Jeff Bezos Earth Fund donates $12 million to NDN Collective

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos recently established the Earth Fund, with the goal of donating $10 billion to scientists, activists and others fighting climate change.

Among organizations on the receiving end and one of the fastest growing indigenous-led organizations in the nation, Rapid City’s NDN Collective. The Collective is known for its work on achieving racial equity, but is also fighting for climate justice. Leaders have said Native Americans, people of color, and those of lower incomes are often among the first to experience the effects of climate change. To help it’s efforts, NDN will receive $12 million over a three year period from the Earth Fund. Most of the money will be awarded by the collective as grants to smaller indigenous groups combating climate change. It will also go to fund others on the front lines, as well as those fighting fossil fuel energy.

“Some of the climate justice work that folks have to realize is that the resistance against the KXL pipeline is climate justice work,” said NDN Collective president and CEO, Nick Tilsen. “Because pipelines like that, projects like that actually expedite and contribute to climate change.”

While the NDN Collective is based in Rapid City, it supports and works with over 200 indigenous groups across the country. Still, Tilsen says the Rapid City community should view NDN as an asset and resource that wants to bring the community together to create solutions. 

“There are many people in this community who are trying to fight climate change, who are trying to fight racism, who are trying to fight many things to improve the quality of life for everybody in this community. And to fight for clean drinking water, for the protection of our sacred places in the Black Hills.”

Tilsen adds this is one step towards more investment into indigenous-led climate solutions that would honor the earth, and all life.

“It’s important to take philanthropic dollars and shift those resources and that decision-making power back into indigenous-, black-, people of color-led institutions that have lived experiences of doing the work. And I think this is a big indicator – to have one the wealthiest men, people in the world -acknowledge our own innovation and our creativity and the things we’re doing here at the NDN collective.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News