Henry Red Cloud is the direct 5th generation descendant of Chief Red Cloud, one of the last Lakota war chiefs and one of the most famous Native Americans in history. Henry was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation, where living conditions are extremely difficult.
For more than a decade, Henry has devoted himself to developing his expertise with renewable energy applications that are environmentally sound, economically beneficial, and culturally appropriate. Today, Henry is a twenty-first century Lakota Warrior, bringing green technology and employment to Native American communities. He reminds tribes that they can live sustainably and shows them that by embracing clean, renewable energy applications there is a way to get back to a traditional relationship with Mother Earth. As Henry says, “This is a new way to honor the old ways.”
In partnership with Trees, Water & People (TWP), Lakota Solar Enterprises founded and now operates the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), where Native Americans from around the country come to receive hands-on training in renewable energy applications from fellow Native American trainers. RCREC’s facilities also include demonstration solar air furnaces, a solar electric system, straw bale home demonstration sites, a wind turbine, green houses and garden, buffalo from the Red Cloud herd, and wind break and shade trees. In addition to educating about the benefits of renewable energy, RCREC’s workshops are creating green jobs for residents of Pine Ridge, as well as visiting trainees from other tribes. Throughout the years, as tribal leaders have learned how to incorporate sustainable technology into housing plans, employment training, and energy strategies in their own areas, RCREC’s impact has increased exponentially.