We are now working with the women to offer more access to our workshops as well as an opportunity to apply to our Green Business Development Program.
This is the number of native women who were awarded scholarships to attend our workshops.
Estimated girls & women affected
This is the number of community members benefiting form solar heating and sustainable building.
Estimated community members affected
We are excited to report that the women who were awarded the "Solar Women Warriors Scholarships" have completed their training with us and have utilized these funds to learn important new skills in renewable energy and sustainable building.
We were delayed by weather in October of 2013, when the first Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Training was originally scheduled to take place. However, we were able to reschedule the training for May 18-24, 2014 and it ended up being a great success! Alison Goings, a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, and Gail Hubbeling, a member of the Ihanktowan (Dakota) Tribe and also a veteran of the U.S. military, both attended the training on scholarships funded by you. The women learned how to build a home using a compressed earth block machine, which produces blocks that are affordable and very energy efficient.
In addition to these two scholarships, we awarded a third Solar Women Warrior Scholarship to Robin Davis, a member of the White Earth Tribe. Robin attended one of our Solar Air Heater workshops held on the White Earth Reservation. After learning how to install solar heaters onto a home, Robin and the other trainees were employed by the White Earth Tribe to install 10 heaters for families in need. These heaters save families up to 30% on their monthly utility bills for 25 years, greatly decreasing household expenses using clean energy from the sun.
"I've been interested in energy efficiency and renewable energy for sometime now. I want to share this knowledge with our Native communities along with the Housing Authority. Housing is the one shortage we need to overcome." - Gail Hubbeling, Scholarship Recipient
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge with this project was the weather! We had no problem finding Native American women eager to attend our workshops; our main challenge was dealing with freak storms that delayed holding the workshops. We had originally planned to have the Compressed Earth Block training in October of 2014 but Mother Nature was not having it. A huge snow storm hit the Pine Ridge Reservation, causing us to postpone the workshop.
What we’ve learned
We've learned that beyond green job training, we need to also focus on helping trainees find meaningful employment opportunities, where they can utilize the skills they have gained. This is why we started the Green Business Development Program in 2013. This program helps Native entrepreneurs develop and implement viable green business plans within the reservation context, which is a much more challenging economic situation. In addition, we are also continuing to work closely with tribes, such as White Earth, to create jobs for trainees after they complete our workshops. Many tribes have access to Federal funds for renewable energy and economic development that can be used to employ their members in the green economy.
We are now working with the women to offer more access to our workshops as well as an opportunity to apply to our Green Business Development Program. Our ultimate goal with this program is to see Native American women find jobs within the renewable energy and sustainable building sector, using the skills and experience gained from our workshops.
Amount spent so far
3 scholarships ($1,350 each)
For more information about our work please visit www.solarwarriors.org.
Solar women warriors scholarships awarded
Since the Solar women warriors scholarship fund was fully funded on Catapult, we have awarded three Native American women with scholarships to attend our Compressed Earth Block Training at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
In partnership with Lakota Solar Enterprises and EARTHinBLOCKS, this multi-day course will offer students hands-on instruction in this unique form of sustainable construction. The training includes instruction on how to operate a compressed earth block machine, mixing mud ratios and building with earth blocks. Trainees will also learn how to design and construct an earth block building.
In addition to awarding these scholarships, we also opened our new dormitory and training center at RCREC. The Sacred Earth Lodge is a one-of-a-kind facility that allows us to host many more trainees and provides much larger classroom space for our workshops.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge with this project has been weather. The Compressed Earth Block Training was originally scheduled for October 18-26, 2013. However, a very large and destructive early winter storm pounded Pine Ridge with nearly two feet of snow, causing extensive damage to buildings, roads, and trees and killing thousands of cattle. Due to this rare October snow storm, we have had to reschedule the training for Spring 2014. All three women will attend the rescheduled training using their scholarship funds.
"My intent is in utilizing all opportunities available to become sustainable, reduce energy consumption, and do the best I can for our Mother Earth. I would like to build Earth Block homes on the Yankton Sioux Reservation to alleviate the lack of adequate housing in Indian Country." - Florence Hare Yankton Sioux
"My interest is to learn any and all I can about energy efficiency and renewable energy to one day build my own home." - Tina Marie Steele, Oglala Lakota Sioux
The next step will be to train all three of the Native American women who were awarded scholarships. After the women receive their hands-on training, we will help them gain access to other green job training opportunities that compliment sustainable building. In addition, we offer Native American entrepreneurs access to business development through the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center.
To date, we have not spent any funds because the training was postponed due to weather. The funds will be spent when the trainees attend the rescheduled Compressed Earth Block Training in Spring of 2014.
We have created a new website for our Native American trainees! It is still under construction but you can check it out here: http://solarwarriors.org
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.