Photo of the Week: Solar Heating for Rural Native American Families

solar air heater Pine Ridge Reservation

About this photo

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.


Notes from the Field: Solar Trainees Power the SunMobile

by Claire Burnett, National Program Assistant

native american solar trainess

As part of the Tribal Renewable Energy Program’s green job training series, nine Solar Warriors were trained last week at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. Our trainees traveled from the Rosebud, Pine Ridge, Crow Creek, and Northern Cheyenne Reservations to attend the multi-day workshop.

During the training, students learned about battery-tied photovoltaic systems, successfully wired the SunMobile to be a mobile power station for PA systems at Pow Wows, and visited our most recent solar panel install at the KILI Radio Station to see a grid-tied PV system. The training was a great success and we thank all of our hardworking students – you guys rock!

We would also like to thank the Scoob Trust Foundation for sponsoring five scholarships for this training. In addition, we had guest instructors Stephen Kane (Kane Solar) and Steve Carroll (Namaste Solar) – we couldn’t have done it without their donated time and equipment – thank you both!

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In the News: Lakota Solar Featured in Indian Country Today Magazine

Henry Red Cloud article

Henry Red Cloud, Tribal Renewable Energy Program Partner, was recently featured in Indian Country Today. The feature story, titled “The Renewable Energy Revolution,” highlights Henry’s efforts to bring renewable energy to tribal lands.

“My biggest dream is for First Nations communities to be energy independent before mainstream America.” – Henry Red Cloud

Henry Red Cloud owns and operates Lakota Solar Enterprises, one of the nation’s first Native American-owned and operated renewable energy companies. In partnership with Henry and LSE, Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Program has built and installed hundreds of solar heating systems for families living on tribal lands across the country. In addition, TWP and Henry train Native Americans in a wide variety of renewable energy applications, including solar, wind, geothermal, and sustainable building.

Click here to read the full article!

Photo of the Week: Happy Birthday Henry Red Cloud!

Happy Birthday to our dear friend and partner, Henry Red Cloud! You are a true inspiration to so many people; your tireless efforts to transform the tribal energy approach sets an example for what is possible when we work together to harness the renewable energy of Mother Nature.
Happy Birthday to our dear friend and partner, Henry Red Cloud! You are a true inspiration to so many people; your tireless efforts to transform the tribal energy approach sets an example for what is possible when we work together to harness the renewable energy of Mother Nature.

Tribal Renewable Energy Program: 2012 Impact

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.

Tribal Renewable Energy Program Impact 2012

Henry Red Cloud Accepts the Energy Globe World Award

The Energy Globe is the world´s most prestigious and respected environmental award. More than 150 countries participated and submitted over 6,000 projects that implemented a prudent and economical use of resources to the international jury of experts since the year 2000.

Energy Globe nominees from 14 different nations convinced the jury chaired by Maneka Ghandi (member of the Indian parliament and former environmental minister) this year. They all have dedicated their life to one single goal: Providing sustainable solutions to diverse problems all over the world. The projects were presented at the 29th international CIRIEC congress taking place in the Vienna City Hall from 12-14 September.

Congratulations to our partner Henry Red Cloud for this great honor!

Interested in supporting Henry and TWP’s work on Tribal Lands? Please visit to make a donation today!

Join us for Lakota Adventure 2012!

You are invited to the 2012 Lakota Adventure: Past and Present! Below, you will find an itinerary of events and a registration form. If you have any further questions about this trip please contact Lacey Gaechter, National Director, at or by phone at (970) 484-3678.


YES! Magazine Honors Henry Red Cloud—One of the “YES! Breakthrough 15″

Henry Red Cloud
Henry Red Cloud- One of YES! Magazine's "Breakthrough 15"
Henry Red Cloud, TWP’s Tribal Program partner and founder of Lakota Solar Enterprises, has been named one of the “YES! Breakthrough 15”—a group of people who are “tuned in to the deepest needs of our time,” says YES! Magazine executive editor Sarah van Gelder. YES! asked heroes from the grassroots—such as Pete Seeger, Naomi Klein, Wendell Berry, and Eve Ensler—to name 15 people whose work is creating the most important solutions and transforming the way we live.

YES! recognizes Red Cloud’s leadership in bringing renewable energy, sustainable development, and cultural renewal to some of the lowest-income communities in the nation, on reservations.

“Tribes are under intense pressure to allow their lands to be punctured by fossil fuel development. Red Cloud is showing that there is another path out of poverty,” says award-winning journalist Naomi Klein, who selected Red Cloud for the issue.

The newly released winter issue of YES! Magazine marks the publication’s 15th anniversary as an ad-free, independent magazine. To read the full article please visit

Congrats to Henry! We are honored to work with such an inspirational, forward-thinking person. Was-te!

Photo of the Week: Solar Warrior

Henry Red Cloud, TWP's partner and owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises, stands outside of the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Straw Bale Construction Workshop — Aug. 8-12 — FREE

You are invited to a free training and volunteer opportunity to help build a demonstration straw bale home on our partner, Henry Red Cloud’s, property at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

What: Straw bale home construction training and volunteer trip
Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
Arrive: Sunday evening/ afternoon, August 7 (you may wish to arrive in time for the Pine Ridge Pow Wow).
Work: Monday-Friday, Aug 8-12
Depart: Saturday, Aug 13
Why: Learn about straw bale construction and help Henry build this demonstration of efficient, affordable housing for Native Americans living on reservations.


  • All are invited to camp on Henry’s property at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. Please bring your own camping equipment.


  • In general, you will be responsible for your own transport to/ from Henry’s.
  • For those of you traveling from Fort Collins, CO on Sunday and returning on Saturday, I will be happy to facilitate carpools.


  • Our options for food will depend on the number of volunteers who sign-up.
  • For now, you should assume that you will be responsible for your own food and preparation.
  • TWP is happy to share its kitchen equipment including a stove and shelter. If there are 40 of us, you may be happy you brought your own camp stove…
  • There is a small convenience store about 9 miles from Henry’s.

To Reserve Your Spot:
Please email Lacey Gaechter at or call us at (970) 484-3678.

  • Let Lacey know when you plan to arrive/ depart.
  • Where you’ll be coming from.
  • If you’d like a ride or to offer a ride from Fort Collins.
  • Any questions that you have.

We hope you can join us in bringing sustainable housing options to the Lakota People!

Can’t attend but still want to help? Click here to donate to our straw bale fundraiser online!