Issue #05 / 2021

Radically Imagining Indigenous Futures

From Art & Storytelling, to Bringing Back the Buffalo

Indigenous movements are dynamic, they are complex, and all-encompassing. At NDN Collective, in our times of being deeply immersed in the work, we remind each other to pause and recognize the sheer power of this moment we are in– to celebrate and recognize our wins, because they truly are happening all around us!

In this month’s newsletter, we lift up some of our most recent wins, highlighting the Wolakota Buffalo Release, a project on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation supported by NDN Collective, updates from the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Scotland, dynamic storytelling with our first cohort of Radical Imagination artists, and we share the rollout of our position paper, “Demilitarization is Decolonization” — PLUS, so much more. Keep reading for ways to take action, and for a listing of NEW positions open at NDN Collective.

NDN Celebrates Buffalo Release

In Partnership with Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Wolakota Regenerative Buffalo Range & Wildlife Sanctuary

NDN Collective President & CEO, Nick Tilsen with Sicangu Lakota students from Rosebud. Photo Courtesy of NDN Collective

“Our ancestors dreamed of moments like this,” says NDN Collective President and CEO Nick Tilsen.

Members of NDN Collective attended the Wolakota Buffalo Release Celebration on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, where close to 100 people gathered, including local students, National Parks Service and Fish and Wildlife Service representatives, members of Native organizations including the Rosebud Tribal Council, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Land Enterprise, the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy, and more. 

“Not long ago, settlers attempted to kill off the buffalo as a mechanism to steal our land, and they tried to steal our land as a mechanism to colonize our people and assimilate and destroy us– but they couldn’t,” said Nick Tilsen, President and CEO of NDN Collective. “Now, coming full circle, we have reclaimed these lands and we’ve put the tatanka (buffalo) back on the land.”

Read About the Event Here
Meet the Wolakota Regenerative Buffalo Range & Wildlife Sanctuary

Jointly supported by the NDN Fund and NDN Foundation, the Wolakota Regenerative Buffalo Range and Wildlife Sanctuary is a Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) project, which is the economic development arm of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The project will convert 28,000 acres of Tribal lands from cattle to buffalo, creating the largest, Native-owned and managed buffalo herd to protect and strengthen the prairie ecosystem and create cultural and economic opportunities within the community.

Photo Courtesy of the @sicangucdc Team

Radical Imagination Virtual Festival

A Two-Part Event Featuring the Inaugural Cohort of Radical Imagination Artists

One of three roundtable discussion panels for PART I of the Radical Imagination Virtual Festival, hosted by Sarah Manning of NDN Collective, with artists Ryan Redcorn, Cara Romero, Isaac Murdoch, and Marianne Nicholson.

Embrace the Radical. Give Breath to Your Imagination.

For the past year, NDN Collective supported our first cohort of Radical Imagination Artist grantees, focused on community embedded projects that envision the future world we are striving towards. Now, it is with great pride and excitement that we celebrate the culmination of this first cohort of inspiring Indigenous artists and storytellers with the Radical Imagination Virtual Festival.

The Radical Imagination Virtual Festival is a two-part Event that celebrates the deeply immersive and ingenious work of the inaugural cohort of NDN Collective’s 2020 Radical Imagination Artists. Throughout 2021, NDN Collective supported each of the grantees focused on community-embedded projects that envision the future world we strive toward. ​

Learn more about the event and watch PART I here
PART II of the Radical Imagination Virtual Festival Kicked off on Friday, November 19

Video interviews featuring artists Cara Romero and D.A. Navoti premiered for PART II of the Radical Imagination Virtual Festival. You can see both videos on NDN Collective’s YouTube Channel.

Watch “Radical Imagination with Cara Romero” Here

Watch “Radical Imagination with D.A. Navoti” Here
Videos featuring the remaining 8 radical imagination artists will premier on NDN Collective’s YouTube channel on November 26, December 3, and December 10.
Subscribe to NDN Collective’s YouTube Channel to Receive Notifications

‘Demilitarization is Decolonization’

NDN Collective Releases Position Paper on Militarism

Authored by NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign team

NDN Collective released “Demilitarization is Decolonization”, a position paper on militarization, naming the military industrial complex as a pathway for exploitation and destruction of Indigenous communities within the so-called United States and internationally. 

“Within our communities there can be space for two truths about militarism: First, we can create space for honoring our relatives who have risked and lost their lives fighting to protect their communities and homelands serving in the U.S. military. And secondly, we can also hold space to acknowledge the harm, destruction, and violence that the U.S. military has inflicted against people and the land globally. It is our hope that this paper can serve as a resource for having open and honest conversations within our communities and how we can imagine and build a demilitarized future.” said Korina Barry, Managing Director of NDN Action

Read the Full Press Release Here
Read the Full Position Paper Here

NDN Collective Delegates Attend COP26

Uplifting Indigenous-Led Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Members of the NDN Collective team participate in Global Climate March on November 6. Photo Courtesy of NDN Collective.

Eight members of the NDN Collective Team travel to Glasgow, Scotland

The NDN Collective Climate Justice team and other members of NDN Action took part in the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during COP26 to advocate for Indigenous-led Solutions that promote rapid large scale emissions reductions. This included advocating to fight false, corporate-driven solutions. In addition, the NDN Collective Actions Team took part in the Global Day of Action and will host events throughout the two weeks of the COP26.

“Undoubtedly, this year’s COP26 is the most important Conference of the Parties in history. By mid-November, humanity will have a better sense of our fate on this Earth by knowing what decisions will are made at the UNFCCC negotiations. In order for that fate to be hopeful, just and equitable, world leaders and Nation States must prioritize solutions that quickly and equitably shift our societies and economies away from the fossil fuel industry.” said NDN Collective’s Climate Justice Team.

Memo: How ‘The Build Back Better Act’ Can Meaningfully Mobilize Investment to Indigenous Communities & Uphold Free Prior and Informed Consent in the Process

One of the major talking points for U.S. leaders participating in COP26 is H.R. 5376, or the Build Back Better Act. In reality, the currently proposed Build Back Better Act, is another piece of legislation that fails to address the total concerns of Indian Country. Once again, the federal government fails to live up to their federal trust responsibilities in equipping our communities with the tools and resources to navigate global crises like climate change and COVID-19.

Our message is as important as ever as politicians from around the globe continue to deflect their responsibilities by uplifting false solutions to climate change — such as net zero and “nature-based solutions” — and erasing the voices of our people. Politicians are turning a blind eye to the needs of Indigenous and frontline communities, while using exploitative colonial financial structures and nefarious accounting balancing tricks.

Read the Full Memo Here
COP26: NDN Collective Hosts Meeting with Indigenous Youth and White House National Climate Advisor

NDN Collective hosted a meeting between the White House National Climate Advisor, Gina McCarthy, and Indigenous and Frontline youth from across Turtle Island. 

The group spoke on the importance and challenges of climate adaptation for tribal communities, accelerating the transition from fossil fuels, and unlocking the benefits of the clean energy transformation for tribal communities.

Read the Full Press Release Here
COP 26: Energy Continued Extraction, and False Promises

Greenwashed solutions and projects, and others like them throughout the world continue to devastate Indigenous and frontline communities in the name of energy independence, but we ask, independence for whom? Tens of thousands of people in America are severely lacking access to energy, particularly our Indigenous communities. These communities are on the frontlines of the devastating effects of natural resource extraction but very rarely benefit from the exploitation and devastation. Instead, their lives are put on the line as devastating environmental health impacts leave these communities without recourse. 

From Indigenous and frontline communities in Standing Rock, Red Lake and White Earth to Bay Mills and Pembroke Township in the United States, all the way to the Shetland Islands here in Scotland. These communities are on the frontlines of fossil fuel energy projects that threaten their very basic rights to life and that of their future generations.

Photo By Cadence Feeley

Read the Full Blog Here

Nick Tilsen’s Evidentiary Hearing

After Numerous Delays, Nicks Legal Team Files to Dismiss all Charges

NDN Collective, Nick Tilsen addressing the crowd in front of the Courthouse before Entering his hearing. Photo By Willi White for NDN Collective.

Nick and his legal team have filed a motion to dismiss all of Nick’s charges on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct, free speech violations, and a violation of Nick’s right to a speedy trial.

“In today’s evidentiary hearing, we were able to give arguments supporting our motion to dismiss all of my charges on the basis of vindictive persecution, prosecutorial misconduct, and denying my right to a speedy trial and my right to freedom of speech. We had the opportunity to put Mark Vargo of the Pennington County Prosecutor’s Office on the stand, and he had to answer for his conduct in this process. It is our hope that if the judge sees any merit in Vargo’s mistreatment of my case, that all of my charges would be dismissed” said Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO.

Read the Full Press Statement Here

‘Racist and Irresponsible’

NDN Collective Responds to Math Teacher’s Mockery of Native Americans in Classroom Lesson

On Wednesday, October 20, a video went viral on social media of high school math teacher Candice Reed at John W. North Highschool in Riverside, California making a mockery of Native Americans. While delivering a classroom lesson, Reed put a fake headband of feathers on her head and began making motions of a “tomahawk chop,” whooping loudly, dancing and running through the classroom, even pretending to pray to “rock gods.”

“The behavior of this teacher has roots. Her actions and ignorance depict the lack of cultural competency and disconnection to the original peoples of the land. The statement from the Riverside Unified School District Administration is the first step of accountability. Still, to adequately address the harm caused by this teacher’s actions, we need sustainable change through an equitable and inclusive curriculum, creating safe spaces for Indigenous students, and equitable policies that protect students from harm.” said Sunny Red Bear, NDN Collective Director of Racial Equity.

Read the Full Press Statement Here

Take Action

Contribute to the Wolakota Regenerative Buffalo Range and Wildlife Sanctuary

“At REDCO, we are bringing Tatanka back to the people as a way to realize our vision of a healthy, helpful, and safe Oyate (nation). We are converting 28,000 acres of Rosebud Sioux Tribal lands from cattle to bison. The return of the bison will protect and strengthen the prairie ecosystem and create cultural opportunities for our community. Additionally, we will explore add-on ventures such as a processing plant, cultural and ecotourism, and educational outreach.”

Donate to Wolakota Here

NDN Collective is Hiring!

Join our Team of Indigenous Movement Builders

Warehouse Manager

The Warehouse Manager will oversee NDN Collective’s Warehouse systems and policies. The goal is to ensure Warehouse systems are effective and functioning within the limits of budget, time and specifications of the organization.

Learn more about the Warehouse Manager 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
Human Resources Director

The Human Resource Director oversees the HR department, provides oversight of organizational HR practices and policies and partners with the Leadership Team and staff to understand and execute the organization’s HR and talent strategy.

Learn More about the Human Resources Director 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

Graphic Designer

The Graphic Designer creates digital and print materials for the NDN Collective ecosystem following NDN Collective brand guidelines.

Learn More about the Graphic Designer 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

Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer contributes to NDN Collective’s overall success of the organization by effectively managing all financial activities for the organization and as a member of the Leadership Team.

Learn More about the Chief Financial Officer 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

Website Content Manager

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

Learn More about the Website Content 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