Issue #08 / 2022

Our Dynamic Resistance: Past, Present, Future

August 2022 Newsletter

Overlooking the ancestral lands of the Pueblo people and descendants of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

One thing we know for sure as Indigenous people is that we descend from some of the most courageous, gritty, and innovative people. We exist and still thrive today, not just because our ancestors were strong, but because they creatively resisted colonial forces so that we could still be here. Our past, present, and future of Indigenous resistance continues to be dynamic and multi-faceted.

In this month’s newsletter, we highlight the latest ways that NDN Collective is continuing to build Indigenous power with a multi-pronged approach– while on the ground in community, while supporting brilliant Indigenous Changemakers from across Turtle Island and beyond, showing up in D.C. in the “belly of the beast” to demand accountability from government representatives, and by looking back to our history of resistance, knowing that we carry that same spirit of resilience, tenacity, and love for our Lands and our People. Lastly, as our work continues to expand, we are eager to grow our team and serve our communities with several posted full-time positions.

Thank you for continuing to build Indigenous power with us.

 NDN Collective Attends Impact Days in D.C.

Giving Voice to Indigenous Issues on Capitol Hill

NDN Collective Vice President Kim Pate and Director of Policy and Advocacy Lycia Maddocks speak in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Photo by Willi White for NDN.

On the week of July 18th, NDN Collective embarked on Washington, D.C. for Impact Days – an opportunity to engage in dialogue with members of the White House, federal agencies and Congress on a range of Indigenous issues, and from a movement-building perspective.

“We may not agree with this so-called democracy, the way that it is set up or in the way it disenfranchises our people, but we know for a fact that decisions are made here every day that impact the lives and lands of our people,” said NDN Collective President and CEO, Nick Tilsen. “And so we’re here advocating, bringing voice to our struggle and holding these federal agencies and elected leaders accountable.”

Topics of discussion with White House and Congressional officials included: natural resources, energy and commerce, transportation and infrastructure, housing, banking, healthcare, foreign relations and numerous other problematic areas present within Tribal communities.

Read More on NDN Collective’s D.C. Visit for Impact Days Here
Check out additional highlights on NDN Collective’s visit to the Hill:

Placing Out a Spirit Bowl for our Ancestors of the Pueblo Revolt

Honoring Indigenous Resistance and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680

From the NDN Blog, by Brandy Calabaza:

Executed in 1680, the rebellion itself was a clever creation – the planning taking years to bring together. Pueblo runners traveled over 300 miles throughout New Mexico and into Arizona, delivering knotted buckskin cords signaling the day of the revolt – a true story of skillful tactics, determination, and a common goal of preserving cultural independence. 

The story of the Pueblo Revolt is a representation of the power we hold and the things we are capable of when united. And for me personally, the story of the Pueblo Revolt is something that I felt deeply connected to, bringing awareness to the ways in which the sacrifices of our Ancestors preserved the culture that is embedded within me.

Announcing the 2022 Cohort of NDN Changemaker Fellows

21 Fellows from Across Turtle Island and Surrounding Island Nations

Congratulations to the third cohort of NDN Changemaker Fellows! They are Indigenous leaders from throughout Turtle Island and beyond who are radically transforming Indigenous communities by defending Indigenous lands and rights, developing sustainable solutions for  future generations, and decolonizing their day-to-day lives, their families, communities and Nations. They are organizers, activists, social entrepreneurs and cultural practitioners who are challenging the status quo and building a better future for all people and Mother Earth.

“These Changemakers are responding to a spiritual and cultural call-to-action, bringing all of the gifts that they carry to create something greater than themselves by protecting the water, the land, and Indigenous foods,” said Tina Kuckkahn, NDN Foundation Director of Grantmaking “They are helping us return to our ancestral ways of thinking about wellbeing, birthing, regenerative growth and telling our own stories. We are honored to play a role in supporting each of their journeys.”

Read More About the 2022 Changemaker Fellows Here

Closing Out the Collective Abundance Fund Survey with Over 5k Responses

Over the course of 11 weeks, NDN Collective team partnered with Kaufman & Associates, Inc.– an Indigenous-owned and operated consulting firm– to visit Tribal communities in the tri-state area of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota to table at pow-wows and conduct in-person focus groups where individuals surveyed were asked a series of questions about how they define wealth as an Indigenous person.

“This is the kind of process that other philanthropic groups should be modeling,” said Teresa (Terri) Peterson, Collective Abundance Fund Program Manager. “Being in community and hearing from those most impacted by the issue – in this case, the wealth gap – on the barriers and challenges they face, as well as the solutions and strategies we can build to support their visions and dreams for an abundant future.”

Read the Press Release on the Collective Abundance Fund Survey Results Here

When NDN Collective was awarded the opportunity to redistribute $50 million from the Bush Foundation to Indigenous individuals in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, we knew we had our work cut out for us. Initially referred to as the Bush community trust fund in December 2021, the goal was to distribute the funding to individuals in 2023 as a means of building “wealth” on Indigenous terms, engaging communities in all three states as the starting point.

Read the Full In-Depth Blog Here

NDN Collective Decries Biden’s Failure to Declare National Climate Emergency

On July 20th, rather than declaring a climate emergency, U.S. President Biden introduced initiatives to combat climate change, following short of action that would provide Federal resources and address the urgency surrounding the issue area.

“Young people, frontline, rural, Indigenous and low income communities desperately need Democrats to take bold action on the climate crisis – and while Biden’s plans are necessary, they’re ultimately not the bold climate action that we were promised and that we need to achieve climate justice,” said Jade Begay, Climate Justice Director at NDN Collective.

NDN Collective Femme-led Protest Disrupts Far-Right Catholic Church

NDN and bay area community allies rally to disrupt William “Bill” Barr’s keynote

On the evening of Saturday July 30th, NDN Collective led an Action in Napa, California as part of calling attention to the dangerous rhetoric of The Napa Institute – an organization co-founded by Timothy Busch, owner of the Meritage Resort and Spa where the Napa Institute annual conference is held.

Members of NDN Collective and other local residents from across the Bay Area disrupted William Barr’s keynote address to call attention to this event, which had previously flown under the radar. “Often, it can seem like big decisions happen in faraway places – when in fact the organizing that sets these violent and life-altering decisions in motion could be happening in our own backyards,” said NDN Collective Climate Justice Organizer, Kailea Frederick.

The peaceful disruption consisted of a caravan of vehicles parked on a public street outside of the venue space where William Barr was speaking. A banner was draped over the side of a truck that read, “Fascists Not Welcome Here! This Church = Colonial Control”, while protesters utilized a PA system to issue an eviction notice to conference attendees.

NDN Collective and Protect the Sacred Host ‘Skate to the Polls’

“We’re meeting Native young people where they are and showing them that voting is a community event.”

On Saturday August 13, NDN Collective and Protect the Sacred  co-hosted a community event on wheels – encouraging community members to bring skates, skateboards, scooters – to engage Native youth and young adults around the importance of voting in the midterms. The event featured Special gusts and viral sensation Nathan “Doggface” Apodaca, a Northern Arapaho skater as well as prominent First Nations actor Gary Farmer.

“We want to show folks that voting is a community event and our opportunity to select local leaders that will represent us at home and nationally. It’s an essential way to start taking back our power as Indigenous people, help protect the spaces we’ve carved out for ourselves, and push towards the future that we want for ourselves and our people,” said Lycia Maddocks.

Read More on the Skate to the Polls Event Here

NDN Collective Writes to Biden, Schumer, Pelosi on Inflation Reduction Act

The letters expressed support for the meaningful climate justice investments proposed in the Inflation Reduction Act, but ultimately asked them to reject all new fossil fuel projects, including onshore and offshore drilling – and asked President Biden again to declare a climate emergency to unlock critical defense funding.

“Tying essential climate resilience infrastructure and resource conservation efforts to continued fossil fuel development is both politically weak and a grave danger to people and the planet – especially to the Indigenous communities whose land is systematically targeted and destroyed by the fossil fuel industry,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective climate justice director and member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

From the NDN Blog: NDN Collective Urges Biden, Schumer, & Pelosi to Decouple Fossil Fuels from Renewable Energy Expansion and to Strengthen Racial Equity in the IRA

Dear President Biden:

I write to you today on behalf of NDN Collective, an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power through activism, organizing, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change. 

While we support many of the investments towards strengthening climate resilience and adaptation, we must also express our strong disappointment in the provisions that tie renewable energy development to oil and gas leasing. 

 Read the Full Letter Here

NDN Collective Responds to House Passing Inflation Reduction Act

In response to the August 12th news that the House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, NDN Collective released the following statement:

“To say this moment is bittersweet is an understatement,” said Jade Begay, climate justice director at NDN Collective. “On one hand, the IRA – which puts us on track to meet national climate goals by 2030 and will provide much-needed support around health care, jobs, and infrastructure – was only made possible by the tireless organizing of frontline and Indigenous communities, young people, and climate justice advocates. On the other hand, the IRA dismisses fundamental, decades-long demands by Indigenous, Black, Brown, and low income communities to end fossil fuel expansion and invest in a just transition to renewable energy.”

Read the Full Statement Here

NDN Collective in the Media

News Articles, Broadcasts, and Panels

NDN Collective featured on CNN’s ‘United Shades of America’ to discuss LANDBACK among a collection of Indigenous Voices

Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO and Krystal Two Bulls, NDN Collective Director of LANDBACK Campaign discuss the LANDBACK movement with W. Kamau Bell, sociopolitical comedian and host of ‘United Shades of America.’ The CNN segment follows Bell as he explores communities across America to understand the unique challenges they face.

Steph Viera, NDN Collective Social Media Manager, featured on KOTA radio on colonial tone of recent Roe v. Wade decision

On the radio segment Steph discusses the community impact of the decision and continued violence that women, femmes, Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Relatives will face when local, state and national leaders disregard their human rights.

Listen to the Full KOTA episode feat. Steph Viera Here

NDN Live On-the-Ground

Join the NDN Collective media team as they provide LIVE coverage of events happening across Turtle Island

Lorenzo Serna, NDN Collective Director of Tactical Media. Photo By Steph Viera for NDN Collective.


Join the LANDBACK team as they discuss the complexities of maintaining visibility in colonial spaces and the power of diversifying pathways towards justice in the continued pursuit of self-determination and #Landback.

Watch the Full NDN Live Feat. LANDBACK Team Here
NDN Live | Nick Tilsen Reflects on Impact Days in D.C.

Join NDN Collective President and CEO, Nick Tilsen, as he discusses the broader scope of NDN’s visit to Washington, D.C. for Impact Days, reflecting on pivotal conversations that he and NDN staff had with members of Congress and the White House regarding Indigenous solutions to our world’s most pressing issues.

NDN Collective is Hiring!

Join our Team of Indigenous Movement Builders

Associate Director of NDN Action

The Associate Director of NDN Action provides support to the Managing Director of NDN Action and the overall action team. They will oversee and expand NDN Action’s Indigenous rights and policy advocacy operations, programs, and services.

Learn More About the Associate Director of NDN Action Position and Apply Here
Project Manager, NDN Holdings

The Project Manager is directly responsible for organizing, supervising, scheduling & planning of multiple internal construction and development projects to maximize cost efficiency and motivate contractors to complete each project assigned on time and under budget.

Learn More About the Project Manager, NDN Holdings Position and Apply Here
Tactical Media Associate

With special attention to rapid response and tactical media, the Tactical Media Associate works across a host of disciplines and platforms, including livestream video productions, post-production on videos, on-the-ground event coverage, and copywriting.

Learn More About the Tactical Media Associate Position and Apply Here
Social Media Manager

The Social Media Manager administers NDN Collective social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn. Primary responsibilities include leading the Social Media Team, building a dynamic social media strategy that maintains the vision and mission of NDN Collective while building Indigenous power.

Learn More About the Social Media Manager Position and Apply Here
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 Position 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
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
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

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