Issue #3 / 2024

Following the Lead of Our Youth

April/May 2024 Newsletter

As we delve further into the Spring season, the time to gather, celebrate, hold ceremony, and share in community, our youth leaders remind us to be fearless and that change, while it may not come easily, is always possible. At the same time, we continue working alongside and resourcing Indigenous changemakers in our communities who carry the torch of self-determination forward. We stay committed to this work to protect the sacred across Turtle Island, honoring the foundational work of Ancestors and relatives who came before us.

In our April/May newsletter, we share news from across Turtle Island including coverage of the student-led encampments and actions for Palestine, the opening of the Changemaker Fellowship, and an exciting LANDBACK for the People episode featuring a special guest.

View the Web Version of the Newsletter Here

The Student Movement for Gaza is LANDBACK, Struggle Against Genocide, Militarization and Colonization

NDN Collective’s Tactical Media team deployed to universities across Turtle Island to get on-the-ground accounts of encampments. The list of universities includes Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, University of Minnesota, and Northeastern University. 

As Indigenous Peoples’ living in the United States, we understand this movement to end the genocide in Gaza and the Palestinian Right of Return shares the decolonial demands that the Indigenous LANDBACK movement outlines.

Read the Full Blog Here

NDN Changemaker Fellowship Now Accepting Applications!

Graphic art by NDN Collective.

The NDN Changemaker Fellowship is now open and accepting applications! This fellowship offers an opportunity for 21 Indigenous changemakers to actualize their vision for social change in their communities. Indigenous leaders of Turtle Island (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Islands of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Boriken (Puerto Rico), and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are encouraged to apply.

Read the Full Press Release Here
To learn more and apply, visit the Changemaker Fellowship Grant webpage


Independent artist Benjamin Hammond Haggerty – AKA Macklemore, pictured in the NDN Studio at Headquarters in Rapid City, SD. Photo by Steph Viera for NDN Collective.

On our most recent podcast episode of LANDBACK FOR THE PEOPLE, Nick talked with special guest, Macklemore, on allyship, white supremacy, and Palestine.

“I see what you’ve built, and that’s why I’m riding with LANDBACK!” said Ben Haggerty, aka Macklemore. “There’s this idea of, if I say the wrong thing, if I mess up – cancel culture. I’ve been canceled before there was cancel culture. But I’m still here, because I keep showing up. I’m only here for a little bit of time, so what am I gonna do with it?”

Listen to their discussion on Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Read the Full Press Release Here

The Sustainable Lakota Business Bringing Indigenized Products to the World

NDN Fund, the impact investing arm of NDN Collective, is excited to close its first 2024 loan with Native Botanicals. Our newest loan relative is a Lakota family-owned business that provides traditional Indigenous remedies using sustainable practices.

From the NDN Blog:

Native Botanicals was founded by Shilo and Shawna Clifford, who began creating traditional remedies with the goal of sharing the healing benefits of Lakota medicines with their family. Shilo and Shawna have been growing medicines for about 15 years, using knowledge that was passed down to them from mentors and elders in their community. 

They started with remedies like wahpé waštemna (wild bergamot) for their twins’ colic in 2017. During the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, their business grew in response to the need for traditional medicines and products that were easy to share with their community. Since then, Native Botanicals has focused on increasing access to traditional Indigenous medicines and giving their community the ability to have more health and wellness choices.

Read the Full Blog Here

Compassionate Release for Leonard Peltier, NOW!

Graphic Art by NDN Collective.

From the NDN Blog:

On February 6, 2024, Leonard Peltier began his 49th year of incarceration, continuing his time as the longest-held Indigenous political prisoner in U.S. history. Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement during the height of the Red Power Movement and was convicted in an unfair trial that could not prove his guilt. Since his arrest and nearly five decades of incarceration, he has become a symbol of the fight against systemic racism and the persecution by the federal government of community movements advancing justice and equity.   

Peltier, 79, has been in prison for the majority of his life, following a trial filled with discrepancies and rooted in racism. NDN Collective and other justice and human rights  advocates, including Native Organizers Alliance, are demanding Peltier be granted compassionate release based on his time served, advanced age, and declining health. 

Read the NDN Blog Here
Related Stories:
Press Release | Indigenous Leaders Call for Compassionate Release of Leonard Peltier

Indigenous people and allies marched Washington DC and through Lafayette Park to convene in front of the White House for the Free Leonard Peltier Rally. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

NDN Collective is asking for a compassionate release for Leonard Peltier. He is 79 years old and in declining health. Members of the NDN community have spoken out about his unjust trial and called for his release for decades. Read the full press release and the NDN blog ‘Compassionate Release for Leonard Peltier, NOW!’ to learn more about compassionate release and how you can take action to free Leonard. 

Read the Full Press Release Here

Updates from the Ecosystem

‘Defend’ Mural by Artist Votan Henriquez located outside of NDN Headquarters in Rapid City, SD. Photo by NDN Collective.

The 2024 – 2026 Changemaker Fellowship is Now Open!

The NDN Changemaker Fellowship is a two-year fellowship designed to invest ($150,000 USD) in the visions, leadership, and personal and professional development of 21 Indigenous Changemakers working in their communities.

We believe that our people have the creativity, innovation, and determination to build healthy, resilient futures; defending our homelands and rights, developing model regenerative Nations, and decolonizing and healing our communities and families.

This opportunity is open to individual Indigenous Peoples over the age of 18 across the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Islands of Hawaii, Borikén/Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Be sure to register by 3pm US Central Standard Time (CST) on June 26, 2024 to ensure a timely submission. Full applications are due by 5pm US CST on July 1, 2024.
Visit the Changemaker Fellowship Grant Page for More Information & How to Apply


Protect The Hesapa | Tell USFS: No Golden Crest Drilling!

The Black Hills National Forest has granted permission to Solitario Resources to do exploratory drilling for their Golden Crest project. It sits on nearly 30,000 acres on the western rim of Spearfish Canyon. The Forest Service issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) and a draft decision approving the project, despite the clear destruction of Oceti Sakowin treaty land and adverse effects on wildlife, air and water quality, public health, and the tourism industry, which relies on a well-maintained and preserved landscape. The City Council of Spearfish, SD itself has unanimously passed a resolution opposing Golden Crest, demonstrating the actual public’s clear opposition to this dangerous and unnecessary project. 

Despite such visible controversy and outrage, USFS also decided not to hold the usual objection resolution hearing before finalizing their decision. This is yet another instance of the US Forest Service blatantly prioritizing the profits of out-of-state and international mining companies over Constitutionally guaranteed Tribal treaty rights and public wellbeing.

Take Action Now:📱Call and Let USFS Know #NoGoldenCrestDrilling!

➡️Mike Rounds, Pierre Office – (605) 224-1379, Rapid City Office – (605) 343-5035, Sioux Falls Office –  (605) 336-0486, Aberdeen Office – (605) 225-0366

➡️Dusty Johnson, Aberdeen District Office – (605) 622-1060, Rapid City District Office – (605) 646-6454, Sioux Falls District Office – (605) 275-2868

➡️John Thune, Aberdeen Office – (605) 225-8823, Rapid City Office – (605) 348-7751, Sioux Falls Office – (605) 334-9596

➡️Shawn Cochran, Forest Supervisor, Black Hills National Forest – (605) 673-9201,

👀 Watch Taylor Gunhammer, Oglala Sioux Tribe citizen and Organizer at NDN Collective speak out against the approval of the drilling permit for the Solitario Resources Golden Crest gold exploration project.

Watch the Full Video Here

The Protect the Hesapa Campaign fights to protect the land, water, and people of our Sacred Black Hills. In Lakota, the Black Hills are known as The Center of Everything That Is. Hesapa is connected to our origins as Lakota people, we emerged from the sacred site of Wind Cave is the place where we emerged into the world.  

Rapid City vs. Racism | WIČAKTEPI, Remembrance Garden LAUNCHES MAY 22, 2024

‘Wičaktepi’ (Wee-chan-kteh-pee) in the Lakota language means, ‘they were killed.’ The WIČAKTEPI, Remembrance Garden will be a memorial space dedicated to honoring and bringing attention to the many Indigenous lives taken at the hands of law enforcement in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

From 2001 – 2023 there have been 79 police-involved shootings statewide with 0 convictions of police officers. 75% of the fatal shooting victims were Indigenous People.
Pattern or practice by law enforcement used to target our communities and kill our Indigenous relatives must stop now.

The WIČAKTEPI, Remembrance Garden project follows community efforts across Turtle Island to remember our loved ones while holding systems of law enforcement accountable and was inspired by the Say Their Names memorial erected after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police.

The WIČAKTEPI Remembrance Garden launch is set for May 23, 2024 at 6:00pm with a community reception at NDN Collective headquarters (408 Knollwood Drive, Rapid City, SD.

This project is a part of our
Rapid City V.S. Racism Campaign, which seeks to address the root of these harms through advocacy, policy change, police oversight, and the creation of community spaces to address the systemic racism and discrimination against Native Americans by local law enforcement.

If you would like for your relatives or loved ones to be included in the WIČAKTEPI Remembrance Garden, please contact or call (605) 791-3999 and ask for Andy, Sunny, or Hermus.
NDN Headquarters | Community Meeting

Join NDN Collective every month for a community meeting where Local Organizers share updates on their campaigns, host events, and continue to connect and build our local base in Mni Luzahan.  
The next community meeting on May 22nd at the NDN HQ. We will also be hosting the WIČAKTEPI, Remembrance Garden launch and reception, on Thursday, May 23, at 6pm. 

LANDBACK For the People Podcast

LANDBACK For the People is dedicated to lifting up the revolutionary strides within the liberation movement for Indigenous Peoples and our homelands.

LANDBACK For the People provides an up-close-and-personal experience that is bold, action-oriented, and solution-focused. Graphic Art by NDN Collective.

Season 2 Episode 2 | Macklemore

Independent artist Benjamin Hammond Haggerty – better known by his stage name Macklemore – is the featured guest on this episode. He speaks vulnerably about his journey to understand the intertwined nature of white supremacy, colonization, oppression, land theft, and more. On the episode, Nick Tilsen and Macklemore delve into how they met at a rally for Palestinian liberation, politically educating their children, reckoning with past cultural appropriation, the fear white people have of losing power, landback movements across the globe, and more.

Check out our Linktree for Where to Listen
All LANDBACK For the People Podcast Episodes are also available for viewing on YouTube @NDNPods

Be sure to like and subscribe to get alerts for when new episodes drop!

NDN Live On-the-Ground

Join our Tactical Media Team as they engage in LIVE discussions & provide LIVE coverage of events happening across Turtle Island

Lorenzo Serna, Director of NDN Tactical Media Team, operates the camera as another episode of NDN Live commences. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

Building Movements During Times of State Repression

Lorenzo Serna, NDN Collective Director of Tactical Media, joins Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective’s President and CEO, Mary Hooks, Movement for Black Lives’ National Field Secretary, and Lenna Nasr, Palestinian Youth Movement Organizer for an NDN LIVE discussion about the tools and tactics utilized by the state to repress our movements and how community organizers cultivate systems of support and care as they continue to mobilize.

Watch the Full NDN Live Discussion Here
Black Hills Sacred Lands Return Strategy Session | Rapid City, SD

On March 22, we attended the Black Hills Sacred Lands Return Strategy meeting in the ĤeSǻpa (Rapid City). Tribal leaders and community members came together to discuss plans for returning the Black Hills back into Indigenous hands. Follow our Protect the ĤeSǻpa campaign for updates on how to continue fighting for the return of the Black Hills.

Watch Part 1 of the Black Hills Strategy Meeting Here
University of Minnesota Gaza Solidarity Encampment | Minneapolis, MN

NDN was LIVE at the University of Minnesota where students and staff were arrested by the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD) after setting up a Gaza solidarity encampment. Inspired by the encampment first started at Columbia University, encampments in solidarity with Gaza and Palestine have sprung up at college campuses all over the U.S. including: University of Minnesota, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, and Harvard.

Watch the Full Livestream Here

NDN was LIVE at Columbia University in New York City, where hundreds of students, faculty, and the larger New York community defended the Gaza Solidarity encampment after the University’s threats of disciplinary action–including suspension– if they did not disperse and clear the area by 2pm.

At a live press conference, students made clear they would have to be removed by force until the University commits to divesting from companies that continue doing business with Israel. Since Columbia established the first camp on April 17th, at least 40 encampments have been built across campuses in the demand to: Disclose, Divest, Defend, and Declare

Watch the Full Livestream Here

Take Action

Photo taken by Sherrie Hart, NDN Collective at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student encampment on May 4, 2024.

Join us in TAKING ACTION to address Racism in Rapid City:

📱Text RAPIDVRACISM to 50302 to join the call for police accountability, video cam transparency, and removal of SROs on school campuses in South Dakota. 

⚖️ Stay up to date on upcoming Know Your Rights trainings by joining our network today: / 

📰 Sign up to receive more info about our campaigns, policy, and advocacy work 

❤️ Contribute to the Say Their Name Garden in Minneapolis, MN 

🤳🏽Film the police if you are concerned about their actions or inaction

Free Leonard Peltier!!

Leonard Peltier has been unjustly incarcerated for 48 years. We are demanding his immediate release from prison and urging tribal leaders to support his release. If you are a current or former tribal leader, please sign this letter of support for the Compassionate Release of Leonard Peltier. If you are not a tribal leader, please call on your leadership to sign this letter to free our elder Leonard.

Access the Tribal Leaders Sign-On Letter Here

Our Palestinian Relatives have faced genocidal, colonial violence, and the destruction of their homelands for nearly 100 years – far too long.

NDN Collective recognizes there is no joy, justice, or peace until Palestine is Free. This is a struggle that Indigenous peoples are far too familiar with, existing in a world that consciously proceeds to carry on in celebration while simultaneously averting their eyes from the severe atrocities that their fellow human beings could face.

This is not a time for celebration or complacency; instead, this is a time to demand a permanent ceasefire, lift the siege on Gaza now, release all Palestinian prisoners, end the occupation of israeli settlers, and end western complicity in zionism.

We encourage our Relatives who want a better world for all people and Mother Earth to collectively rise, uplifting these demands beyond a ceasefire so that we can move closer to a liberated Palestine. Across the world, we face mass genocide due to capitalism, colonization, and white supremacy. We must continue to look out and care for one another. This is the only way forward.

Continue to call upon your Tribal leaders and representatives to demand a FULL CEASEFIRE and humanitarian aid be delivered to Gaza.

To learn more, read our:
Ceasefire Statement:
Position Paper on Palestine:

NDN Collective is Hiring!

Join our Team of Indigenous Movement Builders

Graphic Art by NDN Collective.

Program Officer – NDN Foundation Team

The Program Officer will support the NDN Foundation Grants Programs which includes several specific funding streams.

Learn more and apply here
Tactical Media Associate – Mni Luzahan

The Tactical Media Associate works across a host of disciplines and platforms, including livestream video productions, on-the-ground event coverage, post-production video editing, digital organizing, social media engagement, researching, and writing.

Learn more and apply here
IT Technician

The IT Technician helps to maintain computer, surveillance, door access control, servers, hardware, software, and cloud applications in a non-profit organization setting.

Learn more and apply here
IT Specialist

The IT Specialist will implement, manage, and optimize digital content for placement across the NDN Collective Intranet as well as digital signage at NDN owned properties.

Learn more and apply here
Talent Acquisition & Retention Specialist

The Talent Acquisition and Retention Specialist oversees and coordinates all hiring processes for the NDN Ecosystem from job creation through finding fresh and innovative ways to retain NDN’s talented staff.

Learn more and apply here
Program Officer – Collective Abundance Fund

The Program Officer will support the NDN Foundation Collective Abundance Fund Program specifically for Minnesota.

Learn more and apply here
Director of Donor Organizing

The Director of Donor Organizing will oversee all facets of NDN Collective’s individual giving program, including the planning, implementation, ongoing management, and evaluation of the program. 

Learn more and apply here