MNIPL network partners with AICHO for Youth Solar Education

unnamed (5)

On December 21, 2018, members of the Lake Superior Network, MNIPL, delivered a sunny Christmas by donating solar equipment to the AICHO youth education program, including solar lanterns for every child in the program, a solar oven, and a small solar electric and battery system.

The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), is a non-profit that grew out of a collective vision of Native American women in the Duluth community who saw a need for having a culturally specific organization to respond to social issues impacting American Indians, such as violence against women, poverty, and homelessness. Today, AICHO is the only provider of culturally specific housing and services in Northeast Minnesota. Since its inception, AICHO developed a range of programming, including a domestic violence shelter,transitional housingscattered-site supportive housing,  on-site supportive housing, advocacy, and cultural activities. Although traditional Native American culture and practices are incorporated in all programs, AICHO serves all persons in need.  

MNIPL collaborated with community partners in 2017 to raise funds and provide technical assistance for a 16.5 kW array on top of AICHO’s Gamaaji Gathering Place.  Since that time, MNIPL has partnered with AICHO on holding a forum on climate change and treaty rights, launched a Duluth People’s Climate March from AICHO in September 2018, and held a film event at AICHO on renewable energy in Minnesota. AICHO has a wonderful program for children living in their community centered around the growing, harvesting, and selling of food, and to educate children in the concept of food sovereignty.  When AICHO expressed interest in incorporating solar education into that curriculum, MNIPL was delighted to assist by purchasing solar equipment to try to bring energy into that powerful paradigm.

MNIPL greatly values AICHO’s community leadership in Duluth, and looks forward to more fun collaborations together in 2019!

Bret Pence