NDN Collective CEO bonds out after last week’s Keystone protest arrests

RAPID CITY, S.D. –Nick Tilsen, one of the leaders of Friday’s protest at Keystone, made his first court appearance, Monday, via television screen.

He spent the last three nights in jail awaiting his court date.

Tilsen is one of 21 people who chose to be arrested by police after hours of negotiations on Highway 16.

Tilsen is known for his activism. He’s been a part of anti-riot boosting legislation and speaking out against the Keystone XL pipeline. Tilsen also works as President, CEO of the NDN collective, and is a part of the Thunder Valley community development project in Kyle. He’s now receiving national attention for his arrest.

“We come from a family, a legacy of activists,” says Tilsen’s sister, Kim Tilsen-Brave Heart. “So we have been organizing our entire lives for social justice and environmental change and positive sustainability impact since we were children.”

Prior to the court hearing family and friends gathered in a parking lot in front of NDN Collective for prayer.

“We’ve asked everyone to gather here in a peaceful and compassionate way for Nick,” said Brave Heart. “And the other inmates as well, to just come here with an open heart and say some prayers and to start our day in a good way.”

Tilsen is charged with felony charge, 2nd degree robbery for allegedly stealing a shield from a law enforcement officer and simple assault against the same officer.

He also faces misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct, impeding a highway, and unlawful assembly.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years for the felony and two for simple assault.

“He feels a bit overwhelmed by the huge amount of support from all over the country but his main concern is the time he lost with his children around the holiday weekend and he really wanted to connect with them as soon as possible,” said Mark Tilsen, Nick’s father.

Nick has been able to speak to his father over the weekend. Mark says his son’s spirits are very high and is appreciative of all the support.

Tilsen’s bond was posted at $2,000 cash and he bonded out Monday afternoon.

He’s scheduled for his next court appearance on July 17.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News