Joe Seidenberg, Executive Director, Red Feather Development Group:
Red Feather was founded by Robert and Anita Young. They went and visited the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and they met a lady by the name of Katherine Red Feather. They were so disturbed by her housing situation, they organized their friends together, and they were able to build her home.
Victor Burrola, Wells Fargo Social Impact and Sustainability:
Red Feather was one of those organizations early on we identified that was very nimble in addressing a lot of needs that we were seeing in Indian country.
We focus our work solely on the Navajo and Hopi nations.
Everything from housing to small business issues. But more importantly, they were addressing a lot of the needs that were taking place in the rural parts of the reservation.
The largest coal-fired power plant west of the Mississippi shuttered its doors. There was a heating crisis happening because we lost access to free coal. At the same time, we were seeing a very high number of cases of respiratory disease and poor indoor air quality in homes. Red Feather developed a healthy heating program.
Shannon Maho, Senior Program Coordinator, Red Feather Development Group:
What if I were to tell you there's a simple way of heating your home during the day without the use of electricity? (Hello in Navajo and Hopi languages) Hi, I'm Shannon Maho with Red Feather, and today we're going to be talking about solar furnaces.
It's a free supplemental heat source that leverages the power of the sun to warm homes during daytime hours only. That means you don't have to pay for electricity. You don't have to pay for propane. You don't have to use up limited firewood supplies. It also helps improve air quality.
We were excited to support Red Feather Development Group for their innovative approaches to utilizing sustainable technology throughout Indian country.
Wells Fargo supports our Native Home Resource Network program, which is essentially a case management service. And because of it, we are able to serve hundreds of families each year being able to listen to their needs and assign resources to them, such as our solar furnace program. For now, Red Feather envisions a future similar to what we're currently doing, more heating systems being installed, more housing repairs, more numbers of individuals being educated and building more and more resiliency into the communities.