ASPEN, CO – April 11 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — “Ski communities across America can play a part of developing a Native American Olympic Ski & Snowboard Team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It’s thanks to US Ski Industry leaders suggesting that we create SNOW-RIDERS.ORG (Snowriders of American Indian Nations) to make it easier to invite tribes to ski, snowboard, and inspire snowblessings in their ancestral mountains,” said Olympic skier, Suzy “Chapstick” Chaffee, co-chair of Native Voices Foundation (NVF).
Photo Caption: Vancouver Olympic Hopeful, 16 year-old Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (Up’ick/Eskimo), sponsored by Mt Aleyeska (Alaska), carving 6th in Korea’s 2006 Jr Worlds in boardercross, then smokin the Jr Nationals in parallel GS at Crystal Mt (Wash): “Snow-Riders.org is ‘awesome!'”
“Our Indian leaders plus Europeans at Torino’s Olympics were amazed by this historic outreach to our youth,” said Stew Young (Tulalip), World Cup Speed Skier on the Native American Ski Team. Stew represented Joe Garcia, President of the National Congress of American Indians, in launching their Olympic Bid with Chaffee in Italy.
To beating drums, the Website takes visitors on a fascinating adventure: Meeting the Native American Ski & Snowboard Team with updates on their Olympic Bid; discovering on easy maps your neighboring Indian Nation(s), plus their cultural heritage and suggestions by Elders on “Care & Feeding of Snow,” (ceremonies, biodiesel snowcats), which have saved ski areas in 10 states. It features “Salutes” by General Schwarzkopf and Gloria Steinem; photo galleries from Curtis to Euro supporters like Monaco’s Prince Albert, CBS’ clip on Telluride’s pioneering “Ute Welcoming Celebration” in 1996, with kids joyfully skiing and dancing; and “How to Start a Native Ski Program/Event,” suggesting a comfortable number of complimentary tickets, lessons and rentals. In appreciation, tribes share their priceless snowblessings and magnificent earth-honoring dances in demand world-wide. (“No. 1 draw at Utah Olympics.”)
Snow-Riders.org was created by a team of Indian-loving “super tekkies,” Janet Boyd and Carleen Franz, guided by Chaffee and Woody Vaspra (Hawaiian), World Council of Elders President. To thank the tribes and together help ‘Keep Winters Cool,’ Ski Industry leaders at Phoenix’s 2005 NSAA Conference conceived the idea while meeting with Jim Covorubbias (Apache-Walapai “Artist-for-County”), Phil Goldfeld (economic-developer for Navajo), and Chaffee. Inspired by tribal snowblessings since the 60’s, David Ingimie, SnowSports Industry President, already donated $.6 million worth of gear “to help develop Indian Olympians.”
“Mahalo (thanks) to Janet’s countless hours and American Indian Nations and SkiTown.com graciously sharing their weblinks, we created a cultural web-bridge that honors and heals the history between the original and recent peoples of America. We hope Snowriders and the “60 Pioneering Ski Areas” inspire all 320 Resorts to start Native Ski & Snowboard Programs/Events, or include our youth in theirs,” said Vaspra.
Stars of Snowriders’ “Shining Moments” include Mammoth Mt (CA) founder Dave McCoy, who credits (late) Corty Hill for first inviting the Paiutes in 1936, to ski for free on his cable lift at nearby McGee Mt.. We continued the gesture opening year in 1937. The Paiutes helped build our lifts … they were our friends and everybody was the same. The Hess Family became hot skiers/racers,” said the 90 year youngster and bride Roma. The McCoys’ first inclusive ski program in (Bishop) schools in the 50’s, produced champion Lucy Parker (Paiute-Mewuk). “The McCoys and King of Norway gave me my break. The King gifted me with Head Skis for honoring him with a basket (I wove) while visiting Yosemite,” said Lucy. “Coincidentally, the Paiutes (spearheaded by Paul Chavez), led 10 visionary Indian Nations in assisting NVF continue this snow sports tradition and facilitate spreading these opportunities across Indian Country,” said Chaffee.
“Around 50 mom & pop resorts that followed us were built thanks so much to local tribes,” said McCoy. “Why Taos (NM) started a school program for Pueblos in 1961,” said owner Micky Blake. Vail (CO) Associates first asked “Red Ute” (S. Ute) to save their snowless Opening in 1962. Rocky Mountain “snowfarmers” revere his son, Eddie Box Jr, who continues to “create more harmony between the cultures and Nature.”
Steamboat’s “Ute Future Olympians,” is a model program founded by Billy Kidd (Vt.Abenaki-See “Tribal Bio”), first American male to medal in Olympic Alpine racing, now Native American Ski Team Captain.
“I hope all ski areas enjoy this historic chance to share the Great American Outdoors and nurture future Indian Olympians,” said Bjorn Dahl as Rocky Mt Forest Director. “Spring skiing is a beautiful time to invite your first inhabitants home to play, then spring and summer pow wows,” agreed Suzy and Stew, who want to help launch these “fun’ bridges.
NVF is a 501(c)3 Colorado non-profit partnership of US tribal leaders and Olympians helping preserve Nature’s playgrounds for all.
More information: www.nativevoices.org
A portion of the cost of this news announcement was donated by Send2Press Newswire, a unit of Neotrope.