ASPEN, Colo. — “On Closing Day at Spirit Mountain, Wisconsin, 14 year old ‘Honor the Earth Princess,’ Mariah Cooper (Ojibwe-Oneida), a Native American Olympic Hopeful, led their first Snow Gratitude Ceremony. They joined Steamboat, Telluride, Ascutney (Vt) and Arizona SnowBowl in ceremonies during April expressing appreciation for one of America’s best snow years,” said amazed Olympic skier Suzy “Chapstick” Chaffee, Native Voices Foundation’s (NVF) facilitator. “Just like people, Mother Earth and Creator, respond favorably to appreciation,” say Tribal Elders.

The phenomena followed an international prayer on December 10, orchestrated by NVF, in partnership with the 13 tribes of Arizona plus California and Colorado, to inspire natural snow at all U.S. Ski Areas to safeguard America’s water. Arizona SnowBowl was blessed with six feet, which protected its sacred San Francisco Peaks and other drought-challenged ski areas from needing to use wastewater in snowmaking, with unfilterable pharmaceuticals.

Olympic Hopeful Mariah CooperNearby Flagstaff TV aired NVF’s Christmas Snow Gratitude Prayer, and the snowblessings continued. Sedona Environmental Scientist, Matthew Turner, praises Flagstaff’s biodiesel mass transit and NAU’s 22,000 students switching to Green Cleaning, for contributing to Snow Bowl’s comeback.

“This was our record snowfall,” said Steamboat’s Olympian Billy Kidd at their first Gratitude Ceremony. “The dancers and Elders from our ‘Ute Future Olympians Ski Program,’ touched everyone.”

Chaffee hosted Telluride’s Ute Mountain Gratitude Ceremony, also honoring Kit and Calvert Collins, America’s Cup-winner Dick Enersen, and the late Loey Ringquist, a pioneering supporter. Eddie (and Betty) Box Jr, who joined December’s snow prayer, 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 Snow-dance. And to Vail’s Bob Parker and Dick Houseman for desperately asking them to help end their opening drought in 1963,” said Chaffee. (CBS’ Huntley-Brinkley Report –

Aspen, the “Greenest Resort in North America,” just closed with their annual (N) Ute Gratitude Ceremony/ski program, the most splendid of all. Given Aspen’s now consistently abundant snowfall, the Snow Gods must love these practical-spiritual solutions.

NVF is a Colorado 501(c)3 partnership of U.S. Tribal leaders, Elders and Olympians, and sponsored by (a unit of Neotrope(R)), “to create joyful unity thru sports/education to help heal Mother Earth for all our children.”

[tags]Native Voices Foundation, Suzy Chaffee, Native American Olympic Hopeful Mariah Cooper[/tags]