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 http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-yes-breakthrough-15/henry-red-cloud-solar-warrior-for-native-america

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

Journey to the Home of the Oglala Lakota

Join Trees, Water & People on a journey to the home of the Oglala Lakota for the 2011 Lakota Adventure.  From September 11th-17th we will be taking guests to the Pine Ridge Reservation to experience the strength, pride, humor and enduring culture of the Oglala Lakota. Despite hardship, the Lakota have nourished and preserved their spirituality, culture and ties with their land.

Learn about TWP’s Tribal Lands Renewable Energy Program, help build solar air heaters, and plant trees for wind breaks and shade at a local families home.  In addition, we will travel to Wounded Knee and other cultural and historical sites to learn about the Lakota culture, past and present.

Lakota Adventure 2011: A Journey to the Home of the Oglala Lakota

 

Solar air heaters are helping families to reduce their monthly heating bills by 20-30%. Help us bring hope to Native America, and join us on the 2011 Laktoa Adventure!

Join Trees, Water & People on a journey to the home of the Oglala Lakota for the 2011 Lakota Adventure.  From September 11th-17th we will be taking guests to the Pine Ridge Reservation to experience the strength, pride, humor and enduring culture of the Oglala Lakota. Despite hardship, the Lakota have nourished and preserved their spirituality, culture and ties with their land.

 

Learn about TWP’s Tribal Lands Renewable Energy Program, help build solar air heaters, and plant trees for wind breaks and shade at a local families home.  In addition, we will travel to Wounded Knee and other cultural and historical sites to learn about the Lakota culture, past and present.

For more information and reservations, please contact Lacey Gaechter at 970.484.3678 or lacey@treeswaterpeople.org today!

Thank You to the Global Harmony Community Chorus!

We would like to thank our friends at the Global Harmony Community Chorus for raising over $18,000 this month for our Tribal Lands Renewable Energy Program!  Also, many thanks to everyone who attended and generously contributed.  Donations from the event will help us to continue putting the power of nature — the warmth of the sun, the power of the wind, the shelter of trees — to work for Native Americans.

A solar heater beneficiary stands proud (Photo by Dan Bihn, 2010).

The “Songs of the Earth” concert weekend, held February 12th and 13th in Roseville, MN, featured special guests Brent Michael Davids (composer, flute) and Henry Red Cloud (5th generation descendant of Chief Red Cloud).

 

About Global Harmony Chorus

Global Harmony is an inter-faith, non-auditioned community chorus open to all who wish to sing to make a difference.  To date, Global Harmony Community Chorus has raised over $102,000 for global relief efforts.  To learn more please visit http://globalharmonychorus.org/.

Updates from D.C.

Jon Becker, TWP Board President, writes from Washington, D.C. (September 22, 2010):

“Just finished at Senator Mark Udall’s office.  Got great reception acknowledging our impactful work on solar and stoves.  Meetings last night and this morning with donors who noted their appreciation of direct effectiveness of TWP programs.”

Richard Fox, TWP National Director, stands in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

“Lakota Past and Present” Adventure

Over the last five years, TWP has been bringing family-sized renewable energy applications to tribal communities. During most of that time, we have worked with Henry Red Cloud on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Henry is the owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises and has led most of our renewable energy workshops and installations. Recently, we have expanded our partnership with Henry to develop the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, a facility that will train Native Americans about renewable energy applications for many years to come.

While our primary focus has been on providing Lakota families with more than 200 solar air heating systems, we have also been involved in solar electric and wind turbine installations as well as planting trees as windbreaks for more than 130 additional Lakota families.

Most of our work has been on the Pine Ridge reservation, but we have also installed demonstration solar heaters for families on nine other reservations ranging from Skull Valley in Utah to White Earth in Minnesota.  Four of these installations were done in partnership with Winona LaDuke and the Honor the Earth organization.

Over the years, we have had many people ask to come with us and learn about the Lakota people, conditions at Pine Ridge, and our efforts to build renewable energy capacity in tribes across the Great Plains. We have brought some of these folks to Pine Ridge in the spring to help us during our last 6 years of tree planting there.

This fall, we will begin to gently expand our efforts to engage more people in working with Lakota people to build a more sustainable energy program and reduce outrageously high utility bills. We believe that with energy prices continuing to rise, and potentially doubling over last winter’s costs, that we need to do everything we can to get more solar heating systems in place and protect more tribal families, especially the elderly and children.

These supplemental solar heaters will reduce heating costs by 20-30% for 20 to up to 30 years for pennies a day and should be a part of every tribes new energy policy. Check out our website for more information.

Please take a moment to read the flyer about the Lakota Past and Present Adventure. I hope you will consider attending and that you will pass it on to your friends and associates for their consideration.

Richard

Tribal Lands program in National Geographic

Trees, Water & People and Henry Red Cloud are featured in an article about the Lakota that appeared in the July 2008 edition of National Geographic France, written by Sylvie Brieu with photographs by Asim Rafiqui. Following is a translated excerpt from the article:

National Geographic France

Wounded Knee remains an open wound . . . . The struggle for independence and self-determination continues, if less violent than in the past centuries. Today’s community leaders are waging other kinds of battles. I’m meeting with one of them at Big Bat’s, one of the few meeting spots on the reservation. The dynamic Henry Red Cloud, 48 years old, 5th generation descendant of a great chief of the Sioux, defines himself as a 21st century warrior. “Here, we are in a survival operating mode on a daily basis.” Henry says with a nod. “So, we’ve got to fight. I help families reclaim and then utilize the lands that the BIA confiscated – under the pretext that the people were incompetent – in order to lease them at a below market price. I promote organic gardens, self-sufficiency and renewable energies.”

Henry heads a small company, Lakota Solar Enterprises, supported by Trees Water & People. Over the last three years, he has equipped more than 200 households with solar heaters. “In this region winters are harsh. Temperatures can drop below – 40° F. More than 60% of the population lives below the poverty level and can’t afford to heat their homes with either propane or electricity.”

“The sun is part of our way of life and we honor the sun through our Sun Dance. To incorporate solar and wind energy technologies into our everyday life is a way to continue living in harmony with the Earth.”

Henry smiles, looking towards the future: “Our generation is the one that must do the healing. By reclaiming our land and bringing back the buffalo, the members of our community will be able to go forward and resolve their problems.”

Report from the Colorado Renewable Energy Conference

As I work on the SunMobile’s renewable energy and energy efficiency curriculum, I have found many great opportunities to learn more from leading experts in the field. Most recently, I attended the annual Colorado Renewable Energy Conference which was in held Pueblo, Colorado June 6-8 and put on by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. I went to many break-out sessions that ranged from the latest in wind and solar energy to how such systems are financed and how vehicle technology is keeping up with the current fuel efficiency needs (or not!). I also attended two all day workshops — the first focused on teaching about energy, and the second dealt with emerging renewable energy technologies. The entire weekend was really a great way to touch bases with the many people I have worked with in the past and for meeting new people who share similar interests and goals for renewable energy, and letting them know about our environmental education programs.

Elizabeth

Sponsor a Lakota family

Through friends we came to understand that Lakota people living on reservations were paying up to 70% of their income just to pay their exorbitant heat and electricity bills. To help ease this problem, Trees, Water & People has been building and installing supplemental solar heat systems for Native American families living on reservations in the Western U.S. These solar heaters save 25-35% on heating bills, and we estimate that they will stay in service for 20-30 years. Besides keeping families warmer in the winter and saving significant money, the heaters have other benefits. Many families must choose between paying for heat, food, or medicine…a choice no one should have to make. Many families use the savings from our heaters to buy more food and medicine, so the heaters help improve health and nutrition.

Many Lakota women make beautiful star quilts. They often have to move in with other family members in the winter because their homes are too cold or too expensive to heat. When families are consolidated, there is no room for work on quilts, so this important source of income is lost during the long and bitterly cold winters. Each solar heating system costs about $1,200 for all of the material and the cost of installation. Currently, we have funding that covers about $800 of this cost, so we still need to raise about $400 per heater so we can get as many installed as possible before this next winter. We’re asking our friends and supporters to consider sponsoring a Lakota family so they can receive one of this heaters. You can help at whatever level you feel is appropriate. The Lakota are struggling…and they are holders of great wisdom. They still hear the life within the land and move with their ancestors along a powerful way. We hope you will help us to preserve this important culture and these important people.

Richard