Courtesy of Seneca
Eli Thomas and Hunter Mt, N.Y.
"Cheyenne Ross Anderson
- Fastest American on Skis, 2nd in World, 2002."
- Sports Illustrated
"Chapstick" Chaffee, NAOTF's Co-founder and Co-chairman, gives
a ride to Navajo Cissy Esiddy at Telluride, CO, the pioneering ski resort.
NATIVE AMERICAN OLYMPIC TEAM FOUNDATION
(Formerly Native Voices Foundation)
Creating Joyful Unity through sports and education to heal Mother Earth
for all our Children, including through the Olympics.
Is Native American Olympic Team Foundation?
years, NAOTF has attracted some of the most respected leaders of American
Tribes and sports legends: Besides the top American Olympic racers,
World Freestyle Champion Ute Jan Bucher, Freestyle Olympians Mariano
Ferrarro and Emily Cook, Olympic handicapped racer Muffy Davis, Canadian
Olympian Steve Podborsky and World Freestyle Champ John Eaves, Norwegian
Pro Race Champions Stein and Jahrle Halsnes, and British Olympian
Martin Bell. (Click NAOTF Board for full list.) NAOTF
has also attracted greats from other sports: Basketball Guru Coach
Phil Jackson, America's Cup winner Bill Koch, Golden Gloves Champion
Rick Bard, now editor/publisher of Manhattan Magazine and recipient
of the UN Eco Award, and the Olympic Alumni Association, headed by
Olympic Swimmer John Nabor. NAOTF is also supported by other Eco Angels
like Jack Chrysler, sponsor of the First Ute Eco Camp in a Teepee
Village in Telluride. [Top
Wisdomkeeepers Tex Hall elected President of NCAI
is now guided by some of the most respected Native leaders in America,
like NAOTF's Co-chairman, Brian Wallace, leader of the Washoe Tribe
of Nevada and California. In November, we are so honored, that Tex
Hall, was elected President of the National Congress of American Indians
(NCAI). As chair the 3 Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota and the Great
Plains Chairmen' Association, he sponsored our Native Blessing Ceremony
at the Park City's America's Pre-Olympic World Cup, (with Wildhorse
Casino of the N.W. Umatilla Confederacy) which resulted in their best
snow ever!; A dynamic speaker, empowered by his basketball prowess,
Tex, at long last, can bring the missing Native Voice of wisdom to
mainstream America, a foundation on which technology can more safely
rest; His cousin Ed Hall, Director of Tourism for the BIA, is one
of the most influential Natives in Washington D.C.
Tex and Ed Hall and Rose Ann Abrahamson were honored at the White
House as principles of the Lewis, Clark and Sakajawea Expedition.
Chief Oren Lyons founded the international Green Cross with
Gorbachev and was instrumental in persuading Sweden to shift from
nuclear to alternative energy; Medicine men, Lakota Wallace Black
Elk and Navajo Lenny Foster have shared their Earth People Way of
Life at the United Nations and are leaders at human rights conferences
in Geneva and spiritual conferences around the world. Plus leaders
from tribes across America. [Top
on What's Right with People
Another NAOTF Board member is Lloyd Bald Eagle, an actor, reenactor,
champion Native traditional dancer, and international unity leader
from the Minnecojou Lakota Tribe of South Dakota. "After living
through painful, frustrating experiences on the reservation, as well
as priceless spiritual ones, I've been blessed to be able to perform
Native cultural dances around the globe. Seeing how hungry people
are to connect with their earth roots through us, without even realizing
it, I now believe that 'people to people diplomacy' - bonding friendships
- through dance, sports, film, and ceremonies, is the most powerful
stepping stone to world peace and harmony. Coming from a family of
war heroes, I believe that investing in this kind of prevention of
costly war, is the answer. Instead of focusing on what's wrong with
people, I now believe a more effective use of my time is to focus
on what's right, which empowers them, said Bald Eagle.
An event that most touched Lloyd's heart was performing for orphan
children of war-torn Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo at the "House of Culture"
in West Berlin, Germany. Of all the international performances, the
children were in awe of the Native Americans and asked their priest
to meet them. The next day, Lloyd's dance troupe made an unscheduled
visit to teach the kids to dance and share the meaning. "It felt like
we connected with the children's sprits," said Lloyd. In the same
sphere, Norwegian Olympian and IOC Athletes Advisor, Johan Olav Koss,
founded an international organization, called Olympic Aid, that gives
life lifting support to children of war refugees
and Indigenous Peoples, like the Aborigines. NAOTF has connected with
Steiner Solarie, Olympic Aid Executive Director, in hopes of putting
American Tribes under their wing to enhance the joy and opportunities
of Native youth, and helping make this the "Year of the Native Americans."
Spirit of President Mandela
of our tribal brother Nelson Mandela keep ringing in my ears this
Olympic year when our people are being honored, reminding me that
the sky's the limit," said Lloyd. In his inaugural speech after decades
of prison, President Mandela said:
fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not
our darkness that most frighten us. We are born to manifest the glory
of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us. It's in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."