On New Year’s Day, the Yachats Trails Committee will host the 12th Annual Peace Hike in Yachats, Oregon. The Peace Hike traditionally honors the memory of a blind Native American (Coos) woman named Amanda who was forcibly taken away from her daughter and marched 80 miles with other captives all barefoot through the rocky terrain to the Alsea Sub-agency prison camp in what is now Yachats in 1864.
Each year, as part of the ceremony, cedar springs, a sacred tree for many tribes of the Pacific Northwest are provided for anyone to explore prayers and set intentions with cedar. People can take the sprig and walk holding their vision of peace and its meaning.
9:30 AM – The Yachats Community Drum will be available, and drumming will start at the picnic shelter, located behind the Yachats Commons.
10:00 AM – Fire will be lit, and the ceremony will begin in part led by Tribal members including the telling of the Amanda story.
10:30 AM – Participants will walk with their cedar sprig on the trail they have chosen, return to the fire where they will place the Cedar sprig, to add their prayers or visions for the new year.
For those hiking to the Amanda Gathering Area, which is 2.2 miles south from the Commons, there will be several options to park to lessen that distance.
12:00 PM – There will be a ceremony conducted by Tribal members at the Amanda Gathering area and a fire to which to lay one’s Cedar sprig.
1:00 PM – There will be closing of the fires at both locations.
The Yachats Trails Committee has composed a map of alternative trails that allow everyone to hike or walk where they are most comfortable in addition to those who want to hike to the Amanda Gathering Area. Committee members will be on hand to answer questions and provide maps and guidance at the Picnic Shelter behind the Yachats Commons.
There will be two small ceremonial fires in which to place the Cedar sprigs – one near the picnic shelter and one at the Amanda Gathering Area for those who hike the Amanda Trail.
To truly understand the government sponsored genocidal policies that led to the murder and suffering of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw and Alsea Peoples, watch this video narrated by Patricia Whereat Phillips, Miluk Coos, member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) and Donald Slyter, Chief of the CTCLUSI.
Water, energy bars and delicious cookies prepared and generously donated by the Yachats Ladies Club will be available at the Picnic Shelter and the Amanda Gathering Area.
All participants will be given Peace hike buttons.
This year’s Peace Hike button has been beautifully created by artists Loren Dickinson and Bette Perman.
A silent auction will be included featuring an original painting by Margie Lopez Reed of the 2020 Peace Hike. Donations and proceeds from the auction will be devoted to the construction of a boardwalk along the Oregon Coast Trail in Yachats. View the Future 501(c)(c) are collecting the donations.
More information on the 2023 New Years Day Peace Hike can be found online at www.yachats.org