ISSUE #06 / 2019

On July 15, NDN Collective launched the groundbreaking NDN Changemaker Fellowship, which will support 20 Indigenous leaders each year across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, also including the islands of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. This 12-month fellowship is designed to support the development of Indigenous leaders who are ready to create movements in their communities and build a world that is just and equitable for all people and the planet.

“Our Indigenous Nations and communities hold vision, knowledge, and responsibilities to our homelands, ancestors and descendants,” says Dr. PennElys Droz, Director of the NDN Fellowship and Prize. “It is this vision, knowledge, and responsibility that is the foundation for the incredible innovation, activism, and ideas for systemic change coming from Indigenous leaders.”

Phase one of the application process, which involves submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is open until August 31.  The NDN Changemaker Fellowship will commence in January of 2020.

On August 14, NDN Collective hosted a webinar for applicants to ask questions related to the fellowship and the LOI process.  A recording of the webinar can be found on NDN Collective’s Facebook page.  Another webinar will be held for Spanish-speaking applicants on Wednesday, August 21. 

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In Solidarity With Mauna Kea


NDN Collective launched a fundraising campaign on July 23 in support of the Hawai’i Unity and Liberation Institute (HULI), a grassroots Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) organization who provides non-violent direct action training for the protection of Mauna Kea.  NDN Collective agreed to match donations of up to $10k for a grand total of $20k. Indigenous Goddess Gang also joined the fundraising effort, donating all proceeds of “The Future is Indigenous” and “Sisterhood is Medicine” t-shirt sales to the fundraising campaign.

We are proud to announce that as of August 15, we have reached our fundraising goal! While NDN Collective will not be matching donations beyond $10K, donations can still be made to the Hawai’i Unity and Liberation Institute in their ongoing efforts to protect Mauna Kea.  Thank you to all who donated in our shared effort to support our relatives and protectors of sacred lands.

NDN Collective also co-hosted a webinar on August 1 with frontline organizers on the ground at Mauna Kea, including Andre Perez of HULI, and Pua Case of Mauna Kea Education and Awareness (MKEA).

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Subscribe To While Indigenous

While Indigenous is an NDN Collective solutions podcast hosted by Sarah Sunshine Manning, exploring topics impacting Indigenous lands and communities and from a decolonial Indigenous lens.  Guests on the podcast discuss, analyze and unpack many of our everyday experiences in order to create a more just and sustainable world for all people and the planet.

Listen to our latest episode, Ep. 12: Bringing Two-Spirit and LGBTQ Relatives Back in to the Circle, with Dr. James Makokis. James Makokis, M.D., is a citizen of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation of Alberta, a marathon runner, a youth advocate, a speaker, and a proud member of the LGBTQ community.  He is also featured on the latest season of The Amazing Race Canada.

While Indigenous is available on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and Google Podcasts.

Recent Events

Attended by NDN Collective staff

The Indigenous Caucus at Netroots Nation, Philadelphia. Photo Courtesy of Stearns Images.

NDN Collective Director of Communications, Sarah Sunshine Manning, and Creative Director, Jade Begay, attended the Netroots Nation conference in Philadelphia, PA on July 11-13. Netroots Nation is the largest gathering of progressives in the U.S., including online organizers, grassroots activists and independent media makers. The annual 3-day conference consists of 80+ panels, 60+ training sessions, inspiring keynotes, caucuses, film screenings and lots of networking and social events.

Creative Director Jade Begay participated in two panels during the conference, one on climate justice and another on movement narratives. Director of Communications Sarah Sunshine Manning participated in a panel, Reclaiming Native Truth for Narrative Change, with Crystal Echohawk of IllumiNative, Judith LeBlanc of Native Organizers Alliance, and Mark Trahant of Indian Country Today.

L-R: Julian Brave Noisecat of the National History Museum, Jade Begay of NDN Collective, Thanu Yakupityage of, and Varshini Prakash of The Sunrise Movement.

A highlight of the conference was record Indigenous presence, beginning with a land acknowledgement and presentation from Prairie Rose Seminole to open up the conference, Indigenous panels, and a plenary panel featuring House Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

L-R: NDN Collective Creative Director, Jade Begay; Native Organizers Alliance Executive Director, Judith LeBlanc; Congresswoman Deb Haaland; IllumiNative Executive Director, Crystal Echohawk; and NDN Collective Director of Communications, Sarah Sunshine Manning.

Native Voices Network – McCallen, Texas

Standing in solidarity with the Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe

NDN Collective had the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe through participation in the Native Voices Network (NVN) in the Texas border town of McAllen, which is home to the largest detention center in the United States at this time.  What you might think of as a sprawling agricultural community, dotted with fruit trees and abundant wildlife, is actually one of many fronts in a fight for the acknowledgement and free movement of North America’s original people.
NDN Collective Director of Advancement Michael Johnson and Creative Director Jade Begay stood with NVN participants as border and sheriff helicopters circled the visit to one section of the wall.  During the group’s visit to the National Butterfly Center, a private piece of property owned by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA), visitors were instructed to ignore the sounds of construction and avoid contact with any workers there to construct a wall directly through the center, creating a buffer zone of close to a mile from the Rio Grande river, the natural border between Mexico and the United States.

From the Butterfly Center, the NVN group stood in solidarity with local organizers, community members and others who traveled to McAllen to show their disapproval of the Trump administration’s detainment of Indigenous people, children and their proposed border wall.  Representative Deb Haaland recorded a video for the crowd of 150 and Ruth Buffalo, North Dakota State Representative was also in attendance to stand in solidarity with attendees.

The NDN Collective stands in active resistance and solidarity with our Indigenous relatives from across North America, and denounces the use of colonial geopolitical borders to stop the free and unencumbered passage of this land’s original people, regardless of the temporary colonial state claiming such a power.

Watch: Indigenous Solidarity, From the Border Wall to Mauna Kea

This video was taken at the Yalui Village at the border wall where the Native Voice Network expressed solidarity with protectors on the frontlines of Mauna Kea.

NDN Collective Is Growing!

Welcome our newest member of the NDN Collective Team!

Andrew Bentley, Director of Grantmaking, is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. He manages and leads NDN Collective’s grantmaking efforts. Andrew graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with a B.A. in Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Andrew currently resides in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and child.

More stories from NDN Collective

In this time we need to be more interdependent than we’ve ever been. The lack of recognizing our interdependence will only lead to more separation. Being able to see humanity’s interdependence not just with humans but with our non-human relatives, such as water, land, animals, plants, will lead to us living in better harmony with the world around us.

In recognition of the good work that is already being done in this vein, here are five projects led by Indigenous peoples that bring us back into this world view of interdependence and back in to community so we can value working together, living together surviving together, and thriving together.

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NDN Collective Is Hiring!

Director of Finance

The Director of Finance contributes to NDN Collective’s overall success of the organization by effectively managing all financial activities for the organization. In addition, the position provides support to directors in the implementation and presentation of information vital to making data-based decisions for the organization.

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Finance Technician

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

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