Trees Water & People

Trees, Water & People is committed to improving people's lives by helping communities to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends. We believe that natural resources are best protected when local people play an active role in their care and management.
Jun 11, 2015

Start with the Basics for Native-owned Businesses

Ginger pitching her proposal
Ginger pitching her proposal

Many people say and wish they could start their own business and make a difference in their communities. But it takes guts and funding to take the first steps to do so. This past week we had our Green Business Development Training at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC). Although there were only two participants, they brought their passion and talents for their communities to the experience.

Ginger of King Cove, Alaska, has the idea to tackle waste management by diverting food waste from the landfill and creating compost for organic gardening to fill the need for fresh, affordable food.  She traveled for two days to be in Pine Ridge and learn much about Lakota history and culture.

“This was the trip of a lifetime, and I will never forget it,” Ginger said of her first trip outside King Cove in 10 years. She was inspired by her experience to take the first steps of her goal of starting a compost program with her Tribe – she is planning on entering a college program in Environmental Sciences in the fall.

Trent of the Tule River Reservation also brought another great idea to the training. During the week he honed in on the specifics of building the renewable energy capacity for a Tribe in California through family and facility scale solar electric solutions, starting with Tribal elders. He hopes to return to RCREC for a solar applications training later this year, and connect with others in his community who want to be a part of this endeavor.

Meanwhile our Green Business Award winner from last year – Tyler – has achieved much since October. Cloud Nine Recycling is now an LLC, and he is currently in the process of buying a box truck so that he can decide on when and where he will take his recycling inventory to market, rather than paying high rental prices for a truck. He is an inspiration to others who want to wade into entrepreneurship and make a difference in his community to be clean and green!

Thanks to our GlobalGiving family for supporting these up and coming “Indianpreneurs” in their first steps toward making a positive impact in their communities! 

Working on business plans!
Working on business plans!
A visit to Wounded Knee
A visit to Wounded Knee

Links:

Mar 11, 2015

To go far, go together!

Compressed Earth Block workshop
Compressed Earth Block workshop

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. ~ African proverb

Starting a business in rural areas presents a set of challenges that can be discouraging at times. Lack of infrastructure (such as high speed internet), spotty cell phone coverage, and long travel times to banks and clients are all part of the picture that might seem bleak to some. But for those whose livelihoods are tied to land and community, starting a business and building the local economy are not a question of why, but how. Going it alone isn’t really an option, so forming partnerships is key.

The first few months of 2015 have been spent reflecting, discussing, and planning Trees, Water & People’s (TWP) major development activities for the year. Last month we officially opened registration for our green job skills workshops in compressed earth block (CEB) construction and our signature Green Business Development in Indian Country Training at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC). We have also scheduled solar furnace and CEB workshops with tribes in the Great Plains area. And this year we add a new skills training –“More Than Food: An Indigenous Food Sovereignty Workshop,” - featuring our demonstration garden, The Solar Warrior Farm.

Native people from all over the country are registering to attend these workshops, and scholarships and travel stipends make a big difference in determining who is able to be there. The workshops, especially Green Business Development, are excellent opportunities to connect with others who are starting out, and to talk with seasoned entrepreneurs, who can share their best practices. Each workshop leads to collaborations and stronger projects for the communities.

Through your continued support, more people can have the opportunity to be a part of the circle of success, and go far together. Thank you for a successful 2014 and a strong start in 2015!

Solar PV workshop
Solar PV workshop

Links:

Jan 14, 2015

Thank you for supporting the Sacred Earth Lodge!

Sacred Earth Lodge at night
Sacred Earth Lodge at night

Dear Friends and Supporters,

     Happy New Year! We are happy to report that the Sacred Earth Lodge has been built and our first year has been very successful and sustainable, so we will be closing out this project on GlobalGiving. Your support has helped us create a wonderful center for Trees, Water & People to host guests, training events, and volunteer groups, and for that we are very grateful. In our first year of operation we hosted several workshops on renewable energy, earth based construction, and green business development for Native people. Additionally, we hosted over 250 guests at the Lodge! We couldn't have done it without your support through this GlobalGiving project. 

We hope you will stay up to date with our work at the Sacred Earth Lodge through our websiteblog and Facebook. Thank you again for all of your support!

Yakoke, many thanks!

 Jamie Folsom
 National Director
 Trees, Water & People
Volunteers love the Sacred Earth Lodge!
Volunteers love the Sacred Earth Lodge!

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