Discovery Series traverses Amanda’s Trail legacy March 5

Contact(s): Lisa Romano, Paul Meznarich

The pain and brutality of the forced relocation of several coastal tribes is embodied by the story of a tribeswoman known today only as “Amanda.” Amanda, blind and forcibly separated from her 8-year-old daughter, was marched with other displaced Indians from their south-central Coastal territories to the Alsea sub-agency relocation camp near Yachats in 1864.

Stumbling repeatedly over the rocky headland of Cape Perpetua, the blood shed from her injured feet was so profuse, an escorting soldier later wrote it was “sufficient to track her by.” A trail along the northern face of the promontory within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area now bears her name.

“Amanda: How A Trail Brought Truth, Reconciliation and Collaboration To A Divided People” retraces the harrowing plight faced by coastal tribes during the era of white resettlement. It will be the topic of the next Winter Discovery Series 1 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, 2400 S. Highway 101, three miles south of Yachats.

The presentation will describe the rich culture of the Ya’Xaik People, a southern Alsi village near the Yachats area, as well as the trauma inflicted upon the Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw and Alsi tribes during resettlement. It also will describe the journey within the last 30 years to bring truth and reconciliation between the Tribal People and the Yachats community.

“This talk will be a weaving of historical truths and a multi-path journey of reconciliation that has resulted in profound transcendence,” said presenter Joanne Kittel, a Yachats resident, retired psychotherapist and author of “Yachats Indians, Origins of the Yachats Name and the Prison Camp Years.”

Kittel will be joined by Doc Slyter, a Tribal flutist and council member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. Slyter recently was honored as a “Special Friend of Yachats” by the City of Yachats.

The presentation is intended to be an opportunity for celebration and will include Native American flute music and drumming. Audience members will be invited to participate in the drumming.

The Cape Perpetua Winter Discovery Series is an opportunity to explore topics and resources relevant to the Oregon Coast during the off-season months between November and March. All presentations and guided walks are free, but a Northwest Forest Pass, Oregon Coast Passport, federal recreation pass or $5 day-use fee is required within to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.

For more information, contact the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center at 541-547-3289.

Upcoming Winter Discover Series events

  • March 20 (2 p.m.) – Children’s Stories and Tidepool Walk: Children’s author Kizzie Jones will read from one of her latest books, and then lead families down to the tidepools for a guided tour. Jones blends her love of dachshunds and the ocean to create whimsical tall tales. Titles to her credit include “How Dachshunds Came to Be: A Tall Tale About A Short Long Dog” and “A Tall Tale About A Dachshund And A Pelican: How A Friendship Came To Be.” No RSVPs necessary. For information, call the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center at 541-547-3289.
  • March 21 (11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) – Experiencing Gray Whales: Cape Perpetua volunteer interpreter and naturalist Michael Noack has studied gray whales for many years, assisting with whale research missions and training Whale Watch volunteers. Visitors will enjoy hearing about his first-hand encounters with these iconic creatures of the Oregon Coast. No RSVPs necessary. For information, call the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center at 541-547-3289.
  • March 26 (2 p.m.) – Oregon Dunes: They’re more than just sand. Learn about the origins, shapes and future of the longest stretch of coastal dunes in the United States. Dina Pavlis, author of “Secrets of the Oregon Dunes” will share photos, stories and knowledge gained from living and playing within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. No RSVPs necessary. For information, call the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center at 541-547-3289.

A stone statue commemorates Amanda, a blind Coos woman forced to march over Cape Perpetua.