"Skiing on the Sacred: The San Francisco Peaks, Indigenous Rights, and the U.S. Ski Industry" Workshop by Jesse Ritner, University of Texas at Austin
Jesse Ritner is a Ph.D. candidate studying U.S. environmental history. His dissertation “Elegy of a Dying Sport: Snow, Technology, and the Rise of the North American Ski Industry” explores how science and technology were used to build a weather-dependent sport in climates that lacked the reliable snowpack needed for alpine skiing. His project then traces how new technologies created new classed and racialized relations between the ski industry, skiers, laborers, and the non-human world. “Skiing on the Sacred” is closely related to the final chapter of his dissertation which looks at the ways in which technology created a dependent relationship between the ski industry and the Forest Service at the expense of nearby populations. The article “Skiing on the Sacred” in contrast focuses on the ways in which laws, the Forest Service, and the ski industry systematically invalidated Indigenous claims to the San Francisco Peaks. Jesse has received several grants and fellowships for his research, including an especially generous grant from the American Meteorological Society. Along with studying history, Jesse is also an avid skier.