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!

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!

New Report from NWF Highlights How Climate Change Hurts Indian Tribes Disproportionately

This new report from the National Wildlife Federation “details how climate change is adversely and disproportionately affecting Indian Tribes in North America, people who rely on a healthy environment to sustain their economic, cultural and spiritual lives.”

Click here to learn more about the new report.

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 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

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.

Henry Red Cloud Honored by Nuclear-Free Future Award

Henry Red Cloud stands next to a small wind turbine outside the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center in Pine Ridge, SD. (Photo by Dan Bihn, 2010)

Henry Red Cloud, member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe and proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), is being honored by the Nuclear-Free Future Award (NFFA) for his efforts to bring clean, renewable energy to tribal lands. On September 30th, Henry will receive his special recognition award at a public event held at New York City’s historic Cooper Union.

As the great-great grandson of Chief Red Cloud, Henry is a 21st century Lakota warrior, providing sustainable, economically beneficial, environmentally sound, and culturally appropriate energy solutions to Native Americans living on reservations. He has spent over a decade experimenting with sustainable energy and housing alternatives, searching for affordable solutions that preserve resources and complement the values and traditions of tribal communities. In 2006, Henry created Lakota Solar Enterprises, one of the first and only Native-owned and operated renewable energy businesses. In 2008, he partnered with Colorado-based nonprofit Trees, Water & People (TWP) to establish the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), a one-of-a-kind educational facility where tribal members from around the nation can receive hands-on training from fellow Native American instructors. As Henry says, renewable energy is “a new way to honor the old ways.”

Since 1998, the Nuclear-Free Future Award has honored and helped facilitate the ongoing work of individuals, like Henry Red Cloud, and initiatives struggling to bring an end to the “Nuclear Age.” Based in Germany, NFFA provides vital recognition and financial and moral support for individuals, organizations and communities around the world working valiantly to achieve a peaceful, safe future free of nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and uranium mining. An independent, nonprofit group, the NFFA works closely with The Alternative Nobel Prize among others, and has been called by Berlin newspaper Taz, “the most important anti-nuke award in the world.”

To learn more about Henry Red Cloud and Lakota Solar Enterprises, visit To learn more about the Nuclear-Free Future Award, visit To learn more about Trees, Water & People, visit