Amanda statue (copy)

The Amanda statue, dedicated to memorialize Native American suffering in the Alsea internment camp

Walkers will have the chance to start the New Year off on the right foot on Wednesday, Jan. 1, by joining the 10th Annual Yachats New Year’s Day Peace Hike.

The trail is dedicated to the memory of Amanda, a blind woman of the Coos Tribe 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.

Completed in July 2009, the trail has helped reveal the truth about the treatment suffered by the Alsea, Siuslaw, Coos and Lower Umpqua people during their incarceration at the Alsea Sub-agency prison camp from 1859 to 1875. Since the trail’s dedication, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians have become an important part of the Yachats community. The Tribes also provided financial aid and skilled labor toward the replacement of the pedestrian bridge along the Amanda Trail.

The annual Yachats New Year’s Day Peace Hike aims to provide a way to enjoy a lively walk, share good company and empower the concept of peace on Earth. Since its founding in 2011, the event has grown in size and meaning and has also become an important place for communication and healing between area residents and Tribes.

“It is through the Tribes’ and the community’s endeavors with the Amanda Trail that many have become more aware of the great need to acknowledge the wrongs of the past,” said Jan Brown of the Yachats Trails Committee, “and to be more conscious of the need to treat people of all cultures throughout the world with honor, dignity and respect.”

Participants on Wednesday’s hike will gather at the Yachats Commons before making their way about three miles along the 804 and Amanda Trails to the Amanda Grotto south of town, where a Peace Ceremony will take place.

Hikers will traverse both paved roads and narrow dirt trail surfaces with some steps and moderate inclines. Sturdy shoes, layered clothing and walking sticks are recommended.

In addition, for both hikers and non-hikers who would like to acknowledge and honor Amanda’s journey, there will be a candlelight vigil for peace at Yachats’ Little Log Church, located at 328 W. 3rd Street.

In the event of heavy rain or winds exceeding 25 mph, the hike will be cancelled. However, the Little Log Church’s candlelight vigil will take place no matter what the weather.

For Peace Hike inquiries call Lauralee at 541-272-1309 or e-mail lsven@peak.org. For more information on the Yachats Trails Committee, go to www.yachatstrails.org.

More information about the tribes and early Yachats area history can be found under the History tab on www.yachats.info.

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