The Native American Rights Fund (NARF)provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide. Throughout its history, NARF has impacted tens of thousands of Indian people in its work for more than 250 tribes. In addition to their critical contributions to the area of Indian law, NARF is also very dedicated to environmental sustainability.
As staff members David Selden and Rose Cuny write, “NARF is committed to environmental sustainability through its mission, work and organizational values. Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have a long tradition of living sustainably with the natural world by understanding the importance of preserving natural resources and respecting the interdependence of all living things. NARF embraces this tradition through its work and by instituting sustainable office practices that reduce our negative impact on our climate and environment.”
Recently, NARF offset their 2013 carbon footprint – 460 tons of CO2 – by contributing to the building of 16 solar air heaters for Native American families. Over their 20 year lifespans, these solar heaters will each prevent a total of 28 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. In addition, each heater will reduce a family’s monthly heating bill by 20-30%. This donation reflects NARF’s commitment to environmental sustainability by reducing their impact on our climate and environment.
Thank you NARF for your commitment to environmental sustainability and Native American communities!
Henry Red Cloud, Tribal Renewable Energy Program partner and owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises, stands with Joe Yellow Hawk, an Oglala Lakota who lives near Kyle on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Yesterday, Henry and seven trainees from three different tribes (Crow Creek, Eastern Shoshone, and Navajo) installed a new solar air heater for Joe and his family as part of a 5-day training.
Joe’s family is currently dependent on wood and very expensive propane to heat their home. This new solar heater will harness the power of the sun to heat the families’ home, saving 30-40% on heating expenses every month for the next 20 years!
To learn more about the Tribal Renewable Energy Program and our solar heating systems please visit our website.
Studies Abroad for Global Education (SAGE) is one of those organizations that stands out among the pack! SAGE not only provides high-quality study abroad programs to youth and educators, they also take great care in running a sustainable travel business that respects Mother Earth.
SAGE and Trees, Water & People (TWP) have partnered in several capacities over the years, including leading a volunteer work trip to Honduras in 2011. Now, as part of SAGE’s commitment to sustainable and responsible travel, all of SAGE’s students have the ability to offset their travel carbon footprint. For every offset made, SAGE matches it dollar-for-dollar through TWP’s Carbon Offset Program!
To date, SAGE has matched 298.5 tons of carbon offsets, supporting the construction of solar air heating systems on Native American reservations of the U.S. that greatly reduce heating bills for families in need while reducing green house gas emissions that lead to climate change. Thanks to SAGE, we are able to help communities reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and make the transition towards clean, renewable alternatives like solar.
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.
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.
Congrats, Solar Warriors!
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.