Young, a member of the newly-formed Native American Ski Team and
World Cup speed skier from the Tulalip "Killer Whale"
Tribe, and Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee, co-chair of NVF, had come
as special guests of the Credit Suisse-sponsored event. Chaffee
and Young's intent was also to meet with IOC officials in nearby
Lausanne to discuss how to create more opportunities for Indian
youth in future Games. Running into an IOC roadblock, NVF Euro
leader, Princess Murat (world-renowned pianist inspired by a Ute
Chief in Aspen), rallied her friends to give the Americans a hand.
Included were Jean Marie Fournier, owner of the Veysonnaz Swiss
Ski Resort, Francoise Zweifel, former Secretary General of the
IOC, and Princess Lea of Belgium, joined by NVF's other leaders,
Olympian Prince Albert of Monaco (adopted by Lakota-Sioux Tribe),
and the Guinness's, the most ancient tribe of Ireland.
Canada Leads Way
the brilliant IOC Eco recommendation to include Indigenous Peoples
in the Olympics to enhance their sustainability, spearheaded by
President Jacques Rogge, "the First Nations of Canada received
a $3 million Legacy Fund from the Vancouver Olympic Organizers,
to train a team of Snowboarders, with the help of our Olympians,
to compete our 2010 Games," said Aaron Marchant of the Squamish
Nation near Whistler.
"Likewise our focus for the IOC meeting was the tribal-oriented
Vancouver Games," said Billy Kidd (Abenaki), captain of the
Native American Ski Team and 1964 Alpine Silver Medalist. Only
one Native American, Naomi Lang (Cal Karuk Tribe), 5x US Ice Dancing
Champion, has competed in the last two Games, and only a handful
in history. Yet a group of world Olympians at the Athens Games
honored the American Indians for inventing the roots of 10 Olympic
used to defeat, Princess Murat, the closest descendent of Napoleon,
rallied her friends, many guests of the festival that showcased
some of the "awesome" progeny of Europe, like 15 yr
old Russian violist Sasha Saume, elated to have Native American
and Olympic/Freestyle stars teach them to ski. "We were amazed
how Zweifel offered to graciously guide us with the IOC; Princess
Lea offered to hand deliver a letter to her countryman, President
Rogge; Fournier (and Princess Caroline) announced on Swiss TV
that Veysonnaz, with its fun apres ski Tipi on top, will host
a Native American Olympic Ski Team Training Center."
Country so appreciates how Princess Caroline and her friends are
fighting to open the Olympic doors for our youth to be able to
dream and realistically have a chance to compete in future Olympic
Games. Especially after feeling unwelcome after IOC/USOC President
Avery Brundage illegally took away Jim Thorpe's medals,"
question on everyone's minds there was: could the American Indians
prove they are Sovereign Nations?
Back in America, Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation of the
Iroquois Confederacy, supplied the legal ramifications: Considering:
The existence of the treaty relationships between the United States
and sovereign Indian Nations: "Indian Nations preexist the
United States... Indian Nation Sovereignty is recognized and protected
by the U.S. Constitution, legal precedent, and treaties, as well
as applicable principles of Human Rights." -- from joint
occasional papers on Native Affairs no. 200403 (from book, "Myths
and Realities of Tribal Sovereignty: The Law and Economics of
Indian Self Rule" by Joseph Kalt [Harvard's JFK School of
Government & Native American Economic Development], and William
Singer [Native Nations Institute at Udall Center for Studies of
Public Policy at U. Arizona.])
"The Iroquois Nationals (traveling under Haudenosaunee Passport)
compete in the International Lacrosse Federation's (ILF) World
Championships (Iroquois-invented game), and currently rank 4th
behind USA, Canada and Australia," said Chief Lyons, Grand
Master Lacrosse player, CEO of Iroquois Nationals Team, and history
professor at U of Buffalo.
Americans are on the lowest economic ladder in America with a
20 year less life expectancy..., and are "still too depressed
(from the abusive government boarding schools...) to want to get
healthy," according to a Senate study. Sports, especially
skiing in their ancestral lands, have been found to be the No.
1 motivator of Indian youth, and now over 100 ski areas want to
welcome their tribes to ski and snowboard to "start a new
beginning," inspired also by the economic-lifting snow ceremonies
the tribes have shared.
the IOC's opening their doors to welcome American Indian Nations
into the Olympic Family, as Sovereign Nations, Native youth can
finally get the health, appreciation, encouragement, healing,and
sponsors to train teams in some of the sports they invented to
be able to compete with honor in future Games. This is also the
best chance to preserve our quality of life, and our 100 year
old Modern Olympics to last as long as the Ancient Olympics, which
lasted 1,000 years," said Chaffee.
is a Colorado non-profit 501(c)3. It is a partnership of US Tribal
leaders and Olympians whose mission is to create joyful unity
through sports to help preserve Mother Earth for all our children.
"Other reasons for Native Americans inclusion in future Olympics,"
along with welcomed donations and sponsorships on www.nativevoices.org.