Henry Red Cloud Honored by Interstate Renewable Energy Council

Henry Red Cloud installs solar lighting in a tipi on his property at the Pine Ridge Reservation. Photo by Dan Bihn 2010.

Henry Red Cloud, proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), will be honored by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) at their annual meeting in Los Angeles on October 11, 2010.  The 2010 IREC Annual Innovations Awards recognizes six different project categories.  Henry won the Clean Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Projects category for his efforts to bring green jobs and solar heating to tribes across the Great Plains with funding from the U.S. Department of Interior.

As the great-great grandson of Chief Red Cloud, Henry is a 21st century Lakota warrior, providing sustainable, economically beneficial, environmentally sound, and culturally appropriate energy solutions to Native Americans living on reservations.  He has spent over a decade experimenting with sustainable energy and housing alternatives, searching for affordable solutions that preserve resources and complement the values and traditions of tribal communities.  In 2006, Henry created Lakota Solar Enterprises, one of the first and only Native-owned and operated renewable energy businesses.  In 2008, he partnered with Colorado-based nonprofit Trees, Water & People (TWP) to establish the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), a one-of-a-kind educational facility where tribal members from around the nation can receive hands-on training from fellow Native American instructors. As Henry says, renewable energy is “a new way to honor the old ways.”

IREC ‘s annual Innovation Awards reflect upon their long-term goals of removing barriers to renewable energy use and giving credit to organizations and individuals, such as Henry Red Cloud, who work to reduce our dependence on short-term energy usage and provide alternative energy resources that factor in our future.  Each project reviewed by the judges has to demonstrate a positive impact that is replicable and innovative.  Award recipients will receive a commemorative plaque recognizing their achievement.  The winning entries will also be posted on the IREC website, featured in a national press release and listed in a brochure to be distributed to all attendees at the annual meeting.

To learn more about Henry Red Cloud and Lakota Solar Enterprises, visit www.lakotasolarenterprises.com. To learn more about the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, visit www.irecusa.org. To learn more about Trees, Water & People, visit www.treeswaterpeople.org.

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Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to developing sustainable community-based conservation solutions.

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