Each year, the Yachats Trails Committee conducts its Annual New Year’s Day Peace Hike.
The hike traditionally honors the memory of a blind Native American woman known as “Amanda,” who was forced to leave her young daughter and march barefoot through rocky terrain to the Alsea Sub-Agency internment camp in Yachats in 1864.
The hike, which generally follows the Amanda Trail from the Yachats Commons to the Amanda Statue south of town has grown steadily in attendance and importance over time.
This year however, there will be no traditional large-group hike as in the past, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the Trails Committee’s focus on participant safety.
Instead, people can experience the Amanda story virtually, starting on New Year’s Day, by viewing a video of Miluk Coos Tribal member Patricia Whereat Phillips, linguist, Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) narrating the Amanda story on line.
Participants can view the video from the City of Yachats (www.yachatsoregon.org) Yachats Chamber of Commerce (www.yachats.org) and View the Future (www.viewthefuture.org) Websites.
Following that, community members are encouraged to explore their own goals and rituals for manifesting peace in their hearts and in the world.
For those who want to incorporate them, Cedar sprigs will be available in outdoor areas near the Yachats Commons.
Anyone who has used this opportunity to watch the Amanda video (from anywhere) is invited to stop by the Yachats City Visitor Center or the Yachats Chamber to pick up a commemorative button.
Alternatively they can send an email request to [email protected] If requesting by email, be sure to include your name and mailing address with your request.
This year’s button was created by Morgan Gaines Quuiich (Lower Umpqua) Tribal Member, CTCLUSI.
The Yachats Trails team wishes the community a happy new year to come and hopefully the return of the Annual Peace hike — and the opportunity tol gather together and witness the power of peace.
“I hope you are, and your families are, all staying safe during this very difficult time,” said Chief Doc Slyter. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt to this year’s 11th New Year’s Day Peace Hike. This saddens my heart, but as we move forward in the new 2021 year and need positive energy, remember hereditary Tribal Chief Daloose Jackson’s Dream Power Song — hli-in — helhantltuuwitiniiye
“We’re not going to fall down.”
While the format of the Peace Hike is changing, its strength and purpose are not.
According to Chief Doc Slyter, it has been through the tribes’ and community’s endeavors that many people have become more aware of the need to acknowledge the wrongs of the past and to be more conscious of the need to treat people of all cultures throughout the world with honor, dignity and respect.