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Native American Olympic Hopeful, Mariah Cooper, leading Snow Gratitude Ceremony at Spirit Mountain, Wisconsin.   Photo:  Dale Cooper   

Telluride, Colorado, April 11 - On Closing Day for Spirit Mountain, Wisconsin, 14 yr old ‘Honor the Earth Princess,’ Mariah Cooper (Lac Courte-Oreille-Oneida), a Native American Olympic Hopeful, led their first Snow Gratitude Ceremony.  They joined Steamboat, Telluride, Ascutney (VT) and Arizona Snowbowl in ceremonies expressing appreciation for one of the best American snow years,“ said amazed Olympic skier Suzy “Chaptick” Chaffee, Native Voices Foundation (NVF) sponsor.

“Just like people, Mother Earth and Creator, respond favorably to appreciation,” say tribal Elders.

The phenomena followed an International prayer on December 10, organized by NVF, in partnership with the 13 tribes of Arizona, plus California and Colorado, to help inspire natural snow at all US Ski Areas.  Arizona Snow Bowl was blessed with six feet of snow, which protected its sacred Peaks and other droughted ski areas from needing to use wastewater with unfilterable pharmaceuticals in the snowmaking.

That inspired nearby Flagstaff TV to air NVF’s Christmas Snow Gratitude Prayer, resulting in continuing snow.  Sedona Environmental Scientist, Matthew Turner, praises Flagstaff’s biodiesel mass transit and NAU’s 22,000 students switching to Green Cleaning, for contributing to Snowbowl’s snow comeback.

“We were so thrilled with our record snowfall,” said Steamboat’s Olympian Billy Kidd last weekend, “that we hosted our first Snow Gratitude Ceremony.  The Skiers, dancers and Elders from our ‘Ute Future Olympian Program,’ inspired everyone.” 

At the same time, Chaffee hosted Telluride’s Ute Mt Snow Ceremony, also honoring the late Loey Ringquist, a pioneering supporter.  Eddie (and Betty) Box Jr, who led December’s snow ceremony for the Rockies, also participated, following the visionary pathway of his father, ‘Red Ute,’ former Southern Ute Tribal Council member.

“Tsunamis of Appreciation to Red Ute and the Cloud Clan for transforming their Rain- dance to the first Snowdance, and Vail’s Bob Parker and Dick Houseman for desperately asking them to help end their drought when they opened in 1963.  CBS’ Huntley-Brinkley Report covered their snow miracle,” said Chaffee. (
Aspen welcomes everyone to their annual (N) Ute Snow Gratitude Ceremony closing weekend, the most splendid of all, 4pm Saturday, April 12, in their Gondola Plaza.  
NVF is a Colorado 501(c)3 partnership of US Tribal leaders, Elders and Olympians, “to create joyful unity thru sports/education to help heal Mother Earth for all our children.”     

Contact: Suzy Chaffee,, 3234933877



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Photo:Gene Tagaban (Tlinket-Cherokee) of Native American Olympic Snowboard Team, Ravendancing in Alaska

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