April 11, 2021

“The Water Protector movement lost an elder, a leader and a matriarch”: NDN Collective Statement of Condolence Honoring the Life and Legacy of LaDonna Bravebull Allard

“LaDonna Tamakawastewin Bravebull Allard was a catalyst for the movement at Standing Rock. Her leadership changed so many of our lives and shaped a foundation in which we now stand on.” ”

It is with profound sadness that the NDN Collective offers our heartfelt sympathies to the family and loved ones of Dakota Matriarch and movement leader LaDonna Bravebull Allard. Several members of the NDN Collective team had the honor of building relationships with LaDonna and supporting her vision during that momentous time in Standing Rock in 2016. Here, they share the following statements: 

“The Water Protector movement lost an elder, a leader and a matriarch. LaDonna Tamakawastewin Bravebull Allard was a catalyst for the movement at Standing Rock,” said Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO. “Her leadership and the movement in Standing Rock changed so many of our lives and shaped a foundation in which we now stand on.” 

“It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing this loss is just one day after the Biden Administration refused to shut down the illegally operating Dakota Access Pipeline that LaDonna fought so hard against,” said Tilsen. “My deep condolences to her family and loved ones. We will honor her legacy by continuing to fight for the water, land and the people.”

LaDonna Bravebull Allard stands with Andre Perez, Kanaka Maoli kia’i (protector) of Mauna Kea. LaDonna’s call to defend and protect deeply impacted the Kanaka Maoli of Hawai’i. Photo Courtesy Andre Perez.

“It saddens me that the day after the Biden administration decided to allow oil to flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite operating illegally, that LaDonna passes away. She helped ignite the movement at Standing Rock, which has changed our world,” said Jade Begay, NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign Director. “I had the privilege to support LaDonna’s vision in the movement born out of Standing Rock in 2016, and had the incredible opportunity to learn from her tireless work. Today I continue this work so her prayer to see the Dakota Access Pipeline removed from her homelands is manifested.”

“I’m thankful for every moment I was able to share with LaDonna Bravebull Allard. She was a woman whose presence made every second momentous, whose words made the impossible possible, and whose direction tore down the walls standing in the way of our liberation,” said Lorenzo Serna, NDN Collective Director of Tactical Media. “I will cherish the memories of hours of soft conversations into the night as she guided us towards a better world. She journeys now to the Star Nation to join all those who light the way when the world seems the darkest.”

“Most will remember LaDonna as the unwavering and loving Land Defender she was. I was honored to share space with her at Standing Rock and many places afterwards,” said Krystal Two Bulls, NDN Collective LANDBACK Campaign Director. “I will always remember her as a storyteller, sharing the history of the spaces we protected and why those spaces are significant. I will always remember the love and joy in those stories– the way her voice and mannerism changed to emphasize the significance of that time and space.”

“She was a true matriarch,” said Two Bulls. “Her legacy will live on in our continued struggle to shut down DAPL and to protect everything we hold sacred. Sending my prayers to her family and loved ones. Journey well, Tamakawastewin.”

LaDonna Bravebull Allard. Photo by Josue Rivas.
August 2022 Edition

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