Six members from the Rosebud Tribe attended the first training lead by Henry Red Cloud (proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises) at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) from January 26th to February 5th to learn how to assemble and install solar heating panels.
Trees, Water & People (TWP) partnered with Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE) on the Pine Ridge Reservation created RCREC in 2007. The center is unique in providing hands-on training in renewable energy applications for Native Americans, by Native Americans. Training and strategies to help tribes establish successful solar installation programs are provided now and other renewable energy application trainings will be added in the future.
For five days the participants learned and practiced the step-by-step process for assembling solar heating systems at RCREC. They then helped with the actual installations of systems for homes at Pine Ridge. They also learned the economic and environmental benefits of clean solar energy.
Rosebud’s Housing Authority Sicangu Wicoti Awanyakape and the Rosebud Sicangu Nation Employment and Training Program have purchased materials for 50 solar heating systems, which their newly trained and certified solar technicians will assemble and install at Rosebud. “I will be able to take this training home and utilize it for our people,” commented trainee John Little Elk.