Statement from NDN Collective and Nexus on $100 Million in Grants | NDN Collective

December 14, 2021

Statement from NDN Collective and Nexus on $100 Million in Grants

NDN Collective and Nexus Community Partners share statement on collective liberation and closing the wealth gap. – "This grant is a step in the right direction – it’s the casting of a single stone in the pond, and it will stir up the waters a little."

Earlier this year, the Bush Foundation committed $100 million to seed two community trust funds, one Black-led and one Indigenous-led, to address racialized wealth disparities. As the two organizations chosen for these grants, we find it necessary to speak out in solidarity with one another and to provide some context and transparency to our communities. 

See NDN Collective’s Press Release on this Award

The Bush Foundation didn’t just come to this decision on their own. Their commitment was the result of the massive reckoning that the United States was thrown into after Black people rose up across the country, in outrage over George Floyd’s televised murder by police. The uprisings demanding accountability for continued racial violence created ripple effects in industries and organizations everywhere. Some of those ripples didn’t go far, with corporations simply making shallow statements about valuing Black lives and leaving it at that. In other cases, the momentum is just beginning. The Bush Foundation’s decision to allocate funds specifically for Black and Indigenous-led organizations is a result of the conversation our movements pushed to the forefront of this nation’s consciousness.

To be crystal clear, this decision also didn’t happen as a result of polite conversations and agreements around conference tables. It happened because people took to the streets for months. It happened because we’re demanding the dismantling of the white supremacist systems that are literally killing us.

Historically, Black and Indigenous people have been pitted against each other by our colonizers and oppressors. But we know Indigenous sovereignty and Black liberation are tied to one another. While our people have unique histories and current needs, we are subjected to similar discrimination and violence – and neither of us will be free without the other. 

We know that money alone will not fix the deeply entrenched systems led by people who benefit from keeping us isolated from one another and without real power to change the way the world functions around us. The shifting of funding to our communities, however, is a necessary start as we build infrastructure and capacity to lift up our solutions.

Indigenous sovereignty and Black liberation are tied to one another. While our people have unique histories and current needs, we are subjected to similar discrimination and violence – and neither of us will be free without the other. 

Black and Indigenous people have concrete solutions for the issues our own communities face – but those same solutions will benefit everyone else, too. 

When Indigenous people demand land back, we’re not trying to steal people’s homes and displace them. We will not repeat the violence and oppression that was used on us. We need land back because the lands that were stolen are sacred to us, and treaties protecting our rights are continuously broken by the very government who created them. We also need our land back so we have space to build sustainable practices and reconnect with our lifeways. Indigenous management of lands is necessary to combat the climate crisis which is polluting the water we all drink, the air we all breathe, and threatening the crops we all rely on for food, so that future generations will have a future. 

When Black folks demand reparations, we are asking for a social, political, and economic reckoning for enslavement and the anti-Black policies that followed. Reparations means abandoning the extraction, destruction, and exploitation of white supremacy in favor of life, connection, and wholeness for everyone. Black people have been honoring our shared humanity, practicing cooperation, and caring deeply for one another for hundreds of years. We must live into this future of mutuality and collective care to survive.

We know that money alone will not fix the deeply entrenched systems led by people who benefit from keeping us isolated from one another and without real power to change the way the world functions around us.

The wealth gap was designed on purpose to keep Black and Indigenous people in poverty and therefore out of the halls of power. This grant is a step in the right direction – it’s the casting of a single stone in the pond, and it will stir up the waters a little. But we need much more widespread bold action. We hope that other foundations and philanthropists will follow the Bush Foundation’s lead and make similar commitments to put the money that was made on our backs and stolen from our lands into our hands. 

When we talk about alternatives to the current systems, we are talking about building community wealth and regenerative systems that aren’t extractive of people or the planet. When we talk about wealth, we’re asking ourselves: what does wealth mean for us? How do we define wealth, and how is this definition shaped by cultures and values, rather than the market? We know that putting people and the planet over profit is the only way we can reverse the damages our world is currently facing.  

Black and Indigenous solidarity means building something new, together with our people. We’re drawing from the past to stage for the future. We have collective visions of liberation guiding us through this next chapter, and look forward to learning together as we move forward. 

Comprehensive planning and design will begin immediately in January 2022, which will include input from community partners and advisors. Grantmaking will emerge from that planning process, and is expected to be available to individuals and families in late 2022.

Related Story: ‘Redefining Indigenous wealth with a Bold, new OpportunitY: Q&A with Nick Tilsen and Gaby Strong’

January 2022 Edition

Stay Informed. Take Action.

Subscribe to the NDN allies newsletter

Sign up to get our newsletter. Delivered once per month.

We care about the protection of your data and would never sell your email or share it with anyone without your permission.

Posted 3 days ago NDN Collective's Foundation Announces New Hire to Lead Community Trust Grant Initiative
Teresa "Terri" Peterson (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) will be leading NDN Collective's planning and implementation of the $50 million Community Trust grant announced in December from the Bush Foundation.
Posted 2 weeks ago NDN Collective Statement of Condolence: Honoring the Life of Clyde Bellecourt
“We lost a warrior, an AIM leader, an elder, and a revolutionary. Clyde was a fearless leader who dodged bullets, sat jail time, marched in streets and built up Native communities. His fierceness in confronting racism and oppression have changed the conditions in which we organize and live in today."
Posted 3 weeks ago The ‘Defend’ Mural Debuts at the NDN Collective Headquarters

Brandy Calabaza

‘Defend’ mural project comes full circle as Artist Votan Henriquez completes large-scale mural painting outside of the NDN Collective Headquarters in Rapid City, South Dakota
Posted 4 weeks ago NDN Collective on Another Year of Impact and Building Indigenous Power
We have learned an incredible amount in the past year, and we look forward to continuing to build power with more Indigenous communities across Turtle Island in the future.
Posted 1 month ago Art as Creative Resistance: NDN Collective and Indigenous Peoples Power Project (IP3) Join Youth-led Actions to Defund Climate Chaos in Ohlone and Tongva Lands

Brandi Douglas

The youth-led global movement utilizes nonviolent direct action as a means of demanding a fossil free future. Spanning 26 countries, participants utilize the power of art to address financial entities across the globe in ceasing their billion dollar investments into fossil fuels.
Posted 1 month ago Redefining Indigenous Wealth with a Bold, New Opportunity: Q&A with Nick Tilsen and Gaby Strong
Nick Tilsen and Gaby Strong talk about NDN Collective's vision to redefine wealth on Indigenous terms with a $50million community trust fund while calling up philanthropy to take more bold action to give hoarded wealth back to Black and Indigenous people.
Posted 1 month ago NDN Collective Awarded $50 Million Grant to Redistribute to Indigenous Communities in Minnesota, S. Dakota & N. Dakota
NDN Collective selected as one of two organizations to receive the award. For the past three years, NDN Collective has redistributed funds to Indigenous communities throughout Turtle Island, issuing $12 million in grants last year.
Posted 2 months ago NDN Collective Selects 2021 Community Self-Determination Partner Grantees
Over $7million will be distributed to 92 Tribal, First Nations, Inuit, Metis and Indigenous-led nonprofit organizations across Turtle Island in their community efforts to defend, develop and decolonize
Posted 2 months ago NDN Collective Announces Vacancy for Vice President and Other Open Positions
Applications open for the Vice President position though January 1, 2022. Other open positions can be found at https://ndncollective.org/careers/.
Posted 2 months ago Congressional Testimony by Jade Begay, NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign Director, on “What More Public Lands Leasing Means for Achieving U.S. Climate Targets.”

Jade Begay

"Precisely why I am here today, affirming what we all already know to be true -- which is that more public land leasing to oil and gas industries means that we will not achieve our climate targets, and instead we will be violating the commitments the U.S. has made to the global community around reducing our emissions as a nation. Leasing lands to oil and gas industries will move us closer towards catastrophic climate change, and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in potential future climate damages."
NDN Collective
408 Knollwood Dr
Rapid City, SD 57701
P: +1 (605) 791-3999
E: info@ndncollective.org
© 2022 NDN Collective. All rights reserved.