Issue #02 / 2021

Preparing the Soil

Taking Action Today So Future Generations Can Thrive

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland Welcoming the Red Totem Pole Journey to Washington D.C. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective

Indigenous power did not unfurl out of thin air one day.

Instead, it has been the result of centuries of collective realization that we have the capacity and creativity to shape of our own future. That we, as the original stewards of this land, caretakers of our culture and holders of our own regenerative societal frameworks, know how to tend to this soil. We always have.

In this month’s newsletter, we’re continuing to nourish that soil, “dreaming the Indigenous dream” in lifting up NDN Collective’s Climate Justice Campaign launch, and capturing NDN Collective direct action through art and in response to the “4th of You Lie.” We also introduce the Community Self-Determination Grant, an unprecedented opportunity for Tribal Nations, First Nations, and Indigenous-led organizations, and we honor the Red Road to DC Totem Pole Journey– and so much more!

We remain honored and humbled that you join us in this critical work to build Indigenous power.

View the Web Version of This Newsletter

Introducing the Community Self-Determination Grant

$4mm in Grants Available to Tribes & Indigenous-led Organizations

On August, 2nd, NDN Collective announced the launch of the Community Self-Determination Grant, an unprecedented opportunity for Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. These grants are intended to support community-based and community-driven sustainable solutions in all three of NDN Collective’s core strategies to Defend, Develop and Decolonize. Grants are intended to  support and invest in the long-term visions and sustainability of Indigenous communities and Indigenous-led organizations, fortifying the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples to create a just, equitable, and sustainable world for all people and the planet.

“NDN funds can support the material needs of communities while also addressing root causes and solution building that is shaped by community,” said Gaby Strong, NDN Foundation Managing Director. “This approach encourages innovative, creative and free thinking for long-term change.”

LOI submissions for the Community Self-Determination Grants are due Tuesday, August 31 at 5 pm MST.
Learn More About This Unprecedented Opportunity Here

Art as Activism

Taking Action to Defund Line 3

Activists participating in #DefundLine3 wheat pasting action in Philadelphia, PA.

During the week of July 12th through July 18th, Stop the Money Pipeline and NDN Collective co-organized the #DefundLine3 Arts Visibility Week of Action— a call to artists and allies to step forward and utilize their art to decry the continued development of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

In preparation for participation in a wheatpasting action for the #DefundLine3 Arts Visibility Week of Action, individuals could request a #DefundLine3 Newspaper from NDN Collective and Stop the Money Pipeline organizers. So far, roughly 6,000 newspapers made their way to over 400 groups and activists spanning multiple states across the U.S. The Defund Line 3 Digital Art Kit also provides resources and guidance on how to utilize art in the effort to defund line 3.

Read More About the #DefundLine3 Arts Visibility Week of Action Here

“Dreaming the Indigenous Dream”

NDN Collective Launches Climate Justice Campaign

On July 12th, the NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign launched, bringing to life the mission of building power throughout Indigenous communities in order to tackle the climate crisis. NDN’s Climate Justice Team runs and supports campaigns aimed at ending extraction, contamination, and violence in our territories, by advancing policy changes, coalition building, and advocacy, while supporting the solutions-based work happening across our nations that utilizes traditional ecological knowledge in order to develop climate adaptive solutions that reflect our values of living with respect for all sources of life.

As part of this launch, NDN’s Climate Justice team held conversations with fellow climate activists on the topics of decolonizing climate policy in Canada and actualizing just transition and organizing for gender justice, dropped their In Our Power Podcast, which you can tune into here, revealed their “Dreaming the Indigenous Dream” coloring pages, downloadable here, and released their MMIWR+ Memo: How the Federal Government Can Equitably Address the Interlocking Crisis of Climate Change and the MMIWR+ Epidemic.

MEMO: The Climate and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crises

From the memo:

“NDN Climate Justice and Racial Equity campaigns work to amplify Indigenous narratives and provide frontline communities with resources they need to defend their land, water, and air from contamination, protect their people from exploitation and violence by the fossil fuel industry, and protect against the city, state, law enforcement, and other agencies who enable colonized and white supremacist behaviors.

“We advance community driven processes that inform public education, policy changes, coalition building, and advocacy as part of defending the dignity and basic human rights of Indigenous peoples who are historically excluded from social resources and political processes. Additionally, NDN is developing and resourcing solutions-based work happening across our nations that utilize traditional ecological knowledge to develop climate adaptive solutions that reflect our values of living with respect for all sources of life: land, water, and air.”

Read more from the MMIWR+ Memo Here.

 Learn more about the Climate Justice Campaign

NDN Collective Welcomes Red Road to DC Totem Pole Journey to Ȟesápa

NDN Collective President and CEO Nick Tilsen speaks at the Red Road to DC Totem Pole Journey visit to the Black Hills. Photo by Willi White.

NDN Collective had the honor of hosting and offering blessings to the Red Road to DC totem pole as well as the groups responsible for leading this year’s journey as they arrived Wednesday, July 21 at Ȟesápa(the Black Hills of South Dakota) creating space for rest, healing and community. Organizers behind this project include: the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation, Se’Si’Le, Native Organizers Alliance, The Natural History Museum and Illuminative.

”We were blessed to host the House of Tears Carving Family and their supporters in the heart of the He Sapa,” said Krystal Two Bulls, NDN Collective LANDBACK Campaign Director. “The amount of love, energy and commitment that every guest, speaker and host had on Wednesday was humbling.”

Read More About the Visit and the Red Road to DC Totem Journey Here

‘A new era of Indigenous policy and power’:
Totem Pole to Protect Sacred Sites Delivered to Deb Haaland in DC

NDN also had the honor of joining the Red Road to DC Totem Pole journey, converging in Washington, D.C. on July 29th with Tribal leaders, delegations, community members and allies to bear witness to Interior Sec. Deb Haaland’s receipt of the blessed Totem Pole. The message, carried alongside the Totem, was for the Federal Government to recognize the need for free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples protecting lands desecrated industrial extraction.

“We are stepping into a new era of Indigenous policy and power,” said Lycia Maddocks, NDN Collective Political Director. “The delegation that traveled from across Indian Country made their way to DC with the goal to make it clear that we expect consent over our lands, water, and wildlife.”

Read More About this Event Here

LANDBACK Campaign on the “4th of You Lie”

Four Climbers Hang Upside-Down American Flag

The LANDBACK campaign organized a banner hang with four climbers on July 4 in downtown Rapid City. Photo by Willi White.

On July 4th, Indigenous climbers with the NDN Collective LANDBACK Campaign representing 10 different Nations from Turtle Island and Palestine were arrested for ascending a 100-ft grain silo situated on Lakota lands in downtown Rapid City, mounting an upside-down American flag with “LANDBACK” written prominently across it. 

“This action marks a notch in the paradigm shift, one that has a long lineage, to highlight ongoing colonial violence and militarism to material demands tied to liberation. As the US continues to fund displacement and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, we highlight that the first frontier of the fight against US imperialism was and is here on Turtle Island. The fight for justice and LANDBACK is alive and well and it is growing. LANDBACK is the root of justice for what must come and it is the start of our collective demands. From Hawai’i, to Puerto Rico, to Guam, to the Black Hills, return all US-occupied lands and stop the US war machine abroad”- Nadya Tannous, NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign Organizer

Read More About this Action Here

Updates from the NDN Collective Ecosystem

From Grant Launches, to LANDBACK U Learning Modules

Members of NDN Communications and Narrative Team Prepping to Interview Guests at Red Totem Pole Event — Washington D.C. Photos By Willi White for NDN Collective

From the NDN Foundation Team:

Summer is our granting season with two major grants in motion and a third in preparation during the month of July. The Foundation team reviewed and invited 67 out of the 200 letters of inquiry by artists for the Radical Imagination grant.  We have prepared promotional materials and webinars in collaboration with the NDN Communications team for the August 2nd launch of the Community Self Determination Grant, which is currently open for LOI submission until 5pm MST on August 31st.

The team is currently mapping out an exciting next year of grantmaking for 2022! 

From the NDN Action Network:

NDN Action Network kicked off July by confronting the legacy of white supremacy that is commemorated every 4th of July by leading an action in Rapid City. Check out more from Fourth of You Lie.


LANDBACK U module recordings are now available! You can watch the recordings for the first two LANDBACK U modules on-demand by registering through the following links: Cultural Burn Module: Session 1 & Session 2, Kingdom of Hawaii: Session 1 & Session 2 .

Racial Equity Campaign in Collaboration with Climate Justice

NDN Collective’s Climate Justice and Racial Equity Campaigns published a new memo providing guidance to the federal government on how to equitably address the interlocking crisis of Climate Change and the MMIWR+ epidemic.

Climate Justice Campaign

NDN Collective’s Climate Justice campaign officially launched! The team released a number of new resources, which included the launch of the “In Our Power” Podcast and it’s very first episode featuring Dr. PennElys Droz, NDN Foundation Program Officer. Dr. Droz helps set the foundation for the new podcast and discusses: “What does climate justice mean for NDN Collective?”

We are organizing forward– for the Earth, for justice, for our collective healing. 

Listen to the “In Our Power” Podcast Here

Take Action: Protect Indigenous Sacred Sites

A Call-to-Action from the Red Road to DC

Tell the Biden Administration that free, prior and informed consent MUST happen now

From our Relatives with Red Road to DC Totem Pole Journey:

Tribal communities and Native peoples have been forced to defend the land, waters, and resources, from destruction and degradation for all of us. Sacred sites across Indian Country have been desecrated by development projects that move ahead without the consent of affected Native Nations or communities.

This has created a very real and growing crisis.

There is no time to waste to protect the most sacred places where Indigenous peoples pray, gather traditional foods and medicines, get drinking water, and visit to remind themselves of the ways their ancestors lived since time began. We call on President Biden and Congress to direct all federal agencies to require the meaningful engagement and consent of affected Native Nations, early in the planning process, and before a project is approved.

Sign the Petition Here

NDN is Hiring!

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 and Apply Here

Website Content Manager

The Website Content Manager leads the content coordination, development, and maintenance of the NDN Collective website and related websites.

Learn More and Apply Here

Information Technology Manager

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

Learn More 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 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 and Apply Here