RAPID CITY, S.D.(KOTA)- While hearings and protests are par for the course in the nation’s capitol, Rapid City-based indigenous advocacy group NDN Collective has taken this week to reassert their presence on Capitol Hill.
Standing in front of the Capitol Building, Nick Tilsen, President and CEO of NDN Collective, set the tone for the the dozens of meetings NDN representatives are involved in.
Tilsen said elected officials and governmental agencies need to be held accountable and educated about the realities of life in Indian Country.
However, Tilsen acknowledged inroads are being made.
But Tilsen said there is still work to be done.
Tilsen said NDN Collective came from the frontlines of protest, and is prepared to “bring the frontlines to places like this.”
Tilsen then turned his attention back to South Dakota, accusing Governor Kristi Noem and members of the State Legislature of perpetuating systemic racism.
Tilsen celebrated the efforts of Congressional staffers to unionize, decried the continued operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and advocated for executive clemency for Leonard Peltier.