Published August 10, 2016
PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATON – Henry Red Cloud is looking to become a member of South Dakota’s Public Utility Commission. This past weekend he was joined by Representative Paula Hawks and Senate Candidate Jay Williams at the Oglala National Annual Powwow.
They each were part of the Grand Procession that started the powwow on Saturday night.
Red Cloud was born and grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation and is a direct descendant of Chief Red Cloud (Mahpiya Luta), one of the last war chiefs of the Lakota Sioux and one of the best known and photographed Native Americans in U.S. history.
He co-manages the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), a one-of-a-kind educational facility where students from South Dakota and around the U.S. receive hands-on job training in renewable energy technology and sustainable building practices.
Red Cloud’s campaign focuses on making sure the land and health of South Dakotan farmers, ranchers and tribes are protected from oil spills and aggressive oil companies. He is particularly concerned where pipelines bring Canadian oil through South Dakota so other states and countries can have the oil. This leaves South Dakota farmers, ranchers and tribes with unprecedented liability and health risks when the pipeline ruptures as it often does.
As of 2014, there were nine tribes in South Dakota with approximately 71,800 Native Americans living on their tribal land. Nationally, Native Americans make up about 2% of the overall population and more than ever before this Native American vote is increasingly important as efforts continue to register tribal members and get them to vote.
The message of the night at the Powwow was Standing Together in Unity.