SPOONER, Wis. — With the sparring behind the scenes rivaling the boxing superstars in the ring, Native Voices Foundation’s (NVF) “Future Olympian’s Day Benefit in Spooner April 16, turned out an uplifting landmark for American Indian youth competing in the London Olympics,” according to Olympic skier, Suzy “Chapstick” Chaffee, NVF’s organizer.
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Joe Hipp (Blackfeet), 2003 Native American Heavyweight Champion Harry Funmaker (“Ho-Chunk Hammer”), and South Dakota Golden Gloves director, Chissie Spencer (Seminole), wowed the region’s rising stars with priceless coaching, and fans with exciting sparring at the Northwest Sports Complex.
“I’m thrilled how the benefit united Indian Country’s leading casinos behind developing youth for Vancouver’s 2010 and London’s 2012 Olympics,” said Barry ZeVan, beloved Minneapolis weatherman and original PR Director for Grand Casino Mille Lacs. Chaffee honored ZeVan there for raising her tribal consciousness 15 years ago, and producing “American Indian Homelands,” an award-winning eye-opener.
gaiashkibos (Lac Courte Oreilles), National Congress of American Indians Secretary, joined Chaffee in welcoming and cheering on Future Olympians in boxing, skiing and archery… “I am committed to helping give Indian youth their Olympic Dreams,” he said.
“gaiashkibos could have been an Olympic basketball contender if his community could have afforded to give him a hand,” said Suzy. “Now together we can,” he said. For standing up for Indian youth, Nancy Cooper (Ojibwe), the coordinator, honored him with a buffalo robe.
“Whenever our people can get Olympic quality coaching and conditioning, they win championships,” said Stonehorse Goeman, Seneca Marshal Arts Champion and conditioning-coach for Indian Olympic Boxing talent at Foxwood’s Casino.
“America Indians invented the roots of 10 Olympic sports (http://nativevoices.org/articles/tribal_gifts.htm), and partnered with Ski Utah to end their pre-Olympic drought (http://snow-riders.org/mir.html). As MVP’s, it’s high time they’re included in humanity’s Greatest Celebration on Earth,” said Chaffee.
“Only one Native American woman, Naomi Lange (Karuk ice-dancer), has competed in the Modern Olympics,” said Cooper, whom Suzy called a “Heavyweight Champion for youth.”
Sponsors included: The Landing, St Croix Trails Dancers & Travel, White Birch Printing, NuStevia-sweetener, Send2Press.com, and Northwest Indian NewsTV. Joined with Native Report (PBS), youth in 15 states plus Canada can get Spooner’s skiing and boxing coaching and stay “clean and lean.”
NVF is a Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit, cross-cultural partnership developing Native American talent for Olympic Teams.
*(Photo Caption: (L-R) Olympic Archery Hopeful Nachole Soulier (St Croix) with Heavyweight Boxing Champions, Joe Hipp and Harry Funmaker, Ski Hopeful Mariah Cooper (Ojibwe-Oneida), and Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee, coaching youth at Spooner’s “Future Olympians Benefit.” Photo: Terrell Boetcher.)
[tags]Native Voices Foundation, Olympic skier Suzy Chapstick Chaffee, Future Olympians Day Benefit[/tags]