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Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative to build green homes on Pine Ridge Reservation

A team of faculty, students and volunteers at the University of Colorado is undertaking an investigation into the provision of sustainable housing on Tribal lands on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Under the title The Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative (NASHI), the team will collaborate with the Oyate Omnicye Regional Planning Project and Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation to establish a sustainable, affordable and culturally appropriate design which will be demonstrated on the Oglala Lakota College campus.

The existing homes on the Reservation are energy inefficient, unable to cater to large numbers of residents, and regularly succumb to black mould. NASHI’s plan is to develop a concept design which is sustainable, affordable, durable and culturally relevant.

Doug Noyes, Director of the Construction Technologies Program at the Oglala Lakota College explains: “The overall objective of the project will be to develop a comprehensive case study to help inform the future housing choices for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, a set of ‘best practices’ for sustainable construction on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and an ‘applied research’ laboratory to educate OLC and CU students in the design and construction of sustainable, affordable, culturally inclusive and regionally appropriate housing.”

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