Jeff King, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, has been to many of our workshops at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He captured this beautiful shot of the sun setting during his last visit to RCREC. This shot captures many of the renewable energy demonstrations at RCREC, including a strawbale home, wind power, and solar energy.
“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.
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.”