Upcoming Workshop: Solar Power For Beginning and Advanced Technicians

July 27-31, 2015 at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center

Join Trees, Water & People and Lakota Solar Enterprises in this 5-day workshop demonstrating the latest technology in family and facility-scale solar energy solutions including solar water pumps, solar lighting, solar batteries, solar cookstoves, and mobile renewable energy stations. Students will get hands on experience expanding KILI Radio's solar PV system. Tuition is FREE.

Your Vote Will Help Solar Warrior Farm Win a $15,000 Grant!


Imagine doing all of your grocery shopping at the gas station. Impossible, right? Sadly, this is the reality for many Lakota families living on the Pine Ridge Reservation. In fact, Pine Ridge has only one grocery store to serve an area the size of Connecticut!

To help local people get access to fresh food, we have worked with our partners at Trees, Water & People to create the Solar Warrior Farm, a half-acre garden located at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. This special plot of land produces native and traditional foods such as, potatoes, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, corn, melons, peppers, carrots, and a variety of berries, all of which are harvested and distributed to families.

All we need is a few minutes of your time and a couple of mouse clicks and you can help us win $15,000 at Nature’s Path Gardens for Good competition. And, if you want to go the extra mile, you can vote every day! Voting is open until July 6.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to vote for Solar Warrior Farm. Voting ends July 6th, so please vote today (and every day) to help the Solar Warrior Farm thrive!

Bringing the Power of Green to You

"Renewable Energy Warriors" graduate from a Solar PV training hosted at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. 

"Renewable Energy Warriors" graduate from a Solar PV training hosted at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. 

Lakota Solar Enterprises and Trees, Water & People offer job skills workshops in renewable energy, sustainable housing, Indigenous agriculture, entrepreneurship, and other topics that use Native approaches to caring for the environment and communities. Through our Energy Independence Initiative, we can work with your Tribe or local agencies to deliver Native-led training in:

  • Solar furnace installation
  • Solar hot water heat systems
  • Solar water pump systems for home and garden
  • Mobile renewable energy power stations (for hunting, pow-wows, ceremonies, camping)
  • Family-scale solar PV systems
  • Other affordable solar solutions for families and facilities

If you would like to learn more please contact Jamie Folsom, Trees, Water & People's National Director, at jamief@treeswaterpeople.org or call (970)484-3678 ext.23. 

10,000 Tree Reforestation Project at Pine Ridge

pine ridge reservation reforestation

Over the 125 years that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has managed the Pine Ridge Reservation, they have provided almost zero management of the tribe’s forest resources. As a result, the pine forest has shrunk considerably and in many places there are no longer enough trees to guarantee sustainability of the forest. Through discussions with Oglala Lakota leadership and representatives of several local Pine Ridge organizations, serious concerns have been expressed about the condition and viability of the remaining forests.

TWP and LSE Staff look out over the area that will soon be reforested with ponderosa pines.

TWP and LSE Staff look out over the area that will soon be reforested with ponderosa pines.

Our partners at Trees, Water & People (TWP) have a long history and much success growing and planting tree seedlings around the world. In fact, they have grown and planted over 5.6 million trees since 1998! They were asked to develop a tree planting project on the Pine Ridge Reservation and we are happy to help with the planting! This new endeavor aims to replant the legendary pine ridges, while also engaging Native American youth in the restoration efforts.

To initiate this effort, we established a partnership with the Colorado State Forest Service, who used seeds from South Dakota to grow 10,000 ponderosa pine seedlings in their greenhouses. Over the winter, we worked with TWP and our local partners at Pine Ridge to identify and select specific tribal lands for our first reforestation project (about 17.5 acres in total). We also worked with these partners to recruit members of the tribe who will work with us on this project.

10,000 ponderosa pine seedlings wait to be planted in their new soils at Pine Ridge.

10,000 ponderosa pine seedlings wait to be planted in their new soils at Pine Ridge.

A few weeks back, TWP staff drove the seedlings from the Colorado State Forest Service tree nursery in Fort Collins to our greenhouse at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. This was a long journey for the small seedlings, but they all made it safe and sound!

Over the past couple of weeks, LSE staff, volunteers and tribal members have planted 6,000 of the 10,000 trees – the start of an important reforestation program for the Oglala Lakota Tribe! In the coming weeks, tribal members will finish planting the remaining pine trees, participating directly in the conservation and management of their local forests. More updates to come as these little ponderosa pines mature and become an integral part of the Pine Ridge ecosystem!

Stay at the Sacred Earth Lodge this summer!


An Eco-Friendly Retreat Center for Indian Country

Sacred Earth Lodge is an eco-friendly and affordable space available to rent for conferences, workshops, and by visitors to the area. Located on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center campus just minutes away from downtown Pine Ridge, South Dakota, it is a one-of-a-kind facility in Indian Country. Created by Henry Red Cloud, his business Lakota Solar Enterprises, and partner Trees, Water & People, the Lodge was built with sustainble construction and is powered by renewable energy.

Staying at the Sacred Earth Lodge also offers uniquely Native experiences, such as sleeping in our 40 foot tipi, watching a Lakota drum circle, or participating in a Lakota dance ceremony. There are also opportunities to visit nearby historical sites and National Parks.


  • Two Large Dormitory-Style Rooms (each sleeps ten)
  • One Small Dormitory-Style Room (sleeps three)
  • Women's and Men's Restrooms and Showers
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Community Kitchen and Dining Area (seats up to 35)
  • Classroom, Meeting, and Lounge Spaces

For rates, to make a reservation, or for more information, please contact John Motley at john@treeswaterpeople.org or by phone at (877) 606-4TWP