Jay Bad Heart Bull

Associate Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Minneapolis, MN

Prioritize Equity  |  Advocacy, Community Economic Development, Consultant

Jay brings ideas and creates opportunities for communities of color to thrive in a new economy.

Jay Bad Heart Bull is an independent consultant working to ideate and create new opportunities for communities of color to thrive in a new economy and is also a Studio E Masters fellow focused on converting value-producing ideas into reality.

Jay was previously president and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) in South Minneapolis. Prior to joining NACDI, he served as vice president of the Little Earth of United Tribes housing community (the largest and only American Indian-preference housing community in the nation). He has worked extensively in youth leadership, nonprofit administration, American Indian housing development and community engagement. In 2013 he served as chair of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors. Jay is a poet and has read his work extensively throughout the Twin Cities. He is a charter member of the Frogtown Curling Club and a nationally ranked amateur curler. Jay is a proud graduate of both the Oglala Lakota Tribal College and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Originally from the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota and Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, he has called Minneapolis home for the last 14 years.


  • NACDI in partnership with the Twin Cities American Indian Community, created the American Indian Community Blueprint; a visioning document detailing key development strategies for a more vibrant and inclusive community. The blueprint has helped catalyze transformative projects ranging from home ownership initiatives, youth entrepreneurship, and creative place-making.
  • NACDI created the first and only American Indian-specific Cultural Corridor in the country as a way to promote pride, innovation, and development in a historically native community. We’ve included creative place-making symbols such as vinyl utility box wraps showcasing indigenous culture, street banners with indigenous languages, bike racks with indigenous symbols, community murals created by youth. The corridor was listed as a top-10 regional destination by Air France Magazine in 2013.
  • NACDI has adopted the All My Relations Arts gallery as a key component to the organization. It’s the only contemporary fine arts gallery focusing on American Indian art in the region. We host 4-5 exhibits a year highlighting Native artists throughout the country. We also use it to host community forums, meetings, and events. It was recently listed in the Minneapolis magazine City Pages the The Culture Trip as one of the top 10 galleries in the city.
  • NACDI has helped increase voter turnout in the American Indian community through our “Make Voting a Tradition” campaign using Indigenous-themed lit materials, t-shirts, posters, and pledge cards. NACDI also sponsored and hosted the first ever American Indian Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate Forum in our All My Relations Art gallery in the fall of 2013.
  • NACDI recently organized the recent name change from Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day in the City of Minneapolis.