Notes from the Field: Summer Update from Tribal Lands

Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE) and Trees, Water & People (TWP) are continuing our efforts to help Native American communities move towards energy independence. This week we are conducting a solar air heater workshop and installing ten solar air heating systems for the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribe in northeast South Dakota. The training is teaching twelve tribal members about the uses of solar energy and how to install the energy saving solar heating systems. These solar heaters push the number of total systems the LSE/TWP team has built and installed for tribal families to more than 1,000 systems. Additionally, the vast majority of these systems made at the LSE manufacturing facility at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Sisseton Wahpeton Tribe members installing a solar air heater during a training with Lakota Solar Enterprises and Trees, Water & People.


It is also the first major installation of our new Off-Grid Solar Heaters, which now operate solely on solar power! Heat is provided even if the grid goes off, as it is apt to do all across Native American Reservations. After this training is completed, the tribe has discussed getting 21 more systems and will use their trained workforce to get them installed.

Next, LSE will be taking down the old defunct wind turbine tower at the Kili Radio Station on Pine Ridge. Friends will install a new 10 kW Bergey wind turbine there in September, and a bit later Henry and the LSE crew will install another 6 kW solar electric array. A few years ago LSE installed a 5 kW solar electric array there, as well as one of their solar air heaters. Together, this should reduce the Radio stationed huge electric and heating bills by more than half.

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Henry Red Cloud (left) leads a solar panel installation training at the Kili Radio Station in 2013.

Training and demonstrations like these are possible because of you, our supporters! Your contribution helps build job skills for Native Americans while also reducing CO2 emissions. Please donate today to keep programs like these going into the future.

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Native American Rights Fund Offsets 2014 Carbon Footprint

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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. In partnership with First Nations 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.

Every year, each solar air heater prevents 1.39 tons of carbon emissions generated by fossil fuels. The Native American Rights Fund’s contribution to this form of renewable energy greatly reduces the organization’s environmental impact and helps Native American families in need by providing clean, free heat from the sun.

Native American Rights Fund’s Statement on Environmental Sustainability

Carbon Offset Partner Logo (250px)“It is clear that our natural world is undergoing severe, catastrophic climate change that adversely impacts the lives of people and ecosystems worldwide. Native Americans are especially vulnerable and are experiencing disproportionate negative impacts on their cultures, health, and food systems. In response, NARF is committed to environmental sustainability through our 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. NARF is engaged in environmental work and has established a Green Office Committee whose responsibility is to lead and coordinate staff participation in establishing and implementing policies and procedures to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption and pollution, and create a healthful work environment.”

To learn more about NARF’s commitment to environmental sustainability please visit

The 2014 Year in Review

We are proud of all that we accomplished over the past 12 months with our local partners throughout Latin America and on tribal lands of the United States. Together, we are helping communities conserve their natural resources and create more sustainable livelihoods. Thank you for supporting our mission and programs. We look forward to a New Year with new possibilities!

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Give Your Valentine the Gift of Giving!


Give the special someone in your life the “Gift of Giving” this Valentine’s Day! You can support one of our projects on by donating in honor of your Valentine. Once you make the donation, you can choose to have the card emailed, mailed, or you can print at home. Spread love!

Choose from the following projects (click on the “Gift or in honor of tab” when you get to the project page):

soalr heaters for Native American families


support organic farming for Native Americans


help build Sacred Earth Lodge

Corporate Partner Spotlight: Advanced Nutrients

Advanced Nutrients supports renewable energy on tribal lands for current and future generations!
Advanced Nutrients supports renewable energy on tribal lands for current and future generations!

Thank you Advanced Nutrients for your continued support of our Tribal Renewable Energy Program!

advanced nutrientsAdvanced Nutrients donates 1% of every dollar they earn from each of their select C.O.R.E. nutrients to our Tribal Program, helping us bring green job training and solar air heaters to Native Americans living in reservation communities.

Advanced Nutrients makes it pretty clear that they intend to do a lot of good in the world!

“Advanced Nutrients is dedicated to putting our community first. We promise to support individuals and organizations that are committed to making a difference — for our community, for society, and for the world at large. Dig deep into these pages. Get involved, get excited!”

We are honored to work with an environmentally conscious company that takes corporate social responsibility to the next level. Thanks again Advanced Nutrients!

Learn more about Advanced Nutrients “Charter of Responsibility and Ethics (C.O.R.E.)” at their website.

Photo of the Week: Solar Heating for Native American Families

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Rachel Blomberg stands next to a solar heating system that she raised funds for and helped install. Thank you, Rachel! You support has brought clean, sustainable heat to families in need.

Tribal Renewable Energy Program Update: Heaters Going Live on the Cheyenne River Reservation

by Lacey Gaechter, Assistant National Director

Thanks to the talents of our solar heater trainees, 68 households on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will enjoy clean, free heat this winter, and for many more to come.

For the first time ever, Trees, Water & People hosted a Solar Heater Training conducted by two of our former students. Leo White Bear, a Shoshone Bannock from Fort Hall, Idaho, and Landon Means, a Northern Cheyenne Sioux from Montana both travelled to the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota to train five new crew members.

Leo and Landon spent 10 days in Eagle Butte, SD training the new recruits to install solar air heaters owned by their tribe. Subsequently, we received many positive survey results from our trainees, one of whom said that their trainers were, “very thorough and helpful and patient and most of all fun to work with.” Way to go Leo and Landon!

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is now paying their trainees to install their solar air heating systems.Thanks to our trainees for “paying it forward” so that dozens more families will be warm this winter!