Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Black Hills treaty defender faces felony charges


The leader of an Indigenous-led advocacy organization, who spent the holiday weekend in jail after defending his people’s unceded territory in the Black Hills, called the serious charges he’s facing “bullshit.”

Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, president and CEO of NDN Collective, is charged with multiple offenses, including two felonies, related to the July 3 Mount Rushmore protest that ended with 20 treaty defenders — 19 adults and one juvenile — in jail, according to the Pennington County Sheriff's Office. One counter protester was also jailed, and additional arrests may happen as video is being reviewed along with additional interviews, according to the sheriff’s office.

“How could it be possible that these things are breaking the law when all I was doing was standing with my people on my own land that was rightfully ours in the first place?” Tilsen said. “We were greeted with aggression, we were greeted with racism, and we were greeted by excessive use by these police officers.”


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