Issue #8 / 2023

Winter Solidarity Across Indigenous Lands

November/December 2023 Newsletter

Across Turtle Island and Indigenous lands of the northern hemisphere, we settle in to the winter season– a time of slowing down, reflection, and ceremony. At NDN Collective, we also take a moment to pause and acknowledge the winter solstice– a spiritual time for many, a time to reset, check in with ourselves and our loved ones, and to align our values with our actions for the year ahead. There is no shortage of relatives who still need our support this winter, so remember to keep our struggling relatives in prayer while also taking bold action to create a better world for all of us.  

In this newsletter, we provide many ways for you to taken action in support of Indigenous Peoples worldwide, and encourage you to continue using your voice and your energy to demand a ceasefire in Palestine. As you continue to read below, you’ll also find NDN Collective’s 5-year Impact Report, lifting up high points of our past five years to build Indigenous power. We share many other NDN stories of unapologetic Indigenous action, self-determination, and Indigenous changemakers bringing necessary perspectives to national and even international stages. As always, we are so grateful to have your support, and wish you and your loved ones a meaningful new year.

In deep solidarity,
The NDN Collective Team

View the Web Version of the Newsletter Here

NDN Releases 5 Year Impact Report

Highlighting groundbreaking work to empower Indigenous Peoples

Graphic Art by NDN Collective.

“Launched in 2018, NDN Collective provides the most ambitious, systemic approach to empowering Native communities in the history of philanthropy and impact investing,” said Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of NDN Collective, in the report’s opening letter. “The change, justice, and liberation we seek requires the centering of marginalized experiences and leadership, as well as the significant redistribution of resources currently overseeing the concentration of wealth.”

Read the Full Press Release Here

‘We Deserve to be Here’

Bringing Grassroots Indigenous Advocacy to D.C.

Tyrell Iron Shell shakes hands with Representative Cori Bush of Missouri. Photo by Angel White Eyes for NDN Collective.

From the NDN Blog:

Members of NDN Collective traveled to Washington, DC in early November to meet with lawmakers and to advocate for Indigenous communities in a variety of focus areas. Despite being well-known for our grassroots organizing efforts, NDN Collective’s policy work is an essential component of achieving the goals of our frontline actions. 

“We have so many methods for sharing our story but it makes such a difference to show up in person and have a conversation with decision makers to tell them what we’re about and get to the heart of why we do what we do,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective’s Director of Policy and Advocacy.

Read the Full Blog Here

Rapid City vs. Racism Demands Resignation of SD State’s Attorney

Dozens Hold Sit-in to call attention to the state’s attorney’s biased track record

Families and community members wait outside of Lara Roetzel’s office. Photo by Sunny Red Bear for NDN Action Network.

On November 21, the families of Nevaeh Brave Heart, Aiko Storm White Eagle, Kasey Arehart, and Kyle Whiting held a sit-in at state’s attorney Lara Roetzel’s office for five hours, calling for her resignation and for an independent investigation into the practices of the State’s Attorney office. 

The families and local community members mobilized this peaceful action to call attention to the state’s attorney’s track record of over prosecuting Native people while also failing to serve justice for Native people who have been murdered.

Read the Full Press Release Here

Hundreds Gather for Protect the Ȟesápa Event in Rapid City

In early December, NDN Collective hosted a teach-in event in Rapid City to share with the community the risks of large scale mining in the Ȟesápa (the Black Hills). The Ȟesápa is considered the most sacred place to the Lakota people and due to mining laws in South Dakota is constantly at risk of catastrophic mining practices and environmental damage.

The community teach-in provided facts and expert testimony about what is happening to the local ecosystem while also providing opportunities for the public to get involved in the effort.

Read More About the Teach-in Here

Introducing the 2023-24 Radical Imagination Artists & Storyteller Cohort 

Graphic Art by NDN Collective

The fourth cohort of Radical Imagination Artists and Storytellers is here!! 

We are thrilled to introduce the 2023-2025 grantees whose projects cover a range of creative mediums from film, basket weaving, photography, music, and more. The Radical Imagination grant supports artists whose work aligns with our efforts to defend, develop and decolonize our lands and communities. The grant supports artists for two years on a proposed project and uplift their work. 

Learn more about the new cohort from our press release or blog on our website! We are honored to uplift these relatives and their creative work.

Read the Full Press Release Here
Blog | Meet NDN Collective’s 2023-25 Radical Imagination Artist and Storyteller Cohort!

From the NDN Blog:

“If we envision the future we are fighting for and we radically imagine and articulate it, it will happen. When we support artists that can articulate what the future looks like when we win, artists who are working in conjunction with changemakers that are fighting to build that future, we close an important gap and make giant moves towards liberation,”said Nick Tilsen, President & CEO at NDN Collective 

We are honored to introduce these talented artists, whose radical imaginations show what the future looks like when we have built Indigenous power and liberation.

Pre-Order your LANDBACK Magazine Today!

Graphic Art by NDN Collective.

We are so excited to announce that the order period for the highly anticipated second issue of the LANDBACK Magazine is now open!! Issue 2 features perspectives on the need for an Independent Hawaiʻi in the wake of the Lahaina Fire, producing in the era of Indigenous filmmaking and overcoming disconnection through motherhood and ceremony. 

When you order the LANDBACK print bundle you will receive a copy of Issue 2 of the LANDBACK Magazine and a copy of ‘Let’s Get LANDBACK: A Toolkit to Restore our Relations’ booklet! You don’t want to miss your chance to read these amazing stories! 

Pre-Order your copy here

NDN Collective Attends COP28 in Dubai

Centering Indigenous Climate Solutions on the Global Stage

International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change Opening Elder Ceremony. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

In early December, NDN Collective sent a delegation to the United Nations 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28). This was NDN Collective’s third year participating in COP28, our second year sponsoring the Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion, and our first year as an accredited organization! 

This year, our priorities at COP28 included: 
– Global Stocktake
– Loss and Damages Fund
– Climate Finance and Direct Access 
– Phasing Out Fossil Fuels and Addressing False Solutions
– Address Article 6 of the Paris Agreement 

“This year’s COP28 agenda will have a direct and significant impact on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and wellbeing for generations to come,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective’s Director of Policy and Advocacy. “The bottom line is that Indigenous Peoples must be at the forefront of all decisions around climate policy.”

Read the Full Blog Here: NDN Collective at COP28
Blog | NDN Collective’s First Week at COP28 in Dubai

From the NDN Blog:

NDN Collective’s delegation has been on the ground in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the past two weeks participating in pre-meetings and the first week of the United Nations 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28).  

This is NDN Collective’s third year participating in COP – a series of intensive events and discussions where governments around the world negotiate and determine actionable items on international climate change policies. Our delegation has been participating in the Indigenous Peoples Caucus and the Local Communities Indigenous Peoples Platform, as well as tracking negotiations, meeting with government officials, and more.

Read the Full Blog Here
Indigenous Peoples Caucus

For the second year in a row, NDN Collective partnered with the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus to host the Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion at COP28, providing a critical space for global Indigenous people to come together, build collective power, and center community-led strategies to address climate change. 

The pavilion opened on December 2, ahead of the first day of the conference and opened with speeches from representatives from all seven UN socio-cultural regions. The Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus provided an opening statement, outlining the goals of the caucus and pavilion. 

Pema Wangmo Lama Mugum, an Indigenous youth activist belonging to the Mugum Indigenous Community from Nepal, reads a powerful statement on behalf of Indigenous Peoples Organizations at the Opening session of COP28. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

“Our inherent, distinct, internationally-recognized rights are affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – we will not allow these rights to be diminished, undermined, combined or confused in any way,” said Pema. “We commit to work with States to implement real solutions based on our knowledge, practices, time-tested sciences, reciprocity with the natural world and Mother Earth, and the full exercise of our rights. Our collective survival is at stake and our children and future generations require action without delay.”

Watch the Full Opening Statement Here
Read the Full Press Release: Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus Delivers Opening Statement
Press Release | COP28: NDN Collective to Co-Host Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion

At this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), NDN Collective is partnering with the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus to host the Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion for the second time, providing a critical space for global Indigenous communities from across the world to advance climate justice and build collective power.

“The decisions made this year have the potential to strengthen Indigenous self-determination or violate our rights, preserve and build food sovereignty or further destroy ecosystems, threaten our sacred places or protect them,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective’s Director of Policy and Advocacy. “For Indigenous Peoples, it’s not just the climate that is on the line – it’s everything that informs our cultures and identities. And that is why we are here – our voices must be at the center of these negotiations.” 

Read the Full Press Release Here
Press Release | COP28: Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion Holds Opening Ceremony

The Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion will host 83 sessions throughout COP28, uplifting Indigenous-led solutions from all seven UN socio-cultural regions and on a wide range of topics such as the importance of making a clear distinction between local communities and Indigenous people in the context of climate justice, climate finance, LANDBACK, loss and damages, and much more. 

“There is a lot of care and intention in the development of the Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion because we know how important it is to have a strong, visual presence in a space that has drowned out, invisibilized and outright excluded our voices in decision-making processes for far too long,” said Janene Yazzie, Southwest Regional Director of NDN Collective. 

Read the Full Press Release Here

Updates from the Ecosystem

Community members and staff of Dasiqox Nexwagwez?an gather around a fire together. Photo Courtesy of Dasiqox Nexwagwez?an.

NDN Foundation | Grantee Highlight: Dasiqox Nexwagwez?an

Dasiqox Nexwagwez?an, 2021-2023 Community Self-Determination Fellow, is an initiative that is driven and jointly led  by representatives of the Xeni Gwet’in and Yunesit’in communities. Dasiqox Nexwagwez?an epitomizes and manifests their communities’ ongoing efforts to defend, develop and decolonize. Dasiqox is the name of the headwater lakes and river at the heart of the communities’ Shared Caretaker Area, and Nexwagwez?an means “[it is] there for us”. This work is about defending and protecting relationships with the land – developing who they are into a positive future. 

“We are developing regenerative solutions to our communities’ challenges. Our work with people, language, places, and stories on the land through the BOTL program practices and sustains the long-term relationships that we are working to protect,” Dasiqox Nexwagwez?an shared. “At the same time, our work to understand and carry forward traditional law as part of a renewed governance system is part of our effort to shift power in ways that reflect Indigenous knowledge and priorities, rather than just accepting western systems.”

Recently celebrating 9 years of protecting Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) from outside mining interests Dasiqox-Nexwagwez?an continues to assert their rights, title, and role as caretakers of the area delineated as Nexwagwez?an. Their practices demonstrate one way to heal the damage that was done to their people, and lands, following more than a century of mismanagement by other governments. They are working to create opportunities that benefit Tsilhqot’in people, in the short and long term.

NDN Collective is honored to support this powerful and transformative work.

To learn more and support Dasiqox-Nexwagwez?an and their work:

➡️Follow them on social media: @dasiqox
➡️Visit their website: 
➡️Make a donation:

Read More About Dasiqox-Nexwagwez?an Here

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. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

Ep. 7 | Ocean Back

In this episode, Nick Tilsen visits with longtime mentor Dune Lankard, who shares stories and knowledge from his fight to protect his homelands in southcentral Alaska. From protecting millions of acres, to standing up for the bears, to fighting climate change while feeding the people with kelp, Dune shows what it means when he says, “ocean back.” As Dune says, “if it’s not regenerative then just don’t do it.” 

Listen to Episode 7 on Spotify Here
Ep. 6 | Free Leonard Peltier

For nearly 50 years, Indigenous organizers, activists, and allies have dedicated themselves to fight against the unjust incarceration of Indigenous movement leader, Leonard Peltier. In Episode 6 of the LANDBACK For The People, Nick Tilsen delves into the complexities of the longest serving Indigenous political prisoner alongside trusted legal and government affairs partners fighting for Leonard Peltier’s freedom.

On this episode Nick sits down with Holly Cook Macarro, Red Lake Ojibwe, NDN Collective Government Affairs and Bruce Ellison, Criminal Defense Attorney, to discuss the fight to free Leonard.

Listen to Episode 6 on Spotify Here
All LANDBACK For the People Podcasts episode recordings are also available on YouTube for viewing. 
Watch LANDBACK For the People Podcasts Here
Like and subscribe to get alerts for new episode drops!

Also Available on: Apple Podcasts | Amazon Music | Audible

Ceasefire and Stop Genocide!

Graphic Art by NDN Collective

From the river to the sea our Falastini relatives will be free! 🇵🇸🪶🤝

NDN Collective stands in solidarity and deep mourning with Gaza. For too long have the Palestinian people demanded their freedom, the reclamation of their homelands, their peace, and their liberation. 

While a temporary ceasefire agreement has been made, a 5-day ceasefire is not enough. Continue to call upon your Tribal leaders and representatives to demand a FULL CEASEFIRE and humanitarian aid be delivered to Gaza.

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.

How have communities been uniting in solidarity with Palestine? Al Jazeera Stream featuring NDN Collective’s Steph Viera

Al Jazeera Stream hosted a number of voices to discuss the widespread solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, including NDN Collective Associate Producer, Steph Viera (Dine & Salvadorian). Steph (they/he) provided insight to Indigenous solidarity with Palestine and drew attention to the root cause of this attack on Gaza: colonization. 

Other guests included Shaniae Maharaj (Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Benjamin Kersten (Jewish Voice for Peace), and Claudia De La Cruz (Party for Socialism and Liberation).

Watch the Full Conversation Here
The Native Perspectives of the Israel-Hamas War, Native America Calling featuring NDN Collective’s CEO & President Nick Tilsen

Native America Calling hosted a segment of Indigenous perspectives on the so-called “conflict” in Palestine which featured NDN Collective’s President and CEO Nick Tilsen. The conversation aired on November 9 and included other voices from Indian Country to discuss some of the parallels and relevance of what’s happening to the Indigenous experience here on Turtle Island.

Listen to the Show Here
March for Palestine | Washington, D.C.

In early November, NDN was on the ground for the March for Palestine in Washington, DC. NDN Collective’s President and CEO Nick Tilsen, along with others from our team, took the stage and publicly stood in solidarity with our Palestinian relatives and called out the parallels of genocide between our history as Indigenous people and what is happening in Gaza today. 

The march was attended by more than 300,000 people, being one of the largest national marches for Palestine.

Watch the Full NDN Live of the March
To learn more, read our:
Ceasefire Statement:
Position Paper on Palestine:

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

Protect the HeSapa Teach-in | Rapid City, SD

On November 30, NDN Collective’s local organizing team hosted a community teach-in in Rapid City, SD. The teach-in informed residents of the area about the risks of mining exploration, drilling and pollution.

Watch the Full Teach-in Here
March for Black Futures I Atlanta, GA

LIVE on November 10, 2023 NDN Collective was at the Black Family March for our Futures where community gathered to make it known that Cop City and the expansion of policing is a direct threat to Black families. They are calling upon Black elected officials to stop selling out for Atlanta Police Foundation campaign donations! #StopCopCity

Watch the Full Livestream Here
March to Stop Cop City Construction #BlockCopCity I Atlanta, GA

Hundreds of organizers from around Turtle Island marched to block ongoing construction and enforce a “People’s Stop Work Order” at the #BlockCopCity mobilization. “Cop City” is a $90 million police, fire and rescue training facility being built on top of 381 acres of the Weelaunee Forest, traditional homelands of the Mvskoke and Seminole.

In November, NDN Collective joined with organizers in Atlanta, GA to block construction of the project.

Watch the Full Livestream Here
Bear Witness: Honoring Gaza’s Martyrs | Minneapolis, MN

NDN Collective was live at the Opening Poetry Reading and Gathering for Bear Witness: Honoring Gaza’s Martyrs, a “sound and spatial” installation presented by Mizna, UMN Students for Justice in Palestine, UMN Palestine Studies Working Group and Public Functionary.

Honoring and mourning the loss of life in Gaza, we heared from local poets.

Watch the Full Livestream Here
Visit the NDN Collective YouTube Channel for more NDN Live Content:

Check out what’s happening on NDN’s Social Media

“It cannot be understated that the DAPL represents a significant matter of not only human rights, but in particular, a matter of Indigenous rights and the honoring of Indian treaties recognized under the US Constitution, but also the rights to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) as declared in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).” – Faulty Infrastructure and the Impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline, NDN Collective Special Report

View the full Instagram post Here

From the river to the sea our Falastini relatives will be free! 🇵🇸🪶🤝

NDN Collective stands in solidarity and deep mourning of Gaza. For too long have the Palestinian people demanded their freedom, the reclamation of their homelands, their peace, and their liberation. We demand an immediate ceasefire, we demand the end of US funding to Israeli settler occupation, and we demand the siege on Gaza be lifted immediately.

View the full Instagram post Here

We reject the settler narrative surrounding Thanksgiving and continue to stand in solidarity with all Indigenous Peoples, including our Palestinian relatives who are under attack, suffering the sinister and brutal aggression of the settler state of Israel.

The so-called US empire continues to commit genocide from Turtle Island to Palestine, while burying Indigenous narratives and instead glorifying false settler narratives.

View the full Instagram post Here
To stay up to date on all the powerful happenings on NDN’s social media, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), LinkedIn and YouTube.

Take Action

Take Action Now and Demand for the Resignation of Lara Roetzel

The November 21 sit-in called attention to a trend in state’s attorney Lara Roetzel’s unjust prosecution of Indigenous people and neglect when prosecuting those who murder our Indigenous relatives. We demand her immediate resignation NOW! #RapidCityVsRacism

TAKE ACTION WITH US | 📱CALL NOW! 605-394-2191 and demand that State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel resign from her position.

Sample Call Script:

Hello, this is [YOUR NAME]. I’m calling today because I believe State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel must be removed from her position for failure to hold those accountable for the murder of Native people and abusing her power to unjustly prosecute Native people. I demand the immediate resignation of State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel. Thank you for your time.

Take Action Now to Free Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier, a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (ND), activist, member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and elder, is the longest-serving Indigenous political prisoner in United States history. For nearly 50 years, Indigenous activists, organizers, and allies have spoken out about the flawed prosecution, trial, and conviction that led to Leonard’s unjust incarceration.

Join us in taking action to demand Leonard’s freedom!

📱Call The White House at (202) 456-1111

 ✉️Email The White House at:

✍🏽Write to your representative and Senator and ask them to urge President Joe Biden to release Leonard Peltier. Find your rep here:

🖊️Sign and Share The Native Organizers Alliance Petition:

📝Write to Leonard Peltier:

P.O. BOX 1033

Join the #FreeLeonardPeltier Campaign Network

NDN Collective is Hiring!

Join our Team of Indigenous Movement Builders

Senior Project Developer, NDN Holdings LLC

Reporting to the Managing Director for NDN Holdings, the Senior Project Developer is directly responsible for organizing, supervising, scheduling, planning, and obtaining financing for internal construction as well as business planning to maximize cost efficiency and motivate contractors to complete assigned projects on time and under budget.

Learn more and apply here
Grants Manager – NDN Foundation

The Grants Manager will administer the planning and implementation of the transactional aspects of grantmaking within the grants management system, as well as its maintenance and refinement.

Learn more and apply here
Program Officer – Collective Abundance Fund – NDN Foundation

The Program Officer position will support the NDN Foundation Collective Abundance Fund Program specifically for North Dakota.

Learn more and apply here
Grant Program Associate

The Program Associate provides programmatic and grantmaking support to the NDN grantmaking team and assists the Associate Director in planning, organizing and implementing grantmaking opportunities and programming.

Learn more and apply here
Director of Organizing

The Director of Organizing will be responsible for providing support to the Managing Director of NDN Action and will directly manage the local NDN organizing core made up of 8 local organizers in the Rapid City Community.

Learn more and apply here
Media & Public Relations Officer

The Media & Public Relations Officer acts as the primary 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 and apply here
Advancement Officer

Reporting to and in partnership with the Director of Advancement, the Advancement Officer will lead the department’s grant and report writing and management. The Advancement Officer will also support the Director of Advancement on all donor management, donor-related projects, and developing grants management tools and processes that will be deployed across the organization.

Learn more and apply here