Peace River, Clayhurst Bridge, British Columbia
Vase planted by Michiko Filipak, Ron Stewart and Jill Baryluk, Aug. 1, 2015

“Coincidentally, this journey was presaged by my surprise meeting with an amazing lady by the name of Nevada who made a solo climb in 2005 of Mount Logan ,the highest mountain in Canada. I have not seen her in years! We continue to be inspired by the Peace Vase placed by Nevada on Mt. Logan, previously a seemingly impossible destination.

Our own Peace Vase venture was less daunting, but still quite meaningful. Our destination, the Peace River, received its name as the result of a treaty between warring first nation peoples which established the Peace River as the boundary of their respective territories. To this day, inhabitants identify themselves as living in the Northern Peace (north of the river) or Southern Peace. Jill , Ron and I began our journey by taking a flight from Vancouver towards the northeastern corner of British Columbia. We flew over the vast range of snow peaks and glaciers of the Coastal Mountains, over the rivers and lakes of the B.C. interior, over the Rocky Mountains, to reach the rolling plains of the Peace River region. Under a big sky, this region is a place of highly productive farm land, oil and gas reserves, wind farms, and hydroelectric dams. We landed at Fort St. John, BC. Soon after our arrival, we were met by Jill’s nephew, a resident of Fort St. John, who was ready to show us the hot spots of his town. The next day we left Fort St. John in our rental car to explore the Peace River. The attached photo essay shows what we found. We drove about an hour through the countryside to the Clayhurst Bridge which crosses the Peace River in an idyllic location in an undisturbed part of the Peace River. The day was sunny and warm and we met folks ready to launch their canoes for a 4 day journey through Alberta on the north-flowing Peace River. There, as the photos depict, I tossed a cement encased peace vase over the bridge into the river. Fort St. John, upstream from the Clayhurst bridge, is the area where a new dam is proposed to be built. Much to the dismay of the farmers in the region, the entire Peace River valley will be under water from the new dam upstream 90 km to a place just beyond a village called Hudson Hope. It felt fitting to place the vase in an undisturbed area downstream from this controversial site. We trust that this placement will be left undisturbed and the blessings from the vase will flow through northern Alberta and will continue through the Northwest Territories and eventually out to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Circle. In placing this vase we pray that all this land be free from strife and warfare and environmental disasters.

After our return from placing the Peace River vase, Lama Lodro came to Sea to Sky Retreat Centre where Ron and I first met him in person. Lama Lodro placed a peace vase in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada in 1999. At that time that was the northern most point that a vase was ever placed within Canada and possibly the world. I felt that the event of the Peace River vase placement was fortuitously timed between these auspicious meetings.”