Rapid City’s Native American activist group NDN Collective has been awarded a $50-million dollar grant from the Bush Foundation to distribute to indigenous communities across South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.
An identical grant from the Bush Foundation’s community trust funds is going to Nexus Community Partner from St. Paul, MN. Both are aimed at helping address wealth gaps caused by historic racial injustice.
NDN Collective CEO Nick Tilsen says the money will give indigenous families the opportunity to lead a successful life by buying homes, paying off medical debt, and starting small businesses.
He says the most innovative part of the program is the Bush Foundation’s willingness to put the decision-making power of how the money can be most beneficial directly into the hands of community members and practitioners.”
Tilsen calls it “an opportunity to invest directly into our mission statement and directly into Native people and into their self-determination as they roll up their sleeves and begin to lift themselves out of poverty and create opportunity.”
The Bush Foundation says NDN and Nexus will use the coming months to begin designing programs to provide grants directly to individuals. Grant applications won’t open until late next year or early 2023.