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Native Elders “15 Mandates for RIO+20” Key to Snow Sports Longevity


By Olympic Skier Suzy “Chaptick” Chaffee

©Michael Florkowski

Ways to maximize longevity of our heavenly snowsports, including on ‘Holy Mountains’ like Mt Baldy Ski Area near LA, Castle Peak near Aspen, where prayers are phenomenally multiplied.

What happens at UN’s RIO+2O Earth Summit on June 20-22 could have a major impact on the longevity of snowsports as we shift to a milder climate. We are the canaries in the mine of climate changes. Fortunately, the consensus of this year’s UN’s “Harmony with Nature” World Interactive Dialogue was: Science united with Ancient Wisdom carried on by the tribes, is critical to regenerating Mother Earth. A perfect example was January’s 2012’s “Snowdance Phenomena,” reported by the Wall Street Journal, AP and front page Washington Post.  It could have been catastrophic for U.S. ski areas faced with the “driest winter in 130 years,” but for Native American Elders magnanimously leading mountain communities in snowdances giving gratitude to Mother Earth at Vail, Park City and Lake Tahoe.

The UN Sustainability Division urged us to spread the Snowdance story to communities worldwide, which resulted in their sharing their renewable breakthroughs and spiritual snow secrets, which made us a UN Green Model for RIO+20.

Out of this international exchange assisted by SIA President David Ingimie, came these “Elders 15 Green Mandates for RIO+20,” which can most cost-effectively streamline maximizing the longevity of snowsports and regenerate Earth’s Natural Capital, on which our economic systems are based.  This Earth Summit is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set mankind on a more sustainable path for humanity and the World’s youth groups finally figured out that reforesting the planet is key to their Climate Justice and “the future they want.”

Since trees draw up the aquifers to moisturize valleys and enhance snow, the mandates include how you and everyone can help, especially by planting and even more importantly protecting trees. 17 billion trees are either cut or burned in wildfires each year – Colorado is losing millions of trees as we speak – and only 5 billion are planted, half die, and it takes a decade for a tree to start making a difference. The Elders said there are thousands of acres of virgin forests that are scheduled to be cut for little or no reason in the US and worldwide that mountain communities and youth through their environmental studies, could stop. With expense monies (as these priceless ceremonies are not for sale), Elders and shamen worldwide could host significant numbers of gratitude raindances and snowdances critical for snowmelt, and protecting forests. (Plus Telluride had the most snow in Colorado by just hosting an on-going Ute Ski Program.) Added to more teams of Native fire fighters who are respected for working with the rain and winds, they could save billions of trees from fires!

We just received a call for help on the Colorado wildfire from a journalist who covered Vail’s Snowdance Phenomena in January. Since the fire was in a region where we didn’t have any contacts to Elders, I asked Cherokee Earth healer, Olivia Ellis, whose ceremonies helped restore snow to many ski areas this winter, for a prayer to help end the fires, along with prayers for the best possible outcome of RIO+20, which are at the end of the Snowdance Phenomena PDF. But whatever happens in RIO, the US needs to implement these cost-effective solutions as we are in the biggest drought in 130 years and logically could have the biggest fires in 130 years unless we also act quickly.

Here are the “Elders 15 Green Mandates.”

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­With the sacred Solstice energies behind you, bless your green action and gratitude prayers that can help us snowdance and ride like the wind into a breathtaking new era we all want!

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