Notes from the Field: Solar Heater Workshop at White Earth Trains New Group of Solar Warriors

We recently partnered with Honor the Earth, Lakota Solar Enterprises, Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERT), Ojibwe Wind, and the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) to conduct a Solar Air Heating workshop at the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.

During the 5-day course, students learned how to assemble kits for solar air heaters and participated in hands-on solar air heater installations on White Earth Reservation homes. After the training, the White Earth Tribe will hire these new “Solar Warriors” to install ten solar heaters on the homes of tribal members.

Henry Red Cloud, the lead instructor for the training and owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises, shared his view of solar energy with the students: “It’s like a rebuilding of a nation. Taking our old way and then taking this new way. We gotta step forward all the time.”

At the end of the training, one student commented, “I really thank you guys for having Henry come and teach White Earth Members like me and my daughter and my son-in-law. This new trade that is coming, I’m so glad that it is here.”

To learn more about the workshops offered by Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program click here.

partners

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.

 

Henry Red Cloud Awarded Highest Honors from American Solar Energy Society

henry red cloud

Congrats to our dear friend and Tribal Renewable Energy Program partner, Henry Red Cloud, for receving the prestigious Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) yesterday in Baltimore. 

From ASES “Solar 2013” blog:

ASES awarded its highest honor, the Charles Greeley Abbot Award, to Henry Red Cloud for his work to improve the lives of Native Americans nationwide through the use of renewable energy. Red Cloud founded Lakota Solar Enterprises on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to produce an affordable, replicable solar air-heating system that saves tribal families 20 to 30 percent on their annual heating costs. In honor of past and future generations of Lakota people and of all the “solar warriors and warriorettes” in attendance, Red Cloud sang a Lakota song passed down from his grandfather and through the generations. For the song, about honoring the sun and its part in the water and life cycles, he asked those present to stand and contemplate their own part in this cycle of life, in preserving the earth’s resources and honoring the sun.

Was-te to an inspiring Solar Warrior!

(Photo by Rachael Maddox & Brian Ward)

 

Volunteer Opportunity: Help Build the Red Cloud Training Annex

Our dedicated volunteer base makes all our projects a success!
Our dedicated volunteer base makes all of our projects a success!

Take this opportunity to travel to our Tribal Renewable Energy Program’s headquarters on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for a long weekend of fun, hard work, and new experiences! Although it is only a five hour drive from the Trees, Water & People office in Fort Collins, Colorado, a trip to Pine Ridge offers a life-changing experience in an entirely different culture.

What: Volunteer Weekend
Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD
When: Thursday, April 4 – Monday, April 8
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: Learn about the Oglala Lakota culture, meet new people, and help finish construction of the Red Cloud Training Annex.

Volunteers are invited to arrive anytime after 6p.m. on Thursday, April 4. We will host full work days Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Projects will end by 5p.m. on Sunday, and volunteers are welcome to head home Sunday evening or on Monday morning. The primary focus of this trip will be to progress with the construction of the new Training Annex. We will be painting walls, installing windows and other fixtures, and doing whatever else the building needs at that point. Additional needs may arise between now and our trip (work in the garden? chop firewood?) – flexibility is a must. Projects may be outdoors and certainly will not take place in a climate-controlled environment.

Food:

  • TWP will provide food for volunteers during their time in Pine Ridge.
  • Food purchased by TWP will be vegan (no animal products). Feel free to bring your own food if you desire.
  • TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use.
  • Volunteers will be responsible for preparing all their own food, including group dinners.

Transportation:

  • All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
  • I will be happy to coordinate carpools where possible.
  • Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it.

Lodging:

  • Volunteers are encouraged to camp on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy campus and must bring their own camping equipment to do so. Weather will be unpredictable, so only those comfortable in the outdoors should camp.
  • Also available will be bunks for up to 14 volunteers, who will share a room with up to 6 other individuals (co-ed).

To volunteer, please email the following information to Lacey Gaechter, National Director, at lacey@treeswaterpeople.org.

  1. Name of all people in your volunteer party
  2. Email addresses for all people in your volunteer party
  3. Your cell phone number
  4. Which days you have available to travel to and work in Pine Ridge
  5. Where you will be coming from and returning to (e.g. most people will be coming from Fort Collins, CO)
  6. Whether you will be camping or require a bunk in our loft (first come, first served!)
  7. Do you need a ride?
  8. Can you offer a ride – if so, for how many people?
  9. Any other questions you have

Once Lacey has confirmed your spot, she will email you directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and provide you additional details about the trip.

Can’t join us in April? Join us the weekend of May 2-5 for a tree planting volunteer trip. Save the date and keep your eye out for more details!

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.

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 www.treeswaterpeople.org to make a donation today!