Nick Tilsen

Lee Strubinger

The case against a Lakota organizer who was part of a July roadblock near Mt. Rushmore is heading to trial.
Nick Tilsen—the founder of NDN Collective—faces three felony charges and four misdemeanors.
Tilsen says he will not consider a plea deal.
“Oh no, we’re going to trial,” Tilsen says. “We’re not taking no plea deals. These charges are all unfounded.”
Tilsen faces three felony charges. One alleges that he stole a shield from a National Guard soldier. Another charge claims that Guard member was afraid of "bodily injury.”

NDN Collective

A Rapid City organization is raising money to support Indigenous efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. NDN Collective has raised more than three million dollars for organizations working with Indigenous communities around the country.

NDN Collective was started a few years ago to help support Indigenous leaders and efforts. Now, they’ve changed their focus to funding pandemic relief. Nick Tilsen is the President.

Victoria Wicks

Climate activist Greta Thunberg attracted a large crowd to Rapid City's Memorial Park on Monday, Oct. 7. Part of the focus was stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

At that same time, environmental and federal lawyers were preparing for a hearing in Montana that happens on Wednesday, Oct. 9. There a federal judge will consider placing an injunction on construction of the pipeline.

One of the rally organizers talks about the importance of the Montana hearing with SDPB's Victoria Wicks.

Victoria Wicks

South Dakota's "riot boosting" laws faced judicial scrutiny on Wednesday, June 12, in a Rapid City federal courtroom.

The riot boosting law that was passed in the 2019 legislative session works with old rioting laws to threaten protestors and their supporters with criminal and civil penalties.

Opponents say the laws violate free speech.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks was in the courtroom.

To hear long coverage of the riot boosting legislation, click on this link:

Victoria Wicks

On an East Main Street building in Rapid City is a new sign that reads "NDN Collective." And painted on the window are the words "Defend. Develop. Decolonize."

The upstart enterprise is headed up by Nick Tilsen. He's the innovator behind Thunder Valley Community Development on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

NDN Collective now proposes to take that idea to a larger scale, focusing on self-directed economic development in Indian Country across North America.

Thunder Valley Helps Tackle Tribal Housing Shortage

Nov 20, 2013

Anyone who wants to start a new housing development has some hurdles to overcome.

On tribal lands in South Dakota those hurdles are bigger than just about anywhere else in the country.

But new housing efforts are finding unique ways to break the old molds.   As part of our continuing series on infrastructure the “State of our State”-- SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray profiles one of the new housing developments on Pine Ridge.

Here is an extended interview with Nick Tilsen of Thunder Valley.