The Southern Utes Snow Dance Works Wonders on Weather (Videos)

 Along these lines, Suzy Chaffee, cofounder of the Native American Olympic Team Foundation, has been a tireless proponent of encouraging the intervention of ancient Native wisdom to protect and reenergize Mother Earth. Chaffee, of course, got world headlines ski racing in the 1968 Grenoble Olympics. As the first woman on the U.S. Olympic Committee board, she united world athletes to reform the Olympic rules, and led the Title IX march for equal opportunities for women in school sports.

Chaffee co-founded the Native Voices Foundation in 1996, now called the Native American Olympic Team Foundation, which has inspired ski areas across North America to invite thousands of tribal youth back to their ancestral lands to ski and snowboard. That inspired their Elders to lead 'Gratitude Snowdances' that have saved ski resorts from destructive droughts and given Native youth a chance to compete at the Olympic Games, including the upcoming 2014 Winter Games in Russia.

In a recent article titled "Could National ‘Snow Gratitude’ Ceremonies Extend Future of Snow Sports?," Chaffee observes that a leading study "said that Colorado and Utah would be losing its snow by the end of the century unless there is an intervention–the East likely earlier. Fortunately, a consensus of the U.N.’s 192 countries in 2012 identified the key to regenerating Earth: a combination of science/green energy and Ancient Wisdom, especially through the tribes.

"Thanks to those U.N. countries recognizing ... that Mother Earth is a phenomenally wise, compassionate, sensitive being, and thanks to tribal Elders leading these [Graditude Snowdance] ceremonies, a lot more people understand that she responds even more generously than people when we give her appreciation."

Chaffee and the Native American Olympic Team Foundation have led an Intervention Tour that "is lighting the way [to show] how everyone can make a difference in turning around 2012’s worst U.S. drought and warmest temperatures in history by simply saying 'Thank you, Mother Earth, when it snows or rains.'"

The tour has traveled from Loup Loup Ski Area in Washington state to Sun Valley Resort in Idaho to Utah's Snowbird to Telluride in Colorado, spreading blessings from Elders and efforting to restore balance. "Every ski area we visited was blessed with snow and heavenly conditions, especially Colorado’s after its four ceremonies, along with their wonderful karma protecting their ski mecca by stopping nuclear reactors in Pueblo and Rocky Flats, and Aspen being a U.S. green leader and Vail Resorts shifting to wind power," writes Chafee.

On many environmental fronts, including the fights against the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking, Natives are taking the lead. "Nuclear and oil are competitive only because they don’t factor in trillions of dollars in costs to generations of taxpayers for cleanup, health, agricultural contamination, climate disruptions and subsidies against our will," notes Chaffee, "since a poll proved the majority want safe renewable energy." A return to the principle of the Seventh Generation is needed.

Photo: Dale Cooper 

Importantly, "the world’s youth urge us all to vote in representatives who stand up for Mother Earth and their future," writes Chaffee.

Responses to "Suzy Chaffee: ‘Snow Gratitude’ Ceremonies Key to Reenergizing Mother Earth"

  1. Unknown says:

    Were there any ceremonies on the part of the Ski resort community to first apologize or reconcile before these ceremonies were performed? It sounds like after the corporations destroyed the land they then want to invite our people back on to clean it up without an agreement to change practices to protect the earth moving forward and to always allow the youth back on their land and not during just special periods. The article was not too clear on this point. Thank you for sharing and provoking a morning discussions.

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