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Tag Archives: green job training
by Claire Burnett, National Program Assistant
Our new solar electric array at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center is now installed! Trainees from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe recently joined local Lakota trainees for three days of in-class instruction at our Solar Electric Training, followed by a hands-on installation, learning the ins and outs of solar electric design and installation.
Jeff Tobe with Solar Energy International (SEI) joined us for a second time as a guest instructor, and we received generous equipment donations from SEI, Advanced Energy, and Bella Energy. The install is an addition to our existing solar array, and a precursor to a larger array that will be installed on our new Red Cloud Training Annex early this summer.
In addition, the training follows a historical coal mine protest on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation that we attended with our fellow trainees and friends, and we had a film crew on site for a documentary focusing on clean sources of energy on tribal lands.
Thank you to everyone who was involved in this training – what a success!
Join us for a 6-day Solar Electric Training, March 24-29, and learn how to install a grid-tied photovoltaic system! The training includes instruction in the installation of photovoltaic panels tied into the electricity grid. Classroom instruction takes place at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and students will have the opportunity to conduct a hands-on installation at our new Red Cloud Training Annex.
To attend, please complete this registration form. We are also very happy to be able to offer two scholarships for this training to Native Veterans. If you are a Native Veteran interested in attending, please complete this scholarship application form.
Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program puts the power of nature — the warmth of the sun, the power of the wind, the shelter of trees — to work for Native Americans. Working with reservation communities, TWP builds and installs supplemental solar air heaters for families in need and provides green job training to tribes around the country. These solutions are sustainable, economically beneficial, environmentally friendly, and celebrate the Native Americans’ respect for Mother Earth.
In 2012, we were able to make a big impact on the tribal lands where we work. Thanks to our generous supporters, more than 600 people are staying warm this winter with solar air heating systems. In addition, we are training more “Solar Warriors” who now have the knowledge to build and install solar heating systems within their reservation communities, helping to spread renewable energy throughout the tribal lands of the U.S.
by Lacey Gaechter, National Director
A wonderful group of students came out for last week’s Solar Electric Training at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. We had two repeat trainees, both of whom are in the process of starting their own renewable energy business: Leo White Bear, owner of Off the Grid, and Kale Means, budding proprietor of Indigenous Renewable Energy.
Since Leo Bear left his internship with Lakota Solar Enterprises, I have missed him so much, and it was great to visit with him again and to hear that he is doing so well back home in Idaho. Leo says of this course, “It will have a big impact for my renewable energy business!”
This course represents the Tribal Renewable Energy Program’s first “Trainer in Residence” project, featuring guest instructor Jeff Tobe of Solar Energy International. Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy, Jeff was able to spend one week at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center co-hosting this training with Henry Red Cloud. Solar Energy International’s ultimate objective was actually to propagate skilled instructors for future solar electric courses, so this was a training for the trainer (Henry Red Cloud) as well.
Thanks to Trees, Water & People’s donors, including a very generous grant from the Arntz Family Foundation, we were also able to offer this training opportunity to seven students from the Shoshone Bannock, Oglala Lakota, Cheyenne River Sioux, and Northern Cheyenne tribes. The 2 kilowatt photovoltaic array was donated by Namasté Solar, which allowed us to offer scholarships to all seven students. In addition, we are also happy to contribute free, clean electricity to the KILI Radio Station in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. KILI is “the Voice of the Lakota Nation,” and is listened to online by tribal people throughout the contiguous United States and Alaska.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this training a success!
Photo of the Week: The new Red Cloud Training Annex is now insulated with eco-friendly cellulose insulation! We had 13 Native American trainees from Cheyenne River and Fort Belknap joined us for a 5-day Cellulose Insulation Training to complete the project. All the cellulose comes from recycled cardboard from the Pine Ridge Reservation. Great work everyone!
by Cate Stone, National Program Intern
Through sustainability and learning, a greater knowledge of yourself and your community can be achieved. Having pride in what you do, what you have accomplished, and seeing that pride reflected back through others’ eyes offers one of life’s greatest rewards.
As a new member to the Trees, Water & People family, I was exuberant about the chance to attend Rhythms for the Planet, an event that would allow me to see firsthand the special relationship TWP shares with the Fort Collins community. Although I enjoyed the entire evening, one moment in particular stands out in my mind as the shining star. Watching Leo and Silas receive their certificates for completing their Ground Source Heat Training made me feel so honored to be a witness and to be involved with TWP. Seeing their excitement, their eyes light up with happiness and pride as they were applauded for their awesome achievement was truly moving. Having only been with Trees, Water & People for a few months, this was the first opportunity I had to see how our program affects individual lives. As I watched Henry hand Leo and Silas their certificates and sensing the mutual pride and respect shared between them I became aware of the equal amount of pride spread throughout the audience. People Leo and Silas have never met, like me for example, grinning wide, clapping loudly, and being genuinely happy and proud of these two men. Feeling that sense of community, the notion that I do not need to know you to be appreciative of who you are, is exactly why so many people support TWP and the programs they create.
Building the sentiment of a community that crosses boundaries is what will one day help those boundaries to disappear. Leo and Silas, congratulations on your success, and thank you for letting me share that with you.
WHAT: Cellulose Insulation Training
Learn how to install cellulose insulation to keep buildings warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. During this five day training, students will get hands-on experience applying “wet cellulose” directly to walls (pictured below demonstrating its fire resistant properties) as well as a dry application, between building surfaces.
Henry Red Cloud, proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises, will provide the instruction for this training. Students will also see his cardboard recycling facility (the source of the raw material for cellulose insulation) learn about the process of turning the cardboard into insulation (done out of state), and use the application machine.
WHERE: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge, SD
WHO: 10 trainees from Native American tribes throughout the country will join Henry Red Cloud and Trees, Water & People for this hands-on training.
*You must complete this application to be considered for the training.*
WHEN: April 30-May 6, 2012 (including arrival and departure days)
Applications Due Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Please call (970) 484-3678 for more information.
Demand for the trainings offered by TWP’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program is high as many Native Americans are developing a deeper desire for green jobs and for helping their tribes adopt new renewable energy practices. Fortunately for this Program, a recent gift from a generous Trees, Water & People donor has allowed us to purchase and construct the basic frame for the new Red Cloud Training Annex. This Annex will nearly double the number of trainees and volunteers we can accommodate.
Besides more indoor housing, the new facility will have a much needed kitchen, a classroom and presentation area, showers, and a study and living area. This recent gift enabled us to get four walls up and install a ground source heating system, but we really need your help to build the interior walls and acquire the materials and equipment needed that will transform the new building into renewed hope and real skills.
Your support will enable us to provide the practical skills and assistance to help Native Americans start new renewable energy businesses and get good paying, green jobs.
With your help, we can cooperatively develop a new way that honors the old ways. Your caring and sharing will truly make a world of difference – where good people solve problems by contributing what they know and what they have, so that all people have a real chance at a sustainable future.
To make a donation to the new annex click here and in the “comments” section write “Red Cloud Annex”.
Thank you for supporting renewable energy and green job training on tribal lands!