Support Native American women in learning new skills to gain jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Why we care: Women living in reservation communities face extremely high unemployment and very few job training opportunities.

How we’re solving this: Providing women hands-on training in renewable energy applications to help them gain meaningful employment.

The Solar Women Warriors Scholarship Fund will provide Native American women who want to become renewable energy leaders in their communities with green job training. Women living in reservation communities face extremely high unemployment and very few job training opportunities. This scholarship will give women hands-on training in renewable energy applications from fellow Native Americans, providing them with the skills necessary to gain meaningful employment in the renewable energy sector. As tribal leaders continue to incorporate sustainable technology into their housing, employment training, and energy strategies, the impact of this scholarship will increase exponentially.  

Working in partnership with Henry Red Cloud, owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), our Tribal Renewable Energy Program has installed more than 760 solar heating systems, as well as solar electric systems and wind turbines, on tribal lands around the country. These solar heaters save families 20-30% on their monthly heating bills for up to 20 years; They offer an inexpensive, simple-to-use, and environmentally sound way to bring comfort to reservation families struggling to survive the winter months. 

In conjunction with our solar heater program, the Tribal Renewable Energy Program offers intensive 10-day training sessions at our program headquarters, the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), for tribal members to earn their Solar Technician I Certification and other renewable energy certifications. These training sessions teach the step-by-step process of assembling solar air heating systems and offer hands-on practice installing the systems on the homes of Native American families.  When trainees return to their reservation communities, they are equipped with the expertise to begin assembling and installing solar heating systems for their own tribes. To date, more than 175 trainees from tribes around the country have received training through RCREC.

“I heard about the program on the Tribal Radio Station 89.5.  I had experience with plumbing and changing out pipes, and thought, ‘I’m going to try this program.’  It’s different, but I like everything that they’ve showed us how to do, and all the wiring.  My mom and dad are going to get one of these solar heaters.  I can’t wait to start installing the heaters for our people back home.”

–Mary Blue Cloud, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Solar Trainee

Please help us to provide important green job skills to Native American women.