Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund

by Trees Water & People
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund
Native American Green Entrepreneur Fund

We at Trees, Water & People (TWP) have been so fortunate to have your wonderful support over these past months. TWP's business development training for Native Americans has had a huge impact over the past year, in large part due to friends and donors like you. In 2015, we hosted enough workshops and demonstrations to train 783 local people! We could not have had such success without you.

This summer, we will be ending the Green Business Development program. This break will allow us to improve the program and forge relationships with other Tribes for possible business development programs in the future. We will continue our regular solar workshops and demonstrations, however.

The Green Business Development program has been a great success. We helped Tyler with his company, Cloud Nine Recycling, which is now an LLC. He is currently in the process of buying a box truck so he can have the freedom to decide when and where he will take his recycling inventory, 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 their communities to be clean and green! He also is a “Green Business in Indian Country Start-Up Award” winner!

 Cloud Nine Recycling

Besides helping Tyler with his company Cloud Nine Recycling, TWP has continued to develop the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center as a national facility for introducing tribal members to renewable energy and alternative building technologies. We also had the honor of welcoming the documentary film crew from This Changes Everything  to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center in March of 2013 where they documented one of our solar energy workshops for Native Americans. It was hosted in partnership with Lakota Solar Enterprises, Solar Energy International, and the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Lands Conservation Program.

 

Native Business Development Graduates!

Your support has been invaluable and you have helped changed the lives of so many! Thank you!

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Solar - a new way to honor the old ways
Solar - a new way to honor the old ways
Trees, Water & People's business development training for Native Americans has had a huge impact in the last year, in large part because of friends and donors like you

Besides helping Green Business in Indian Country Start-Up Award winner, Tyler Tawahongva, with his company Cloud Nine Recycling, TWP has continued to develop the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center as a national facility for introducing tribal members to renewable energy and alternative building technologies.

While Native American students come to the Center for a particular workshop, they then have the opportunity to be introduced to applications for a whole host of other renewable energy approaches like solar electric, solar heating, solar radiant floor heating, solar water pumping, and solar mobile stations.  Our students see buildings that use cellulose insulation, and buildings made of straw bales and compressed earth block (CEBs). And they get to eat tasty organic food from the Solar Warrior Farm while meeting students from many different tribes.

For 2016, we are working on the details for a solar electric workshop and installation on the new three bedroom CEB house we built this last year for Paul Shields and his family.  And we are making arrangement for another Canning and Food Preservation workshop and a Foraging for Native Foods workshop.

We are also partnering with We Share Solar to introduce Native American high school students to solar energy and get them thinking about opportunities for green jobs in their future.
Because it's more than just learning job skills; it's about learning principles of sustainability, fostering improved economic circumstances and encouraging Native Americans to consider starting green businesses of their own!

Thank you for being a part of this effort!
Kind regards,
 Richard W. Fox 
Solar PV workshop
Solar PV workshop

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Filming at RCREC for This Changes Everything
Filming at RCREC for This Changes Everything

Director Avi Lewis’ new film, This Changes Everything, asks the question, “What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?” The film attempts to “reimagine the vast challenge of climate change.”

The documentary was inspired by award-winning author Naomi Klein’s critically acclaimed bestselling non-fiction book, This Changes Everything. Published in 2014, it debuted at #5 on the New York Times list and was named to multiple Best of 2014 lists, including the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014.

The film based on the book presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines of climate change, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

We had the honor of welcoming the film crew to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center in March of 2013 where they filmed one of our solar energy workshops for Native Americans. It was hosted in partnership with Lakota Solar Enterprises, Solar Energy International, and the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Lands Conservation Program.

Students from the Cheyenne River Tribe expanded on their knowledge and interest in solar energy. They gained hands-on experience in the installation of solar PV systems, learning how harnessing the power of Mother Nature can provide independence from our current energy system.

With Klein narrating the film, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there, the film weaves together these students’ stories and other stories of struggle, culminating with the idea that, “we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.”

Naomi Klein says, “when I finally stopped looking away, traveled into the heart of the crisis, met people on the front lines, I discovered so much of what I thought I knew was wrong. And I began to wonder: what if human nature isn’t the problem? What if even greenhouse gases aren’t the problem? What if the real problem is a story, one we’ve been telling ourselves for 400 years.”

For more information about upcoming screenings please visit http://thefilm.thischangeseverything.org/seethefilm/ 

This Changes Everything
This Changes Everything

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Solar PV Training
Solar PV Training

On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home to the Oglala Lakota, over 40 percent of residents live without access to electricity. On Native American Reservations across the U.S., the Energy Information Administration estimates that 14 percent of households have no access to electricity, 10 times higher than the national average. Many tribes are looking to renewable energy as a way to provide reliable, clean energy to their tribal members.

Since 2007, Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program has been training Native communities in a variety of renewable energy applications, including solar PV, solar heating, wind energy, geothermal, and solar water pumps. This program strives to put the power of nature — the warmth of the sun, the power of the wind, the shelter of trees — to work for Native Americans. It also gives native entreprenuers the hands-on experience needed to gain an edge in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Last month, we hosted a Solar Energy Workshop that brought Native Americans from around the country to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The workshop explored basics of solar energy and culminated in a hands-on installation at the KILI Radio station, Voice of the Lakota Nation, where students expanded a solar PV array.

We want to thank our all-star intructors who brought their incredible talents and years of experience to the workshop:

  • Jeff Tobe
  • Henry Red Cloud
  • Deby Tewa
  • Johnny Weiss
  • Steve Carol

We also want to thank YOU, our friends and supporters who have made this a stronger program with your financial support. Stay tuned for more updates!

A Lakota blessing to open the workshop
A Lakota blessing to open the workshop
(Clean) power to the people!
(Clean) power to the people!
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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

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Organization Information

Trees Water & People

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @treeswater
Project Leader:
Molly Geppert
Marketing Manager
Fort Collins, Colorado United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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