NDN Collective Announces $10M COVID-19 Response Project for Indigenous People

NDN Collective builds Indigenous power in partnership with the philanthropic and investment sectors.
This week, the NDN Collective, Inc. (NDN) announced the creation of the NDN COVID-19 Response Project to quickly provide grants, communication and strategic support to Tribal Nations, frontline Indigenous-led organizations, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities in North America during the current global health pandemic. The overall design of the project is to provide quick response resources to Indigenous communities bracing from economic impacts, stresses to public services and combating the spread of misinformation due to COVID-19.

“NDN realizes that Native Nations will experience unique impacts and challenges with the COVID19 crisis, in no small part due to the current reality and history of social, economic and political disenfranchisement of our people,” says Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO. “While our elected Tribal officials navigate the crisis and lead their respective communities, NDN is doing our part to coordinate resources and offer our assistance during these unprecedented times.”

The current phase of the Response Project will focus on supporting Tribal essential services to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Tribal communities while awaiting resources from the federal stimulus package to reach Tribes and Indigenous urban communities.

“While the federal stimulus package has some great resources that will soon be available for Tribes and Tribal serving organizations, many frontline groups, rural and understaffed Tribes will be at a disadvantage to gain access to those resources,” says Michael Johnson, NDN Collective Director of Advancement. “NDN’s Project is meant to bolster and support existing services and make sure that our people have access to essential services during this time.”

The $10 million, multi-phased project has been launched with an initial investment of $3.5 million from NDN’s partners, and NDN Collective is actively seeking additional resources to bolster immediate on-the-ground responses and long-term emergency, transition and recovery planning.

“NDN Collective is uniquely positioned to respond in a quicker and more proportional way than the federal government,” says Nikki Love, Managing Director of the NDN Fund. “We are more flexible, we co-design programs directly with our Indigenous people, and have an extensive ecosystem, both inside and outside of Indian Country.”

Through this project, NDN is prioritizing requests that demonstrate experience and capability and can detail the effect of immediate response planning, access to expanded health care services, adequate housing, and additional food and supplies that will benefit their communities.

“In our response, we also recognize this is not just a time of triage, but to prepare the way for growth and regeneration over the next generations,” says Love. “Our COVID-19 response looks at how we can support Indigenous people during these hard times and position them for long-term abundance through our Defend, Develop, and Decolonize lens.”

More information on the NDN Covid-19 Response Project grants, announcements and resources can be found on the NDN Collective website at ndncollective.org/covid-19. CNN advises staying tuned for forthcoming information on additional NDN COVID-19 Response Project grant opportunities for Indigenous artists, small business owners, and entrepreneurs here: ndncollective.org/take-action-with-ndn

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