Red Feather Development Group
|Motto||"One House at a Time"|
|Founded||Bellevue, WA (1994)|
|Type||Non-profit, Interest group|
|Services||Teaching and building sustainable housing|
Red Feather Development Group is a non-profit organization that builds straw-bale homes on American Indian reservations. The organization has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where they were a recipient of the Oprah's Angel Network's "Use Your Life Award", in Dwell, and in the Chicago Sun Times among other national publications.
Red Feather incorporates environmentally and culturally sustainable materials and practices into their efforts. Work on the reservations is done with American Indian communities to address the severe housing crisis within their nations through building homes, teaching home construction and facilitating home ownership, encouraging volunteerism, enabling cooperation and understanding among cultures as well as fostering environmentally relevant practices.
Red Feather Development Group was founded in 1994 in Bellevue, Washington, by Robert and Anita Young. The mission of the organization came to fruition because of an Indian Country Today article about the extreme cold weather and how tribal leaders were freezing to death in their homes. For the first six years the organization was operated by the Youngs and they built conventional housing, home rehabilitation and updates with the help of volunteers. In 1999, with the help of the University of Washington College of Built Environments, the Youngs were able to launch the American Indian Sustainable Housing Initiative. In 2003, the organization moved to Bozeman, Montana to be closer to the native communities with whom it partners and serves.
The initiative focuses solely on the straw-bale building technique and emphasizes housing self-sufficiency with partner tribal communities. Homes are built in 28 days with the help of volunteers from around the country. Currently, Red Feather partners with the Northern Cheyenne and Hopi Reservations.