Henry Red Cloud

Henry Red Cloud’s Journey To Solar Power

19 hours ago
Chynna Lockett

The Pine Ridge Reservation estimates 80% unemployment - and that can make every job important. Renewable energy installation can create jobs. In fact, a Pine Ridge man trains Native people around the country on the skills they need to work with solar energy. 

Lakota Solar Enterprises is based on a plot of land off a road on the Pine Ridge Reservation. There are trailers filled with solar generators and panels scattered among small buildings. Henry Red Cloud founded the company. He grew up in Pine Ridge and moved away for a career in construction. 

Victoria Wicks

Two candidates for Public Utilities Commissioner came together for a forum in Sturgis on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Incumbent Chris Nelson and challenger Henry Red Cloud spent about an hour introducing themselves to the audience and answering questions, primarily about renewable energy. Questions about Keystone pipelines, both in eastern and western South Dakota, were off the table because of ongoing litigation surrounding both.

This is the only time these candidates will make a joint appearance during their campaign.

Victoria Wicks

Incumbent Public Utilities Commissioner Chris Nelson faced challenger Henry Red Cloud at a forum in Sturgis this weekend. This is the only joint appearance the two will make this election season.

Red Cloud says it's time for South Dakota to move away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy.

Nelson says the PUC is legally mandated to keep utility rates low.

The forum was sponsored by Dakota Rural Action and Prairie Hills Audubon Society.

Courtesy photo / Mark Trahant

A Native American political observer says 2016 could be a record year for the number of native candidates on the ballot across the country.

Mark Trahant says just under 100 candidates are running for office.

Mark Trahant is a journalism professor at the University of North Dakota.

He says this could be a record year for the number of native people running for office.   He’s tallying up the number of native candidates nationwide, but he says since this is the first time a count like this has been done, he says he’s cautious about making a superlative statement.