What we can do

Economic Support

Every ski (or other sport) town in America could participate in the reconciliation this season – by simply sharing at least 50 snow sports opportunities with your tribe, through their recreation departments. In so doing we will make good on the federal mandate. Given our track record of honoring two out of 400 treaties with Native Americans, while they kept nearly all theirs with us, it’s time to demonstrate to ourselves and the world that we’ve come a long ways and have changed. Check out NVF’s website on “How to Plan an Event” and video promo of our documentary (showing how Colorado did it). After meeting and getting to know your tribal neighbors through skiing, a ceremony will naturally happen when it’s time – winter or summer. Most town councils, county commissioners, arts councils, grocery stores, lodges and restaurants want to make a contribution to be a part of this historic new beginning. With “Native Americans being the draw at Salt Lake,” followed by the “Lewis, Clark and Sakajawea Bicentennial,” this is a spiritual and economic win-win for all. NVF’s website and office is there to support you and answer any questions. We will work with you to find the biggest hearted leaders of the local tribes and ski resorts, and political leaders. Then you ask the tribal leaders how they would like to reconnect. NVF is presently working on sponsorships with some of the most respected and sustainable corporations in America to assist in making this a year to a landmark year. (See “Sponsorhips”).

Preservation of Civilizations

In Ancient times, sports saved the Greek Civilization, which was being destroyed by war and pestilence. The Oracle of Delphi (Priestess) suggested that the Olympics could be revived, if all wars were stopped for the Games. In Modern Times, ping pong did more than billions of dollars in government spending to open up relations with China, and now its the Chinese Olympics that is going to create a more enduring friendship bridge between our cultures. The world needs to now take more seriously the avenue of solving challenges, in a joyful way, through sports, a traditional way of the First Americans and Ancient Greeks. especially one as By going back to that traditional way of building bridges through sports and the arts, NVF has found an effective way to help resolve the complex “Indian Problem,” which we must because of the profound effect it can have on helping bring back Modern Civilization into balance. “People to People Diplomacy” through sports and culture brought down the Iron Curtain and is more important than ever now. Einstein, who was adopted by a Native Americans Tribe said, “if we have a 4th World War, it will be fought with sticks and stones.” His final words before he passed on were, “We need a religion of just plain love and a Parliament of the Youth.”

Millennial Celebrations

In 2000, Vail, Aspen and then Park City (Olympic venue where Picabo Street coached Ute kids), followed in the moccasins of Telluride, Durango Mt, and Steamboat to set the tone for the New Millennium. (See “How to Plan an Event” for details.) At the Aspen Millennial event, inspired by (the Pope’s apology, Mayor Rachel Richards and Reverend Faril Meistrell (who honors Universal Law, like the Indigenous Peoples), led a moving prayer “to forgive each other, and ourselves and make amends” At Telluride’s Millennial Celebration, the Mt Villagers invited the Utes to unveil an exquisite larger-than-life sculpture of a “Ute Peacemaker Astride his Pony,” honoring the once Lords of the Rockies who lived in balance with Nature.

What America’s leaders say

NVF thanks the following leaders who share our vision: General Norman Schwarzkopf, who was instrumental in Telluride’s breakthroughs, reminding everyone that “Native Americans were our first ecologists.” (See letter on “Reconciliation Press.”) He was adopted by the Osage Tribe while searching for his Native heritage in Oklahoma, as so many are proudly doing. One in four or five Americans have Native blood. (NVF would like to do a poll of what Olympians might have Native heritage.) NVF was also encouraged by letters from President Clinton, who has Cherokee heritage, and Secretary of State Colin Powell (who started a NFL-NBA Program at reservations with Nick Landry and Robert Redford – Malcolm X married a Cherokee), and Michael Barry, President of the National Ski Area Operators of America (NSAA), who inaugurated a “Sustainable Slopes” program, called Telluride “a role model for American Ski Areas.” NVF’s first supporter was Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Cheyenne Judo Olympian, who said, “Sports turned around my life. Your programs are the best way I seen to solve our ecological challenges at this critical time.” Rolex was NVF’s first sponsor, because “it’s about time,” said Swiss CEO Roland Puton.



The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) invited Chaffee, BIA’s Tourism Director Ed Hall and Rose Anne Abarahamson, an Olympic producer, to present NVF’s “Olympic Dreams Projects” in Washington during Inauguration week. As a result, 40 tribes expressed interest in supporting NVF’s programs. While that meeting secured NVF some of the most dynamic leaders on its board, there is still a feeling that NVF agrees with, that in order for this to be real “new beginning” this Olympic year, that mainstream Americans, corporations and foundation really need to build the lions share of the bridge. There are also some misconceptions about Casinos in mainstream America. Republicans Nixon and Reagan originated Indian Casinos as the only effective way, they could think of, to uplift Native peoples who are still on the bottom economic rung in America. Most people are not aware that there are only about 16 Casinos who are making money. The majority have be very successful in getting tribes badly needed health care, infrastructure, recreations programs and a representative voice in their states. NVF believes that putting a Native American on the Supreme Court along with his/her traditional values and wisdom, could do wonders to accelerate the rebalancing and sustainability of America.

While skiers have won speed records in creating the foundation of a bridge between our cultures, NVF is hoping and working hard to finalize sponsorships to connect bridges across America. While waiting for
mainstream America to step up to the plate, one of the best ways for tribes to preserve their vital earth-honoring spirituality, with or without casinos, is by taking full advantage of the sports opportunities
being offered through skiing and Olympic Exchanges at reservations this Olympic Year. Sports, as all our ancestors knew, build our full potential, including the character, health, vision, energy and enthusiasm to give back our unique gift for the greater good of all. Mother Earth needs us all now. Sports also connects Native youth to the world outside the reservation for education and career opportunities,” said Navajo Commissioner Mark Maryboy, a champion bronc rider who picked up a life time sport skiing at Telluride. By their leadership in focusing on their youth, Casinos have a chance to become heroes to both cultures. “Our kids (some foster and high risk) are treated with such dignity and appreciation at ski resorts,” say Indian teachers. “The reason this program works where others have failed, apart from the historic and spiritual significance, is everybody has fun,” said Aspen’s Terry Paulson, the Vice Mayor of Aspen, who was reelected in a no growth platform, in the biggest landslide in the town’s history

What a surprise as I thought Americans and Canadians lost completely their links with the ancient roots, knowledge and traditions of the original inhabitants, so thanks for sharing and all your efforts. --Eduardo de la Barrera, Latin American

NAOTF’s inspiring work is helping bring racial harmony to America.”       -- President Bill Clinton

“As co-founder and Vice Chair of the U.S. House of Representative’s Native American Caucus (60 members), congratulations on your Native American Millennial Ski events. It’s heartening to know that there are groups like yours across America that are working to better the lives of their Indian friends and neighbors."     --Patrick Kennedy, Member of Congress 

"Congratulations on all the efforts of Native American Olympic Team Foundation. All of us at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation hope that the success of our "Future Ute Olympians Program" (taught by Billy's Olympic coaches) will stimulate other resorts and towns to host Native American youth for ski and snowboarding experiences. If we may be of further help in spreading the word, please let us know." --Chris Diamond, President, and Billy Kidd, Director of Skiing