Native American Olympic Team Foundation in the Press!
Native American Olympic Team Foundation
23 Upper Ranch Rd, Aspen, Co 81611
THANKS TRIBES FOR SNOW
you for the Snowdance... everyone is getting snow,"
said Sue Baldwin, Marketing Director of "Colorado Ski
Country USA," following the magnificent ceremony by
members of the Ute tribe, Denver Indian Center, and Mile High
Pow Wow Association, at the Colorado SnowSports Expo on November
Dancer Derek Howell inspires crowd at
historic"Thank you Snowdance" at the
Colorado SnowSports Expo
been snowing ever since the tribal dancers/skiers got home
over the passes safely. Creator is cool,"
said Olympian Suzy Chaffee, co-chair of the Aspen-based Native American Olympic Team Foundation (NVF) the event organizer.
Chaffee and teammate Billy Kidd, founder of Steamboat's "Ute
Future Olympians program," introduced the American
Indian cultural presentation, which was the first ever at a US Ski Expo,
though "Natives are the biggest draws abroad,"
say international marketeers.
felt very positive energy. Thank you blessed Mother,"
said Betty Box, wife of Eddie Box jr, the humble Southern Ute
traditional leader who led the ceremony with his son Matthew
chanting on the Grand Central Stage. Derek Howell's
eagle dance and the "heartmelting little girls"
of the Northern Ute Tribe and Denver Indian Center, set the tone
for the prayer ceremony. People were in awe. The event
was made possible by the Peak Bank.
of the snowdance was to thank leaders of Telluride, Aspen, Vail,
Durango Mountain, Steamboat, Keystone, Sunlight, and Breckenridge
for their historic pioneering - of welcoming the tribes back to
their ancestral lands and sharing the joy of "flying
like eagles on skis/boards" with their youth, starting
in 1996. Early snow, which could truly bolster the economy
(and releave Western drought conditions) of ski towns,
eludes most US resorts. Having been blessed with a Ute snow
miracle, (like four other Colorado resorts), which allowed
Steamboat to open two years ago, Kidd thought this was an ideal
chance to give the ski world a hand.
turned out to be the lunar eclipse of the Harmonic
Concordance, "an exceptionally propitious moment for
humanity, through prayer and collective focus, to graduate to new
level of consciousness and realign to the cycles of Mother
snowdance was also a way of thanking the SnowSports Industry (SIA)
and ski shops, like Ken Gart's "Specialty Sports,"
and skiers who participated in the industry's Donate-A-Ski
program, as well as Olympians like Billy. Beginning
with the Salt Lake Olympics, SIA has been reaching out to
honor the contributions of the US tribes with $500,000 in
equipment and clothing, "to help create a healthy
generation of Native Olympians." The ceremony
ended with lots of children joining the tribal stars of the Salt
Lake Opening Ceremonies in a heart-warming "Friendship
Circle Dance." Then the Ute kids were off to
conquer the plastic ski slopes and rock climbing wall.
Ski Area Operators of America (NSAA) were also honored for being
leaders amongst sports industries for preserving Nature with their
"Sustainable Slopes Program," led by Aspen Ski
Co, who has won the most "Golden Eagle Awards."
Thanks to the friendships formed by NVF's Native Ski Programs, ski
resorts are becoming even more sustainable at these environmental