Inspired by a World Uranium Hearing held in Salzburg, Austria in 1991 that brought indigenous victims and leading scientists together to shine a light on the dark side of the nuclear business – the Nuclear-Free Future Awards will honor five “non-nuclear” champions. Visionaries from Africa where a continent says no to uranium mining; Russia, where a scientist goes against the nuclear mainstream; France, where one man passes a nuclear testing victim compensation law; and the US, where a noted Hollywood actor raises anti-nuclear consciousness, to the Lakota Nation, where a fifth-generation grandson of a famous Native American Chief closes a circle of history.
Front-line anti-nuclear visionaries from Russia, Africa, France, and the U.S. will receive this unique, world-leading award, and expose hidden truths about widespread human and environmental destruction caused by the nuclear industry. The free, public event will be held at New York City’s Cooper Union, September 30, 2010. Henry Red Cloud will be honored at the event with a special recognition award from the NFFA.
At its root, the use of nuclear energy violates human rights by devastating the lives and homelands of indigenous people around the world. Uranium mining and processing and its toxic waste products are, and have for decades been, the direct cause of radioactive contamination, and implicated in various cancers and other debilitating diseases; Chernobyl-style accidents aside. It’s an unsustainable and unconscionable situation when only 2.5% of the world’s total energy comes from nuclear sources. Yet few people understand or ever question where nuclear energy comes from. The nuclear industry began in the 1950s with no end-solutions, only promises that science would take care of everything. These promises have not been kept by industry or by nuclear-driven governments.
Co-founder Claus Biegert was recently interviewed online and says about the upcoming event: “We want and deserve a world that’s safe and sustainable. The heroic people we recognize this and each year with our Award are spreading the true story and leading the way to this much wiser future. It’s time to cut through the politics; take personal responsibility; and tell our leaders this nuclear state of affairs that sacrifices so many innocent lives and precious parts of our natural world is unacceptable.”
Since 1998, the Nuclear-Free Future Award (NFFA) has honored and helped facilitate the ongoing work of individuals and initiatives struggling to bring an end to the “Nuclear Age.” Based in Germany, NFFA provides vital recognition and financial and moral support for individuals, organizations and communities around the world working valiantly to achieve a peaceful, safe future free of nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and uranium mining.
An independent, non-profit group, the NFFA works closely with The Alternative Nobel Prize among others, and has been called by Berlin newspaper Taz “the most important anti-nuke award in the world.” Each year’s laureates, from grass-roots activists to enlightened politicians, are nominated by a distinguished advisory board and selected by an international jury.
Help us train the next generation of Native American renewable energy leaders! We are currently raising money to provide a $1,000 Solar Women Warriors Scholarship to a Native American woman interested in becoming a renewable energy leader in her community.
This is a time of great change and opportunity; Native Americans throughout the country are transforming their tribal energy approach. Henry Red Cloud, owner and operator of Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, is one of these Native American leaders within the renewable energy sector. Working in partnership with the Colorado non-profit organization Trees, Water & People (TWP), LSE has installed more than 250 solar heating systems, as well as solar electric systems and wind turbines, on ten western reservations. In 2009, LSE sold another 250 ready-to-install solar heating systems to Great Plains tribes. In addition, LSE and TWP have conducted more than 30 workshops for tribal governments and organizations focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Most recently, LSE has established the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), a one-of-a-kind residential training facility where tribes from around the nation can learn about beneficial renewable energy applications from fellow Native Americans.
LSE offers an intensive 10-day training session at RCREC for tribal members to earn their Solar Technician I Certification. These training sessions teach the step-by-step process of assembling solar air heating systems and offer hands-on practice installing the systems on tribal family homes. When trainees return to their reservation, they are equipped with the expertise to begin assembling and installing solar heating systems within their own communities.
Please help us cultivate the next generation of Native American leaders and donate today!
The Solar Women Warriors Scholarship pays for a 10-day training session, which includes:
- Lodging at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center dormitory
- Hands-on training from Henry Red Cloud and other LSE staff
- Installation training on tribal family homes
- Solar Heating Technician I Certification