August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, July 4, 2020

NDN Collective announces bailout fund following arrests at Mount Rushmore

Following arrests of Indigenous Treaty Defenders blocking the road to Mount Rushmore on Friday, July 3, NDN Collective announces a bail and legal defense fund.

By NDN Collective
JULY 4, 2020

Rapid City, South Dakota — Friday’s acts of courage and civil disobedience by Indigenous people and our allies defending sacred lands in the Black Hills resulted in arrests and we imagine eventual criminal charges for these brave Defenders. These men and women were standing against the continued desecration of sacred lands that were stolen by the United States federal government from the Lakota Oyate to satisfy the greed of capitalism in this country. We are calling on friends and allies to donate to the Black Hills Bail and Legal Defense Fund to support these Land and Treaty Defenders.

As it stands today, Mount Rushmore is a national symbol of white supremacy, active erasure of Indigenous people in our homelands, and the continued exploitation of BIPOC bodies for the American dream. The federal government stole Paha Sapa (the Black HIlls) and allowed a member of the klu kluxx klan, Gutzon Borglum, to vandalize a holy mountain in with the faces of colonizers in memory of European encroachment, broken treaties, human rights violations, and acts of genocide against Indigenous and BIPOC people throughout Turtle Island. Photo by Willi White, NDN Collective.

Before being led off in handcuffs, Nick Tilsen, President and CEO of The NDN Collective said, “Our people have fought for this land and we will continue to. This won’t be the last. Our goal isn’t just to resist, but to radically imagine a better future.”

Mount Rushmore is an active symbol of white supremacy and systematic racism. In comradery with our allies and standing as Indigenous people, we made a stand against Donald Trump, the President of the United States, who entered Oceti Sakowin Territory without the free prior and informed consent of the Tribal Nations in this region. Photo by Willi White, NDN Collective.

Krystal Two Bulls, a Native Veteran and Founder of Voices of the Sacred who was also arrested, shared from on the ground on Friday, “I’m a Native veteran, and here we have the national guard being deployed against US citizens. The US Military is the mechanism that upholds white supremacy and perpetuates militarism. We don’t need the military here, especially on this land, because this is Lakota territory. I’m a warrior, first and foremost I’m Oglala and Northern Cheyenne. Half of those soldiers down there probably don’t want to do this work. They have to follow orders. Deploying them on our own people, their neighbors and community members is wrong, and disgraceful. What I’m doing, in standing here for my people, that’s real service.”

The President’s uninvited presence in these sacred lands is a further desecration to the Paha Sapa. At a time of social and racial reckoning in this country, Trump has perpetuated a white supremacist narrative that has further divided the country. Standing in solidarity with all people of color, we as Indigenous people and our allies are committed to the dismantling of white supremacy and systemic racism in this country.


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“The Black Hills Bail and Legal Defense Fund” is fiscally sponsored by the NDN Collective, a National Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building the collective power of Indigenous People, communities, and Nations. NDN Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations to this fund are tax deductible. For more, visit

Founded in 2018, the NDN Collective’s mission is to build the collective power of Indigenous Peoples, communities, and Nations to exercise our inherent rights to self-determination, while fostering a world that is built on a foundation of justice and equity for all people and the planet. We do this through building Indigenous power in partnership with the philanthropic and investment sectors. For more, visit

Sarah Manning, NDN Collective Director of Communications, (605) 791-3999

Michael Johnson, NDN Collective Director of Advancement, (605) 791-3999

Kumeyaay halt dynamiting of sacred land for border wall

By AFSC San Diego
Censored News

At the US-Mexico border south of Boulevard, California, Border Patrol agents plan to use explosives to prepare the ground for 18-ft bollard-style border wall. This is a border wall replacement project, meant to replace 12-ft corrugated steel landing mats. The Border Patrol has not properly notified local communities about the project, especially the Kumeyaay, who have a cultural and spiritual interest to this region. Ancestral artifacts and fragments of bones have been found in the area. Explosives will desecrate the earth.

On Monday, June 29, Indigenous Kumeyaay leaders and allies organized a surprise visit to the site, just as the Army Corps of Engineers prepared to detonate the explosives. The group prevented the Army from continuing with the detonation, and had the explosives removed for failure to properly follow the process of community notification.

It is likely that the Border Patrol will move forward with their plan of desecrating the land with explosives. The Kumeyaay leaders have asked that community members remain vigilant and continue to follow their lead for continued actions.

In this photo, indigenous woman sing a prayer song as they wait for Border Patrol to update them on the progress of the explosive removal.

CBS News: TIERRA DEL SOL, Calif. — For the second time this week, blasting had to be stopped along the border as protesters showed up at the border wall construction site near Boulevard.
Members of the Kumeyaay Tribe are concerned their ancestors may be buried where the blasting is taking place.
“That’s why we're all here because we believe we can make a difference,” said Bobby Wallace in a staging area before Wednesday’s march.

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