ISSUE #07 / 2019

Bringing Our Voices Together: Indigenous Strategy Summit

Participants at the Bringing Our Voices Together Strategy Summit. Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. Photo Courtesy of Ayse Gursoz.

In partnership with environmental and climate-focused Indigenous organizations, Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) and the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), the NDN Collective co-hosted the Bringing Our Voices Together gathering from August 7-11 in Cold Lake, Alberta to focus on strategies related to protecting Indigenous lands and communities from expansion of the Alberta tar sands and related pipeline projects.  

This gathering was also the first Indigenous-only strategy summit related to protecting Indigenous people and lands from expansion of the tar sands, looking at the relationships between communities at the sources of Alberta tar sands extraction, to along the related pipeline routes that extend from the tar sands, including TransMountain, Keystone XL, and Line 3 pipelines, to the refineries on the coast. Over 100 Indigenous people, including organizers and leaders from both sides of the medicine line, also known as the U.S.-Canada border, were present at this gathering hosted at Cold Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta.

Indigenous Climate Action, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and NDN Collective are collaborating to produce a collection of multi-media stories on this gathering.  Stay tuned for more! And to support ICA, IEN and NDN Collective in our shared endeavors to protect Indigenous lands, our Mother Earth, and our human and non-human family from ongoing environmental threats, follow us on social media and visit our websites to learn of more ways to take action.

Indigenous Climate Action:

Indigenous Environmental Network:

NDN Collective

NDN Collective Hosts Education Equity Convening 

NDN Collective Headquarters in downtown Rapid City.  Photo Courtesy of Indigene Studios. 

On Thursday, August 15, the NDN Collective Education Equity team held the first convening of the newly created South Dakota Education Equity Coalition.  At this convening a group of 16 individuals representing more than 10 organizations gathered to strategize a campaign to promote charter school legislation specific to Indigenous education.  Among the group of committed coalition members was Todd Ziebarth, Senior Vice President of State Advocacy & Support at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and Diana Cournoyer, Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). 

The discussion at the convening included updates on priorities in drafting legislation, selecting a lobbyist, and conducting economic analyses to highlight the economic benefits of including charter legislation as an option to reduce the current high school drop-out rates in South Dakota. 

The coalition plans on convening again on September 22  in Pierre, South Dakota, just prior to the SD Indian Education Summit, says Sarah Pierce, NDN Collective Education Equity Director.  “We also plan on engaging with additional stakeholders and policy makers, including Governor Noem, as our campaign progresses.”

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.

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

Recent Events

Attended by NDN Collective staff

Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa.  Photo Courtesy of Sarah Sunshine Manning.

Frank LaMere Presidential Candidate Forum- Sioux City, IA

On September 20-21, the first-ever Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum was hosted in Sioux City, Iowa, bringing together Indigenous leaders, organizers, and voters to hear from 11 presidential hopefuls.  A total of 10 Democratic candidates and 1 Independent joined the two-day forum, each being given approximately 50 minutes to address the crowd and answer questions from a panel comprised of tribal leaders, leaders of Indigenous organizations, grassroots Indigenous voices, elders and youth representatives. 

Freelance journalist Julian Brave NoiseCat attended the forum as a media correspondent for the NDN Collective. NoiseCat was featured as a guest on the All In show on MSNBC hosted by Chris Hayes, reporting observations from the ground.  While much of mainstream media focused their attention on an apology to Native Americans from Senator Elizabeth Warren, NoiseCat says that much larger issues are the focus of Indigenous voters.

Watch the full video of Julian Brave Noisecat on MSNBC here:

MSNBC, “All In With Chris Hayes”

NoiseCat also produced a story for Esquire Magazine, reporting on what he calls a major, yet largely missed, highlight of the forum⏤ Independent candidate Mark Charles of the Navajo Nation, the only Native American candidate.

Omaha Tribe Women’s Colorguard with Marcella Lebeaux (center), Lakota elder and WWII 1st Lieutenant of the Army Nurse Corps. Photo Courtesy Sarah Sunshine Manning.

Indian Country Today, a leading publication on Indigenous issues, reported live from the event, producing videos and several stories on the forum.  Mark Trahant, Editor of Indian Country Today, served as moderator of the forum. Newly hired NDN Collective organizer Cante Heart volunteered at the forum, and NDN Collective Director of Communications Sarah Sunshine Manning was also present.

NDN Collective is Growing!

Welcome our newest member of the NDN Collective Team!

Canté Heart, NDN Collective Campaign Organizer, is Sicangu Lakota, Winnebago (Ho-Chunk), and a citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. She is a recent graduate of Oglala Lakota College with a degree in Business Administration specializing in Management. She currently resides in Rapid City, South Dakota with her three daughters.

Update on NDN Changemaker Fellowship Application Process 

English LOI Application Closes, Spanish Application Still Open

From Dr. PennElys Droz, Director of the NDN Fellowship:

Our Changemaker Fellowship English language application closed August 31, receiving 670 incredible applicants from across our Nations.  It has been wonderful and inspiring supporting the applicants through the process, learning of their work and passions, and through this, being reminded of the power, beauty, and resilience of our people. 

We have applicants who are bringing back languages and traditional seeds.  We have applicants who are passing on hunting and other land-based care practices to youth, who are renewing Indigenous parenting approaches.  We have applicants who are entrepreneurs, launching culturally grounded ecologically responsible businesses to provide healthy economic options for their Nations, and who are working to bring traditional forms of governance and community relationships back into everyday life and practice.

We are honored to be able to support our applicants, and are glad to be able to offer a multi-year fellowship because there are so many incredible candidates. Our regional board members will be meeting throughout the month of September and October to determine the top four candidates from each region to advance to the next stage of selection!  

Spanish language applications are due by September 24th. We invite you to share this amazing opportunity with your colleagues and friends in Mexico and Puerto Rico!

Spanish Application

NDN Collective Is Hiring

Welcoming Cante to the Team

Canté Heart, NDN Collective Campaign Organizer, is Sicangu Lakota, Winnebago (Ho-Chunk), and a citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. She is a recent graduate of Oglala Lakota College with a degree in Business Administration specializing in Management. She currently resides in Rapid City, South Dakota with her three daughters.

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