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NDN Collective Gets Cash from Scott to Promote Healthy Disruption

Governor Kristi Noem was happy to get press last month by announcing writer and Amazon progenitor MacKenzie Scott’s $10-million gift to support Watertown’s state-supported vo-tech school, Lake Area Tech.

I wonder if the Governor will be as eager to announce another infusion of Scott’s Amazon cash into South Dakota, this time a chunk of a $2.739-billion tranche of socially conscious giving:

MacKenzie Scott, the billionaire philanthropist ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announced in a Medium post that she will be giving away $2,739,000,000 in gifts to 286 “high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”

One of those 286 groups is the Rapid City based NDN Collective, a group which was created in their own words to “build the collective power of Indigenous Peoples, communities, and Nations to exercise our inherent right to self-determination, while fostering a world that is built on a foundation of justice and equity for all people and the planet” [Jacob Newton, “MacKenzie Scott Giving to Rapid City Based NDN Collective as Part of Nearly $3 Billion Dollar {sic} Campaign of Giving,” KELO-TV, 2021.06.16].

Scott’s millions come just in time to support the NDN Collective’s newly announced “Landback University,” an online education project to promote history and civics education…which Governor Noem likes, right?

“Since time immemorial, the passing down of knowledge from one generation to the next has been instrumental to our survival,” said Krystal Two Bulls, NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign Director. “We have maintained our languages, ceremonies, songs, spirituality and way of life through atrocities no Peoples should have to endure. LANDBACK U will not only offer avenues to reclaim land, but insight into what is possible when we reclaim our relationship with the land. It will provide political education that captures the context of where the LANDBACK movement fits into the global movement for collective liberation of all Peoples, utilizing accessible language that digs deep into the roots and current demands of the LANDBACK movement within the so-called United States and LANDBACK struggles internationally” [NDN Collective, press release, 2021.06.15].

“So-called United States”? Uh-oh…

“LANDBACK is not hyperbole. LANDBACK is a commitment and promise to future generations,” said Demetrius Johnson, Organizer for the LANDBACK Campaign. “If we are committed to stopping climate change and a future in this world, we must also be committed to LANDBACK. LANDBACK U creates a space for Indigenous Peoples to communicate solutions that have worked, and will work, in protecting our ecosystem from capitalism, imperialism, and militarization” [NDN Collective, 2021.06.15].

Capitalism, imperialism, and militarization“? Dang—those darned NDNs sound like they’re trying to scrawl Red ink all over the core American values Governor Noem wants to whitewash.

Two Bulls says the NDN Collective’s goal with Landback University is to use education for “building people power and creating the just, equitable world that we all deserve.” That may not fit whatever slogans Noem is crafting, but it aligns neatly with Scott’s stated social justice intent for her philanthropy, which she argues is not so much a handout as it is overdue compensation to the disadvantaged groups who help create wealth but are denied their piece of the action by unjust wealth concentration:

People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating. This is equally — perhaps especially — true when their work is funded by wealth. Any wealth is a product of a collective effort that included them. The social structures that inflate wealth present obstacles to them. And despite those obstacles, they are providing solutions that benefit us all.

… The 1.6 million non-profits in America employ 10% of our country’s workforce, and 63 million volunteers. While political pendulums swing back and forth, redistributing and re-concentrating wealth, we can choose to fund organizations with the potential to increase the impact of every dollar and hour donated by others. Social sector infrastructure organizations empower community leaders, support grassroots organizing and innovation, measure and evaluate what works, and disseminate information so that community leaders, elected officials, volunteers, employees, and donors at every level of income can make informed decisions about how to partner and invest. These organizations, which are themselves historically underfunded, also promote and facilitate service, which in turn inspires more people to serve [MacKenzie Scott, “Seeding by Ceding,” Medium, 2021.06.15].

In yesterday’s essay, Scott says that all of her big donations, money to the NDN Collective and Lake Area Tech, are meant to serve communities that have been “historically underfunded and overlooked.” This support is not meant to amplify Scott’s voice or those of any other establishment leaders; quite the contrary, Scott says she wants to “de-emphasize privileged voices and cede focus to others.” To put her money where her mouth is—or rather, where she wants other mouths to be heard—Scott is not dictating terms to her beneficiaries; she is encouraging them to spend the money as they see fit.

Scott’s donations are not meant to support the status quo; Scott wants her money to upset what she sees as an unjust status quo. Noem missed that point in discussing the Lake Area Tech gift. She’ll avoid that point entirely by avoiding any mention of the change Scott’s support of the NDN Collective may generate.


  1. John Dale 2021-06-16

    George Soros with boobs.

    I wonder why her husband didn’t like her ..

  2. mike from iowa 2021-06-16

    Haters gonna hate. No need to spew it here.

  3. John Dale 2021-06-16

    It was a setup, Mike. You were supposed to say, “because she set him up with that porn star.”

  4. Arlo Blundt 2021-06-16

    well…revolutionary concept…I hope its successful and the powers that be let it happen.

  5. grudznick 2021-06-16

    This Ms. Scott seems a smart and rich young lady, prettier than most. I think we should at least listen to what she has to say.

  6. grudznick 2021-06-16

    Mr. Dale, could I treat you to a frosty adult beverage this coming Friday afternoon? Perhaps at you favorite Spearfish brewery, if it is not overrun with youth and loud music?

  7. V 2021-06-17


  8. V 2021-06-17

    Yup, the same white men with their tiny ….. jump on this article like buzzards on a carcass. It mentions women, minorities, money and opportunity so you just can’t handle it.

    Thanks for the excellent reporting Cory, my family enjoys ALL of your articles for more reasons than I can list.

  9. Jake 2021-06-17

    Leave it to the derelicts to attempt to obscure the point of a great announcement and discussion of needed change with trivial BS like Dale and grudz spew forth. Like geysers of frothing hate and idiocy, they feel the need to negate anything that could possibly further threaten their whiteness or expose the current rot in their chosen power structure-the GOP.

    Like a coiled South Dakota rattlesnake, they lie in wait to strike out at anything that appears to threaten their impending GOP party’s white power that is dwindling as America changes skin colors; but, we can still be AMERICA by inclusion of everyone, can’t we?

  10. Porter Lansing 2021-06-17

    John Dale and grudznite –

    Just imagine what NDN’s are going to do to the likes of you, when it’s their turn at power.

    No wonder you’re so afraid and engulfed in subconscious guilt.

    Reading Ms. Scott’s life philosophy it’s no wonder she left the world’s richest horses ass.

    Everything Bezos believes in is the opposite of what USA needs.

    My God, after three years he pays his workers to quit so they don’t become involved in changing Amazon for the betterment of the staff.

  11. Mark Anderson 2021-06-17

    its nice to see what John Dale fantasized about isn’t it,. Soros with books, now thats something else.

  12. Bob Newland 2021-06-17

    John Dale, you are a disgusting human being (if you are, indeed, a human being). We intersect occasionally in our professed social goals, but I chalk that up to moronic convergence.

    Your sneer above, “George Soros with boobs,” says more about you than any of your comments and juvenile philosophy as published on this forum and on FB. What do you have against Soros? And how does “with boobs” modify that?

    I’m ever more satisfied that I chose correctly when I declined to have a coffee with you.

  13. grudznick 2021-06-17

    Just how white do you fellows think grudznick is? Whiter than Obama? Whiter than Newland? Whiter than Clinton?

  14. Bob Newland 2021-06-17

    grudznick is not white, nor black, nor brown, nor any other shade. grudznick is a shadow which switches shades as the occasion merits. grudznick is nothing but a morning vertigo which can be coped with if one recognixes it.

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