PIONEERS OF NATIVE SKIING
All Americans and especially skiers, can be proud of the beautiful working
relationship between the tribes and ski areas in the creation of American Skiing,
especially those who also shared the joyful skiing part.
Mammoth Mt (CA) founder Dave McCoy, credits (late) Corty Hill for first inviting the Paiutes 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. And the Hess Family became hot skiers/racers," said the 90 year old youngster and his bride Roma. The McCoys' inclusive pioneering ski program in the (Bishop) schools in the 50's, produced champion Lucy Parker, and her family. (Paiute-Mewuk). "It was thanks to the McCoys and the King of Norway for gifting me with a couple pair of (new technology) Head skis after giving him one of my baskets while visiting Yosemite," said Parker. Today she is teaches at Mammoth along with her champion children. "As a result, the Paiutes, spearheaded by Paul Chavez, have led 10 other visionary Indian Nations, in assisting NVF continue the tradition and facilitate spreading these snowsports opportunities to Indian youth across America," said Chaffee.
Dave McCoy honored by Blackbird Garcia (Blackfoot) and Suzy Chaffee at his 90th Birthday party (2006), for being a "Pioneer of Native Skiing" in 1937. Dave and Roma invited the Bishop Paiutes to ski for free (including school program) in their ancestral mountains. "The McCoys were also 'Pioneer of Women's Racing,' giving me my big break to make the US Olympic Team," said Chaffee.
| "Around 50 mom and 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" to save their snowless Opening in 1962. Rocky Mountain "snowfarmers" now revere his son, Eddie Box Jr, who continues this tradition "to help create more harmony between the cultures and Nature."
| OTHER SKI AREA HEROES (who coincidentally are blessed with abundant snow!)|
"In 1972, we started hiring Washoe tribal members to help build, run, and share the skiing at Kirkwood Ski Resort in Tahoe," said Pat O'Donnell, who now runs Aspen SkiCo. In 1980, Michael Berry, (now President of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA)), followed in O'Donnell and Bjorn Dahl's moccasins at Kirkwood.
"Working with the Washoe gave me a deeper appreciation for Nature," said Michael Berry, which influenced his developing NSAA's effective "Sustainable Slopes Program." Dahl, a 7th Generation Forester of Norway, went on to champion NVF's Ski programs as Director of the Rocky Mt Forest Service. And Aspen, under O'Donnell, won more "Golden Eagle Awards for the Most Environmentally Advanced Ski Area in America."
PRESIDENT'S HEALTHIER US/NATIVE INITIATIVE
In 2004, "American Indian Report Magazine" headlined Aspen as the model of the President's Healthier US/Native Initiative in the Great Outdoors, after the 50 mile Roaring Fork Valley reached out to also share the skating, new rec center, hotels, restaurants, skiing and snowboarding in Aspen and Sunlight, as well as their Ute sacred springs in Glenwood (they first showed the settlers). In 2003, Sunlight, under Tom Jankovski, became the first ski area in the world to offer free skiing to the Utes of Colorado and Utah, any time, in appreciation for Loya Cesspooch's Northern Ute dancers (some stars of the Utah Olympic Opening), presenting an annual cultural show and mountain blessing on Martin Luther King's Day, following the
Utes annually winning their division of the Aspen Winterskol Parade. The Utes also annually lead a Gratitude Ceremony on Aspen's Closing weekend which, thanks to Creator and science proven by Crystal researcher, Dr Emoto, turns slush into powder skiing.
Today Heavenly Valley, led by Vice President Andrew Strain, is finalizing the first interpretive center (on the mountain) for the Washoe. Heavenly also sends their buses to help make it possible for the Washoe to enjoy their Native Ski & Snowboard Program, and the Washoe now opens Heavenly's Earth Day with blessings, dancers and wisdom that thousands attend.
USAGE OF LIFTS IN SUMMER
Heavenly is also offering their lifts in the summer for the Washoe to pick traditional medicinals and berries, which helped Mt Hood Meadows win NSAA's 2005 Silver Eagle Award, for sharing their lifts in summer with the Warm Springs Tribe. They also donated 50 pair of rental skis to surrounding tribes, and send buses to give tribal members skiing opportunities and jobs - Indian Country has a high unemployment rate. Whistler sent buses 10 years ago to their neighboring First Nations tribes to share the skiing, which created happy work force that helped them become the "Most Popular Ski Area in North America."
ECO TURNING POINTS IN HISTORY
This bridge between the cultures is so important at these environmental crossroads, if it is any indication of the past. Quanah Parker, the famous Comanche leader, became a friend of President Roosevelt, which inspired his forming of America's National Parks System.
Albert 111, Prince Albert's great great Grandfather, was inspired to start the Oceanographic Institute in Monaco, after hunting with the Lakotas and Buffalo Bill in Wyomin. Albert 1, ended up sponsoring the Buffalo Bill Show in Europe, and his hanging out with Sitting Bull, influenced him protect our oceans 100 year ahead of the rest of the international community.
| Telluride's first "Ute Welcoming Ski Event" and program in 1996, when Olympian Suzy Chaffee, NVF co-founder with Alden Naranjo (S. Ute Unity leader), moved there, was what really snowballed Native Skiing across America. Another landmark was Chaffee connecting her Olympic teammate, Steamboat's Billy Kidd (Vt Abenaki-see model tribal bio) with the Northern Utes, to share that he wanted to start a "Ute Future Olympians," in 1999. As a result the temperature dropped 15 degrees during a ceremony with the town's leaders (while they were unveiling a N. Ute Memorial sculpture), so Steamboat could open the next day.
| Billy then got back into his culture and with his Olympic coaches (who have produced 50 Olympians), has created a model program! He also inspired SIA President David Imgimie to donate $.6 million worth of gear "to create a healthy generation of Native Olympians." And, as Captain of the Native American Ski and Snowboard Team, Billy suggested that Stew Young and Chaffee go to Torino to launch the Olympic Bid to create a Native American Olympic Team for the Winter and Summer Olympics. All befitting of the descendent of the Peoples Pirate Captain Kidd, not Billy the Kidd!