by Lacey Gaechter, National Director
The Eastern Shoshone Tribe’s 477 Employment and Training Program sent three Solar Warriors to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center at the end of October to be trained on building and installing solar heaters. In addition, the tribe purchased 25 solar air heaters from our partner, Lakota Solar Enterprises. The mission of the 477 Program is to help unemployed tribal members find work that benefits the entire community. In this case, the tribe is not only employing these three Solar Warriors, but also providing clean, free heat for 25 elderly and disabled Eastern Shoshone living on the Wind River Reservation.
Henry Red Cloud, Trees, Water & People’s partner in operating the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, spent last week in Fort Washakie, WY, conducting site visits with the students. I got to the reservation just in time to shake the hands of these new green job recipients, Chris Tiger, Richard Bearing, and Michael Timbana. Michael told me that he wants to start his own solar business to help his tribe, and I hope we can help him do that! Richard, who is actually a Northern Arapaho, married to an Eastern Shoshone woman, was unemployed and says of his time with Henry, “It has had a great impact [on my life]. I learned a lot and met some new people that I now call friends. I also have a new job.”
Thanks to the 477 Program for creating these opportunities on your beautiful and historic reservation and congrats to the new Trainees for all they have accomplished.