NDN Collective’s overall success by effectively overseeing the day-to-day financial activities for the NDN Ecosystem including accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll.

Learn More About the Controller Position and Apply Here
Director of Policy and Advocacy

The Director of Policy and Advocacy will provide leadership for our public policy and advocacy work, working collaboratively with our Political Director, NDN Collective ecosystem of organizations, board of directors, and contract lobbyists.

Learn More About the Director of Policy and Advocacy Position and Apply Here