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Salute to 60 Ski Communities Welcoming Nearby Tribes Home in 2006
"Helping Create a Generation of Healthy Olympic Skiers & Snowboarders"

Thanks to the tribal Elders helping end snow droughts at ski towns in 10 states, starting with Vail inviting "Red Ute" to save their Grand Opening in 1962, about 60 Ski Areas in 26 States have, in appreciation, been sharing their skiing and snowboarding with their nearby tribes. This historic outreach was inspired in part by David Ingemie, President of the SnowSports Industries of America (SIA), when he shared $.6 million worth of gear with 45 tribes in 2002, "to honor the tribes and create a generation of Native Olympians." Ecoing other ski industry leaders, he believes that a partnership with the tribes can help "Keep Winters Cool."

Tipi Shaped Ski StackNVF also thanks the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) for this progress (both cultures have called "phenomenal"), when they invited Olympic skier Suzy "Chapstick" Chaffee, NVF co-founder, to their Savanna Convention in 2004, and Phoenix in 2005. At the Arizona meeting with Suzy and Jim Covorubbias (Apache-Walapai "Artist for Phoenix County"), and Phil Goldfeld (Navajo Economic Devoloper), Ski leaders were inspired to suggest we create " to make it easier for all 320 resorts to invite their nearby tribes to their ancestral homes." (in most cases.)

At the Conferences, the Presidents of eight state ski associations/marketing groups - (CA, Ore, Wash, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Maine), who represent over 80 ski areas, joined the support team and hoped to host similar programs and events (with the help of NVF and donations). They appreciate how the tribes have been bolstering tourism with their magnificent dances, that are in demand around the world. "Native Americans were the No. 1 draw of the Utah Games" according to SLOC. Thanks to the friendly ski bridge, the tribes have also assisted the resorts in other priceless ways. At the request of Telluride Rabbi/realator/ski instructor Michael Saftler, a guardian of the wetlands and beaver pond, tribal ecologists took Telluride's Mayor and City Council on a "Earth Day" eco tour. The "front page" coverage helped motivate solutions to environmental challenges almost overnight.

At the 2006 NSAA Conference in Marco Island, Florida, SIA's David Ingemie, helped fulfill his/Indian Country's dream, and became the first sponsor of the Native American Olympic Ski and Snowboard Team for the Vancouver Olympics!

Also hearing from Olympian Billy Kidd (Abenaki) how the Northern Utes saved Steamboat's Opening in 1999, when he shared his desire of starting a "Ute Future Olympians program." Billy then asked Suzy if the Utes could help Colorado Ski Areas get early (economic lifting) snow by hosting a ceremony at Denver's SnowSports Expo in November 2004. Chaffee asked Southern Ute, Eddy Box Jr. His resulting ceremony blessed may resorts, especially Aspen and Steamboat, who have the strongest Native Programs, with up to 15 feet of early snow! Check out or and for more documented examples, including the Big Bear Medicine Wheel, led by Bennie "BlueThunder" LeBeau, (E. Shoshone/Wyoming), which saved Southern California's San Bernardino Mountains in 2004/2005. See more on Bennie's

Some resorts like Mammoth and Taos, started ski programs in their Indian schools in the 60's, in appreciation for helping build their lifts and resorts, and others spontaneously started their own programs. Another great way to help develop a generation of Native Olympians!!!

Local Olympians have been taking the Native youth skiing and boarding. Whenever possible we enourage ski areas to invite members of the Native American Ski & Snowboard (for expenses and small honorarium) to come launch their programs and take the Indian youth skiing and boarding.

"NVF, especially the U.S. Tribal Leaders and youth, are touched and thrilled by this phenomenal historic outreach by the U.S. ski community," said NVF Co-chair Ed Hall, Washington DC's leading Native American advocate.

NVF's Native Ski Programs are a great way to honor and heal the past, and start a new beginning,said Telluride Ski Co owner pioneer, Ron Allred.

NUMBER OF TICKETS - NVF is offering to assist U.S. Ski Areas wanting to connect with their local tribes and share whatever is comfortable. Given that ski areas have given up to 500 ski day packages per season, we recommend sharing with the local tribes 100 weekend (or two day midweek) tickets, with equipment rentals and lessons as needed (for safety and cultural-sustainable expansion of instructors who love them, combined with the Olympians.) In this way the instructors can be messengers of sustainability and tell visitors when to come back for a Native Ceremony ("Native Americans were the No 1 draw at the Salt Lake Olympics," according to SLOC!) Heavenly graciously sends their buses to give more Washoe Tribal members a chance to ski. Plus usage of lifts in the summer, like Mt Hood Meadow, to be able to pick medicinals and berries, which helped them win a Golden Eagle Award. Heavenly is also pioneering a Washoe Interpretive Center on the mountain, the Wahoe open their Earth Day that thousands attend, and their snow has lived up to its name.

US SKI AREAS - Participating [ marked with * ] or Wanting To




California Ski Assoc - President Bob Roberts
Mammoth *
Heavenly Valley *
Snow Valley *
Bear Mountain *
Snow Summit *
Homewood (wants to but not had chance to follow up) - 5

 OREGON  Scott Kaden - President Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Assoc (PNSA)
Mount Hood * -
(trade-off for use of tribal golf course for lift tickets - following the Utah Olympics, Mt Hood honored Stew Young (Tulalip) "Fastest Veteran on skis in '99," during Golden Rose Celeb Race)
Mt Hood Meadows * -1
(Stew trains there and offers skiing to the nearby tribes thanks to marketing magager (Stew has info) who donated approx 50 pair of good quality rentals that Stew spread around the tribes in Oregon and Washington. Mt Hood Meadow also offers free use of lifts to Elders in the summer to pick traditional medicinals and berries, which won them the Golden (or Silver) Eagle Award for the most Environmentally Advanced Ski Area in the US at the National Ski Areas Association Conference in Phoenix last May! -2

PNSA supported
Aleyeska * -1 (Sponsoring Callan Chythlook-Sifsof!!!), plus programs with other Asaskan tribes

Vision Marketing - Tom Stebbins
Snowqualame *
49 Degrees * - 2

PNSA - Scott Kaden
Pebble Creek * - 1 (also honored descendants of Sakajawea)
Silver Mountain & Schweitzer interested - hosts of NASJA Conference 2005


Telluride *
Durango Mt *
Aspen *
Steamboat *
Vail *
Keystone *
Sunlight *
Breckenridge *
Copper Mountain *
Powder Mt *
Winter Park *
Wolf Creek *
Arapaho * -14

Ski Utah - President Kip Pitou - assisted with funding for Park City snowdance, and pledged all 16 ski areas at NVF's Olympic press conference
Canyons *
Park City *
Deer Valley *
Alta *
Solitude (wants to)
Snowbird * - Dick Bass wants all 4 interconnected ski areas to host a Ute ski blessing ceremony at each area, skiing from one to another. -

Taos *
Sante Fe Indian School * - programs with a few ski areas
Ski Apache * - Apache owned - 3
Congressman Udall and Stuart Udall -former Sec of Interior, supporters

Sunshine * - Apache owned -1
Mayor of Phoenix supporter

Deer Mountain * -1

Vision Marketing - Tom Stebbins
Doug Kremer, President Montana Ski Areas has wanted to do a cultural event.
Mayors of Kalispell, Billings & Representative Larry Jent (Bozeman Mt) supporters

Nev-Cal Washoe can ski Heavenly * - 1

Jackson Hole - 1


Birkebeiner - Hayward *
Granite Mountain - 2

Buck Hill *
Welch Village -2

Timber Ridge - 1


Bryce Resort
Roseland (John Dobson) - Wassapatomi Tribe -2

Cataloochee - near Cherokee, N.C. -1



Song Mt
Greek Peak - 2
Hunter & Whiteface have pow wows

Nashoba -1

Powder Ridge -1

Dartmouth Ski Way
Crotched Mountain -2

SKI MAINE - President Gregory Sweetser
Sugarloaf -1

Jay Peak *
Cochran Hill * -2
Mad River

PLUS The SNOWBOARD OUTREACH SOCIETY - program for high risk youth in 17 states wants to include Native youth.


SIA - President David Ingimie and Donate-A-Ski Director Jean Mattie - We hope to rekindle collecting snowsports gear, including recycled rental skis, to continue to give to the tribes to make it easier for the ski areas. Apache Dan Parra, can provide the shipping.

Alpine Racing (who first funded NVF with Texaco Star Award), Freestyle, Snowboard, Cross Country, Biathilon and Skating Olympians in your area want to assist coaching the Native kids. (NVF can assist)

SKI INSTRUCTORS - Some ski areas provide group lessons, while at others the instructors help provide off-duty talent to volunteer. Some supportive leaders include:
Cary Thompson* - organizers Aspen Ski/boarding Volunteer Instructor
Billy Kidd - Olympic Staff and Steamboat Ski Instructors
Dee Byrne - Director, Vail Ski School
Kim Seevers - PSIA Eastern Director of Education (Seneca)
Heidi Ettlinger - PSIA Children's Specialist - Heavenly/Lake Tahoe
(* To connect with the spirit of Native Americans, as well as others, Aspen's Cary Thompson teaches using animal totems - See or


SNOWBOARD SPONSORS INTERESTED: (In inspirational Native American painted graphics of our pristine magnificent mountains - pre contact)
Burton - Jeff Boliba
Head - Christoph Deszecker
Rossignol - Ron Steele

NSAA Journal - April
CBS Paula Zahn feature on Telluride's pioneering program
Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune - "Indians end Games on high note"
Skiing Magazine .
Powder Magazine
Mountain Living Magazine
Cowboys & Indians Magazine
Ski town press (of participating ski areas) and local and state TV
Olympic Press Network - - world coverage of all NVF events
(IOC recommends inclusion of Indigenous Peoples to enhance sustainability of Games.) - featured in 800 world outlets, NVF's Ute Olympic Protection Ceremony next to the World's Largest Teepee next to the Canyons, Muhammad Ali and Billy Kidd sent support letter - (helped prevent terrorism seen by psychics & Native spiritual leaders)
Indian Country Today Newspaper
Native American Report Magazine
Native American Calling Radio
SIA newsletter

Historic documentary - NVF has been compiling a touching docu of this historic breakthrough called "Red Road to the Olympics & Beyond" for world release - See 1.5 minute preview on NVF is seeking funding to finish this, a great educational piece to also give more resorts the confidence to do this, plus its a "Shining Moment" for America, which will help with ski and Indian tourism, since "American Indians wre the No. 1 draw at the Salt Lake Olymipics," (SLOC) and helped their part in the Opening, help get an unprecedent 7 Emmies!

Some ways to Salute your tribe(s), Americans First Caretakers, include:
--    Hosting a Native Ski/Snowboardign Program at your area. (See details below and
--    Invite local reservations schools to start a ski program, like Taos, Mammoth, 49 Degrees (Wash),...
--    Host a ski weekend event. For example: "Telluride Ute Welcoming Home Ski Event" or "A Salute Vermont's First Caretakers, the Abenaki Nation," and honoring them for keeping their mountains pristine for thousands of years, and their collective contributions. The tribes, in the spirit of friendship and appreciation, bring their dancers (worth thousands) and spiritual leaders and share some earth-honoring wisdom and possibly a snowdance... (priceless)
Create a Native Art Exhibit at your ski area or airport honoring your "First Caretakers," or inhabitants, which gives visitors a sacred sense of place to want to preserve it that way. Visitors say the Native paintings give the airport "soul." Pitkin County donates the space and the Utes and other Native artists or galleries owning the artists' paintings or lithographs...share 20% to assist the local Native ski program (with gas, meals...) See Aspen Airport's on
--    Hold a contest where the local Native artists depict your mountains in their pristine form with teepees, long houses.... The best ones could be featured (for sale) in the above galleries, and the best submitted for a contract with a snowboard company.
--    On Earth Day in Telluride, a frustrated local ecologist asked me to bring a Native ecologist for a tour of the challenged wetlands and beaver pond with the Mayor and City Council. Thanks to the fresh, profound approach of the Lakota, with a followup by a Ute, supported by front page press coverage, we solved 20 year old eco problems almost over night. Therefore, meet with or ideally hire a top tribal ecologist to consult on on-going environmental solutions.
--    Collaborate with your local tribe to create an interpretive center on the mountain, like Heavenly Valley, honoring the history of their Washoe Tribe, including the artifacts, arts and crafts they're famous for.
--    Hire tribal ecologists to lead Eco Tours of your mountains both winter and summer for the public, as well as schools. The Telluride kids loved it.
--    Host a cross-cultural camp for your tribe and local youth, run by the tribe, like we did in Telluride, which helps preserve their culture, including arts and crafts and survival skills! This and the skiing will boster tourism.
National Forest Service -- wants to partner with the Tribes to participate on the eco education part of these events, perhaps in conjunction with the Sustainable Slopes Programs.

Please check out: - See "How to Plan an Event" and the 5 minute video promo of Colorado's wonderful experience, for a simple guide to hosting a Native Ski Program or event at your resort! "Of course we should share skiing with the tribes, we're on their land," said NASJA President Claudia Carbonne.
NUMBER OF TICKETS - NVF is offering to assist U.S. Ski Areas wanting to connect with their local tribes and share whatever is comfortable. Given that ski areas have given up to 500 ski day packages per season, we recommend sharing with the local tribes 100 weekend (or two day midweek) tickets, with equipment rentals and lessons as needed (for safety and cultural-sustainable expansion of instructors who love them, combined with the Olympians.) In this way the instructors can be messengers of sustainability and tell visitors when to come back for a Native Ceremony ("Native Americans were the No 1 draw at the Salt Lake Olympics," according to SLOC!)
HIGH PROFILE EVENTS - We recommend that the ski area in your state that is most excited about sincerely welcoming their tribes back, and who can perhaps invite the Governor, should host a high profile launch that will benefit all.
NVF will assist with Olympians and stars. For example, the Governor of Wisconsin opened the Birkebeiner with the tribes last year, and Jay Peak's Bill Stenger is close to the Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont, and Chaffee to Senator Jeffords (whose environmental legislative assistant is Iroquois) for a proposed event honoring Vermont's First Caretakers with Abenaki greats Billy Kidd and John Perkins, who gave the keynote speech for the World Bank's Sustainable Conference. We're working on an event in Heavenly next season uniting the Governors of California and Nevada to honor their First Caretakers.

Snowblessings - Vail, Telluride, Aspen, Steamboat, then the whole state of Colorado, Deer Mt (SD), Mt Rose (NV), Park City (Pre-Olympics), Hopis and Acuma Pueblos for New Mex & Arizona, the Tulalips near Mt Baker, the Ho-Chunks for the Birkebeiner (Wisc), and medicine wheel ceremonies around the Tetons in Wyoming, San Bernardino (S. Cal) and Sedona, AZ have helped end snow and rain droughts,for skier and farmers, including Kansas....
simply sharing the skiing with their first caretakers inspire snow or good intentions...January's Skiing Magazine called NVF's Native ski programs an alternative to ski areas spending $1.1 in cloud seeding. It took me (Suzy) four weather miracles by a Lakota named Rollingbears in Telluride, and a raindance in Kansas to fully realize that Mother Earth listens, and found myself starting Native Voices Foundation with S. Ute unity leader Alden Naranjo. But Bob Parker at Vail was the first in the 60's.
Please feel free to contact me at: 323 493 3877, or, including if you have questions or would like to share some great ideas.

On behalf of our NVF Team of US Tribes, Olympians, Royals and ski communities, thank you for helping pioneer this bold historic breakthrough for humanity and sustainability!!!! Your children and their children will be proud. And may you enjoy even more prosperity and snowblessings!

From the heart,
Suzy Chaffee
Ed Hall
NVF Co-chairmen

"Because the Youth are our Future!"

Thank You SnowSports Industry
Pioneers of Native Skiing

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