Issue #09 / 2022

Community is How We Thrive

September/October 2022 Newsletter

There is no movement unless there is collective effort. This has been an inherent teaching of Indigenous communities since time immemorial. Whether we are standing in resistance to the violence of colonialism, learning or re-learning our cultures, honoring our multifaceted identities, or uplifting and protecting our most vulnerable so that they may thrive as well– we move and build together.

In this month’s newsletter, we share a glimpse of NDN Collective’s work in community– from the work to build Gliúŋ, our tiny house community being developed for unhoused relatives in Rapid City, as we engage Indigenous people in voter engagement and Indigenous power building, and as we celebrate Oceti Sakowin Community Academy opening– Rapid City’s first Indigenous-led school for Indigenous students– and so much more.

Let’s continue to move, resist, build, heal and thrive together.

NDN Collective Celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day Across Turtle Island

Uplifting Indigenous Power Building Through Art, Voter Engagement and LANDBACK

(L-R) Jordan Brien, Sarah Manning, Will Wilson, Marca Cassity and Frank Waln open up the keynote presentation, Lighting the 8th Fire Through Indigenous Arts for the New York Grantmakers in the Arts Conference on Monday, October 10, 2022. Photo by Erica Pretty Eagle Cozad for NDN Collective.

On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, NDN Collective took part in several events to celebrate and uplift the brilliance and resilience of Indigenous Peoples – participating in Indigenous Peoples’ Day Phoenix Fest in Arizona, the Grantmakers in the Arts Conference in New York and opening up pre-sale opportunities for the inaugural issue of the LANDBACK Magazine.

“If we’re fighting for the liberation of our people, then I’m going to use every single tactic available to me in that fight. If I have the ability to cast a vote to influence who I am sitting across the table with, then hell yeah I’m going to use that power, because I’m all about any means necessary – whether it be voting, taking it to the streets, buying land or occupying land,” said Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO.

Read the Full Recap of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Events Here
What does Indigenous Peoples’ Day mean to you? | 11 Indigenous Voices from NDN Collective Respond

Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD) signifies many things to Indigenous people, including the celebration of victories all across Indigenous lands to abolish Columbus Day – a day that many states and municipalities have still yet to eliminate – replacing it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It is also a significant day to us at NDN Collective, as we recognize IPD as the day we publicly launched in 2018.

We lift up 11 different voices from across the NDN Collective as they reflect on what Indigenous Peoples’ Day means to them.

Read the Full Blog Here
NDN Collective Uplifts Indigenous Peoples’ Day in NYC & Phoenix | Both events highlight the breadth and reach of NDN’s work

NDN Collective is sponsoring the VIP experience at Indigenous Peoples’ Day Phoenix Fest, which gives attendees access to an exclusive musical lineup and fashion show. At the event, they will also run multiple booths and experiences –  including a “Sko Vote Den” booth dedicated to voter registration, engagement, and education of Indigenous folks in the Southwest.

At the New York Grantmakers in the Arts Conference – a week-long event which provides valuable professional development for arts grantmakers and encourages the reimagination of the present and future of arts and culture by those stewarding wealth for their communities, NDN provided the keynote presentation, Lighting the 8th Fire Through Indigenous Arts.

Both events were livestreamed.

Watch the Full Grantmakers in the Arts Conference in NYC Livestream Here
NDN Live: 2022 Grantmakers in the Arts Annual Conference – Bronx, NY
Watch the Full Indigenous Peoples’ Day Phoenix Fest Livestream Here
NDN Live: Indigenous Peoples Day Phoenix Fest – Phoenix, AZ

NDN Collective Launches LANDBACK Magazine Pre-sales

A culmination of stories and experiences shared across generations

The front cover of He Sapa: The Heart of Everything That Is, for the inaugural issue of the LANDBACK Magazine, designed by Eloy Bida. Nellie Red Owl (1907-1992) is intentionally featured on the cover as an acknowledgment of that lineage, her courageous actions, and her commitment to reclaiming the He Sapa.

On October 10th NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign officially launched pre-sales of the limited edition LANDBACK Magazine, He Sapa: The Heart of Everything That Is, which pivots on the cornerstone work of the LANDBACK Campaign to reignite and continue the ongoing struggle to return the He Sapa (Black Hills) to the Oceti Sakowin (Lakota/ Dakota/Nakota) Nation.

“The LANDBACK Magazine is a culmination of stories and experiences shared across generations of front line struggles, courageous mass mobilization, and teachings to guide us into the future,” said Nadya Tannous, LANDBACK Campaign Organizer. “We’re bringing old school, punk vibes and a loud voice, connecting local LANDBACK efforts to domestic and international struggles for justice.”

Pre-sales have since closed, but will re-open for the magazine’s official launch on October 20th with additional opportunities in November for Native America Heritage Month at numerous Indigenous-owned and Movement bookstores in the so-called continental US, so-called Canada, and the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Read the Full Press Release Here

 NDN Collective Officially Opens Doors of Oceti Sakowin Community Academy

Rapid City’s First Indigenous-led School for Indigenous Students

Staff and Teachers gift backpacks to the Inaugural class of kindergartners at the Oceti Sakowin Community Academy grand opening event. Photo By Willi White for NDN Collective.

On Wednesday, September 7, NDN Collective officially opened Oceti Sakowin Community Academy, the first Indigenous-led school designed specifically for students in the Mni Luzahan (Rapid City) area. A community grand opening occurred on Tuesday, September 6 at the location of Camp Mni Luzahan, where prayer and drum songs opened the occasion, followed by a line-up of speakers to welcome students and families, an introduction of the inaugural kindergarten class, classroom visits, and more.

The school aims to close the opportunity gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students that has gone unaddressed for decades. Indigenous students in South Dakota are among the lowest in terms of graduation, achievement, and mobility rates, and are disproportionately and more harshly disciplined in schools than their non-Indigenous peers.

“I am thrilled for the school to open, because this is something that our community has long been asking for and today, we are welcoming our first class of Kindergarten students,” said Mary Bowman, Founder of Oceti Sakowin Community Academy. “Culturally responsive pedagogy helps students to be engaged, motivated, and develop a strong cultural identity.”

Read the Full Press Release Here

Check out additional highlights on NDN Collective’s visit to the Hill:

 3rd Annual Backpack Giveaway Provides More Than School Supplies

600 backpacks, filled with various school supplies & NDN swag, gifted to students

Student receives a backpack filled with school supplies and NDN Collective swag. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

On Saturday, September 10th, NDN Collective hosted its 3rd annual backpack giveaway at Rapid Skillz, located in Rapid City, for PreK-12 students in the Black Hills region, and provided 600 backpacks, filled with various school supplies and NDN swag, for students in the community.

This year’s event encompassed both a giveaway and a communal event, including a sit-down meal and activities for the youth, such as a bouncy house and a photobooth. The occasion was also a means of honoring youth and their parents/guardians as they embarked on a new school year.

“This is NDN Collective’s third annual backpack giveaway. We put a lot of intentionality into organizing the event as well as ensuring we’re giving away quality items. It also allows us to connect with the community, to celebrate the wakanyeja and families,” said Alberta Eagle, NDN Collective Director of Operations.

Read the Full Blog Here
Check out additional highlights on the 3rd Annual Backpack Giveaway:

 NDN Collective Visits Tiny Home Community in Seattle

Members of the NDN Collective Actions Team after a day spent learning about tiny home construction with the BLOCK Project in Seattle, WA.

Members of the Racial Equity team at NDN Collective visited the BLOCK Project in Seattle to learn about the organization’s work in building homes for unhoused people in their community. NDN Collective team members will learn from those who have found solutions for people facing homelessness, and gather specific knowledge.

“We’re excited to bring the knowledge we gather with the BLOCK Project back home to our people. We remain determined to provide our unhoused relatives with safe, sustainable housing, community support, healing, and respect,” said Sunny Red Bear, Director of Racial Equity at NDN Collective.

Read thje Full Press Release Here
From the NDN Blog: One Step Closer to Building Tiny Home Community for Houseless Relatives in Rapid City | By Brandi Douglas

The NDN Collective tiny house project, known as Gliúŋ, or “to return for good,” in the Lakota language, was born from the vision to support unhoused relatives at Camp Mni Luzahan in Rapid City, South Dakota which arose in 2020 as a means to provide emergency community housing to unhoused relatives during the harsh winter months. 

The concept for the Gliúŋ tiny home community in Rapid City soon arose as a means of providing unhoused Indigenous relatives with permanent housing, community, proximity to culture, and access to critical resources. Ultimately, Gliúŋ will serve as a shift from a social services lens to that of self-determination, with an initial and primary focus on providing housing for victims of domestic abuse, for families, and unhoused youth.

Read the Full Blog Here
Watch the IG Live Feat. Sunny Red Bear Introducing the Tiny Home Project

Watch the Full Live Here

NDN Collective hosts Sko Vote Den Artist Showcase

Bringing live music and voter engagement to Santa Fe

LANDBACK Album Artist, Tufawon, closes out the evening with a powerful set at the Sko Vote Den Artist Showcase in Santa Fe, NM. Photo by Willi White for NDN Collective.

From the NDN Blog:

It was a cool Santa Fe evening as visitors walked the museum’s art gallery, enjoyed food served by the Ramblin Cafe food truck, and enjoyed music and performances by Indigenous artists Ailani, Kinsale Drake, Gunner Jules, Charly Lowry and Tufawon. 

The event was a collaborative effort between NDN Collective, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Native Guitars Tour, and the Native American Voter Alliance Education Project in a partnership meant to lift up Indigenous artists and educate and empower Indigenous artists and educate and empower Indigenous communities to vote

Read the Full Recap Blog Here

NDN Collective Joins Illuminative at Santa Fe Indian Market

Members join Indigenous Futures: Envisioning the Next 100 Years

Nick Tilsen, President & CEO of NDN Collective joins a powerful panel of Indigenous movement builders including: Crystal Echo Hawk, Founder & Executive Director of IllumiNative; Holly Cook Macarro, Partner, Spirit Rock Consulting LLC; and Judith LeBlanc, Director of Native Organizers Alliance.

Panels spanned between August 20th and 21st and featured over 20 Indigenous artists, actors and leaders, including Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective CEO and President as well as Jade Begay, NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign Director and Janene Yazzie, NDN Collective Southwest Regional Director. Discussion topics included Visions for the Future: voting, organizing and building Indigenous Power as well as Climate Justice: the Next 100 Years.

“We are using the vote, but we have to be really clear that we are fighting for liberation and our definition of what liberation looks like for Indian people, it has to be decided by us,” said Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO. “Everything that has happened to us throughout the history of our people has been taking the decision-making power from us to make decisions about us and for us. Every step of the way, we have to reclaim that process.”

Visions for the Future: Voting, Organizing & Building Indigenous Power | Watch the Entire Livestream on NDN Collective’s YouTube Channel
Access the Full Livestream Here

Climate Justice & Radical Imagination | Indigenous Creativity as Adaptation & Mitigation

Jade Begay, Climate Justice Director at NDN Collective leads an inspiring panel discussion on what the next 100 years of Climate Justice look like. The discussion also featured Janene Yazzie (Diné), NDN Collective Southwest Regional Director; Julia Bernal (Sandia Pueblo), Pueblo Action Alliance; and Jennifer Muskrat (Jicarilla Apache), Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. 

Access the Full Livestream Here

NDN Collective Director of Climate Justice Campaign Visits White House

Uplifts Work Centralized in the Southwest Region

On October 7th Jade Begay, NDN Collective Director of the Climate Justice Campaign, visited the White House for Communities in Action: Building a Better New Mexico to highlight the work the organization has been doing on the ground in New Mexico and the greater Southwest region. This work ranges from COVID-19 relief, voter engagement and registration, climate disaster response, grants to people in the Southwest doing work ranging from renewable energy projects to language revitalization and more.

“Deep collaboration between the presidential administration, state leaders, and community members is critical to ensure frontline and Indigenous communities receive the support they need through the IRA,” said Jade Begay, Climate Justice Director at NDN Collective. “The meeting today indicates the Biden-Harris administration is dedicated to building strong relationships to ensure we can strengthen provisions and programs and create climate resilient communities.

Read the Full Press Release Here

NDN Collective Responds to Manchin’s Side Deal Being Pulled from IRA

Senator Joe Manchin pulls his permitting side deal language from the Inflation Reduction Act

Protesters at the Hart Senate Office Building carry signs calling for Sen. Manchin to support the full Build Back Better Bill. Photo by Phil Pasquini.

On September 27th Senator Joe Manchin pulled his permitting side deal language from the Inflation Reduction Act and the following morning NDN Collective issued a statement in response:

“Make no mistake – the decoupling of Manchin’s dirty side deal from the Inflation Reduction Act is a result of tireless advocacy by frontline, climate justice, and Indigenous communities,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective Director of Climate Justice Campaign. “This is a victory, but it’s a frustrating one. Climate and environmental organizers do not have time to be battling bogus legislation – especially from Democrats, who are supposed to be our allies.

Read NDN Collective’s Full Statement Here

Impacts of Permitting Reform Proposal on Tribes and Indigenous Communities

Analysis co-authored by the Climate Justice Team alongside Dr. Kyle Whyte

Photo By Cadence Feeley.

Co-authored by the NDN Collective Climate Justice Team alongside Dr. Kyle Whyte, organizer and Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, this analysis and summary captures the impacts of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) permitting reform proposal and is based on the most recent draft text released on September 21, 2022. 

The following areas are analyzed: Tribal Consultation, Environmental Justice, NEPA and the Clean Water Act, Mining, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Place-based fights where NEPA and CWA are critical or where improved consultation is needed, What justice-based permitting reform looks like for Indigenous communities, and mining and lithium mining justice-based reform

Read the Full Analysis Here

Indigenous Group from North America Write Letter to Chilean Leadership

Supporting monumental provisions in proposed chilean constitution

In response to the proposed Chilean constitution – which includes groundbreaking protections for Indigenous peoples including Free Prior and Informed Consent, land return, and plurinational self-determination – 17 Indigenous groups from across Turtle Island (U.S. and Canada) sent a letter to the president of Chile expressing their gratitude and support for the proposed constitution.

“Chile’s newly proposed constitution sets a precedent for the U.S. and other governments to not only recognize it is beyond time to update our draconian constitutions, but also that integrating Indigenous rights into our core laws will move us towards truly achieving equity and justice,” said Jade Begay, Climate Justice Director at NDN Collective.

Extreme Heat and Climate Change: A Health Equity Crisis

NDN Collective hosts extreme heat and climate change webinar

Dr. Gaurad Basu leads an informative slideshow during the Extreme Heat & Climate Change Webinar for Zoom participants.

From the NDN Blog:

Over the last decade, we have witnessed the toll that extreme heat waves have taken on our people and the impact they have on our food and cultural ways. The reality of climate change and global warming is something we have all become intimately familiar with, yet often don’t have the necessary information to prepare for and adapt to.

NDN Collective’s Climate Justice team – Jade Begay, Director of Climate Justice Campaign, and Kailea Frederick, Climate Justice Organizer –  joined Dr. Gaurab Basu, a health equity fellow from Harvard’s School of Public Health who works with the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment, on a presentation addressing the health equity crisis linked to extreme heat and climate change.

Read the Full Blog Here
Watch the Full Webinar Here | Extreme Heat & Climate Change: A Health Equity Crisis

Updates from the NDN Collective Ecosystem

NDN Foundation | NDN Collective Hosts Livestream Discussions with Changemaker Fellowship Alumni

On Thursday, September 29th, PennElys Droz, NDN Collective Program Officer, went LIVE to interview Changemaker Fellowship Alumna Jesse Cardinal (Kikino Metis Settlement, Treaty 6) – exploring her visions and actions for building Indigenous power in her community within so-called Canada.

The discussion took place just one day before the Second National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, on September 30th in so-called Canada – a day intended to honor the power of the survivors of colonization and residential schools.

Watch the Full Livestream Discussion Here

El jueves 13 de octubre, una conversación de transmisión en directo con Nicole Yanes, Oficial de Programas de NDN Collective y Alvaro Mena, consultor de NDN Collective en México, mientras platican con Oswaldo Martinez, ex becario Changemaker. Estaremos explorando su visión y el trabajo que han estado realizando para fortalecer el empoderamiento del pueblo Xhidza, en el Rincón de la Sierra Juarez, Oaxaca, México.

Esta conversación se lleva a cabo un día después del Día de la Resistencia Indigena.

Vea la discusión completa en vivo aquí
Current Grant & Fellowship Opportunities:
Community Action Fund (CAF)

NDN Collective’s Community Action Fund (CAF) provides urgent response grants of $15k-30k to groups and individuals most impacted by local challenges to solve pressing challenges and address imminent threats within the community. CAF prioritizes frontline, grassroots and community-based efforts that defend our people, communities and nations against negative resource extraction that poisons our people, pollutes our water, destroys our lands, contributes to climate change and violates our human rights.

Some of the actions NDN Collective has supported through CAF include the defense of salt flats from mining by establishing Tribal status and rights to assert protection of the site, a LandBack action and the return of ancestral remains, and a community-based emergency drought response.

The Community Action Fund (CAF) is accepting applications until 5pm CST on October 31st, 2022.

For More Information and to Apply Visit the CAF Webpage Here
NDN Action | LANDBACK Featured in an issue of the Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

In September, Demetrius Johnson, LANDBACK Organizer, was interviewed in an issue of the Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine titled #LANDBACK Is the Solution

In the interview, he shares about his work at NDN Collective, what the #LANDBACK campaign is, successful strategies utilized and how folx can get involved in the #LANDBACK movement.

Read the Full #LANDBACK Is the Solution Interview Here
Listen to the Full #LANDBACK Is the Solution Interview Here

Take Action

Support the development of Gliúŋ | NDN Collective’s Tiny Home Community for Relatives Who are Houseless
Sign up to provide support here

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
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