SVAM is excited to announce a new on-mountain summer experience: the Washoe Cultural Tour, beginning Monday, July 12. Not only is this a new offering for resort guests, but it is the first collaborative project born out of the new partnership between the ski resort and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
With this tour, guests will experience the mountains through the eyes of the Washoe people. The Washoe Tribe has deep roots in Olympic Valley, Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Darrel Cruz, Director of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office and Cultural Resources Office of the Washoe Tribe, will share stories of Washoe history and culture from the Valley and surrounding mountains, against the backdrop of the Sierra peaks where those stories were born.
The tour group will meet in the Village, board the Aerial Tram and head up to High Camp. Once up at High Camp, Darrel will share stories about the Washoe Tribe, from its creation to present day, of surrounding natural landmarks, of the local animals and plants and how the Washoe use them, and why changing the name of the resort that sits on their ancestral land is important to the Washoe Tribe. Guests can also view artifacts that show the Washoe way of life that Tribe members seek to preserve today. A Washoe exhibit is also being created at High Camp, for guests to learn more about the Tribe and view artifacts every day, not just during tour dates.
In deciding to change the resort name, SVAM leadership sought to build a new partnership with the Washoe Tribe, and this event is a result of that burgeoning relationship. SVAM seeks to use its resources to support the Washoe Tribe in its educational goals in the region, and is also working to provide recreational opportunities for Tribe members.
â€œWe are glad to be forming this partnership between the Washoe Tribe and the ski resort. Partnerships are how to get things done,â€ said Darrel Cruz, Director of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office and Cultural Resources Office of the Washoe Tribe. â€œWe look forward to this opportunity to educate people about the culture and history of the land they are recreating on.â€
â€œWe first started talking with the Washoe Tribe just about a year ago, and in that past year we have begun to form a new relationship, one that will continue to grow as we find new ways to work together in the years to come,â€ said Ron Cohen, president and COO of SVAM. â€œIt has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Darrel on this and other projects, especially as we near the finalization of our new resort name. All of our lives will be enriched by Darrelâ€™s reintroduction of Washoe history and knowledge to this Valley.â€
The Washoe Cultural Tour will be hosted once a month during summer operations (July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. date TBD). The event is free, but guests will need to purchase an Aerial Tram ticket to join, or use their 2021-22 Ikon Pass. Attendees who register in advance can purchase an Aerial Tram ticket at a special discounted rate, $19/person. All ticket sales collected from the event will be donated to the Washoe Cultural Fund. We encourage people to register in advance for the event online. For more information and to register, please visit our website.