Some Peace Hike History...
The Peace Hike came about from an event that took place in the Amanda Grotto immediately following the dedication of the Amanda Trail in July 2009. On that day, the plan was for everyone to head to the Commons for a potluck celebration immediately following the formal opening of the trail. However, many were so moved by Chief Warren Brainard’s Prayer of Dedication and Tribal Council Member Wendy Williford’s telling of the Amanda Story, that many headed to the Amanda Grotto instead of the Commons. As over 50 people gathered in silence at the site of the Amanda Statue, Tribal Flutist Doc Slyter (at the request of his mother, Tribal Elder & Council Member Carolyn Slyter) began playing Amazing Grace. And it was at that moment, in the peace of the grotto, the statue, and the sweet notes that filled the air, that we realized what we were all experiencing was a profound awareness of remorse for the wrongs that had been perpetrated in the past, as well as recognition that no matter who was to blame, it fell to all of us to take responsibility to do better. That in fact, atrocities like those faced by Amanda and her people have occurred longer than we’d like to admit, and continue to occur throughout the world.
And it was from that experience that the idea of the Peace Hike was sparked. It would serve as a way of beginning the new year by commemorating (recalling and showing respect for) the tragic experience Amanda has come to symbolize, while making a solemn commitment by each of us to find that place of peace within us and to vow to let that power direct our actions in the new year.
The Yachats community is honored to have tribal members from throughout the area visit regularly and participate in the Peace Hikes and other important events. More information about the tribes and early Yachats area history can be found on the Yachats Indians page on this website.