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Nick Tilsen  

Native American Activist, Director of the Thunder Valley CDC

Nick is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and the founding Executive Director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Nick has over 15 years of experience in working with non-profits and tribal nations on projects that have a social mission. As the founding executive director of Thunder Valley CDC Nick has played a vital role in creating a community development organization that is working with the local grassroots people and national organizations in the development of a sustainable regenerative community, that creates jobs, builds homes and creates new opportunity on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Since 2013 Nick has served as a local point of contact for President Obama’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, working to make targeted investments into America’s poorest communities. This community based grassroots work has led Tilsen to become a National leader in the Equity Movement. In 2014 Tilsen was selected as an ASHOKA Fellow joining a global network of the worlds leading social innovators.

Nick has played a vital role in building a powerful youth movement on American Indian land that reconnects younger generations with their cultural and spiritual identities and leads them through a transformative process to become the innovators and energy behind a new era of community-led development.

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