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Our Story


Our story starts with the rescue of a wild little mountain goat who would not be tamed. Shanti, which means Peace in Sanskrit, was taken from her mother as a baby and left to fend for herself on pasture, where she imprinted on a pony, her only companion. Two years later, after her owners had tried and failed to sell her as a dairy goat, due to her refusal to be handled, they planned on sending Shanti to slaughter for being "too wild". When our founder, Lara, heard about this wild little goat she offered to take her instead, and six months later she found herself rescuing a wild horse (mustang), named Storm for her similarly untamable temperament, also at risk of slaughter.


Storm was captured from her wild herd in the Steens Mountain Wilderness Area by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) a decade earlier, when she was three years old. She was sold at auction, bred for profit, had her foals removed from her, and was passed on to a man who neglected and mistreated her before being sent to jail a decade later for injuring several of his horses. On the day of her rescue, Storm was in line to be loaded on to a trailer and taken to slaughter when Lara intercepted that exchange, and took her to safety. Storm and Shanti became instant companions.

In December 2016, Lara met Takelma elder, and the oldest of the founding members of The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim, while organizing a benefit to support her work. During a meeting the next day, Grandma Aggie, as she was affectionately known, asked Lara about the animals she and rescued and was caring for. On hearing Storm's story and about the thousands of wild horses and burros that are being removed from public lands, Grandma Aggie was deeply moved. She talked about how this reminded her of the many brutalities her own people had faced, along with so many indigenous people all over the world. Later that day Grandma Aggie gave Storm a blessing for her safe protection, and urged Lara to continue her work in the world as a "healing person", and a "voice for the voiceless", encouraging her to trust that she would be guided along the way.

Three years later, in December 2019, Shanti was diagnosed with cancer, and died a few months later in Lara's arms in a snow-covered meadow. Her body was taken to Mary's Peak, the highest mountain in the Oregon Coast Range, known by the Native Kalapuya, as "Tcha Timanwi" or "place of spiritual power" where she was given a sky burial. Soon Lara relocated from the Willamette Valley to the Oregon Coast, eventually moving onto a large acreage with several overgrown and degraded pastures in need of restoration. She adopted two wild burros, one of whom had sustained injuries due to neglect from a trainer working within the BLM adoption program, and rescued a domestic donkey from a situation of severe neglect, who was suffering from cancer.  As the Wild Peace herd began to form, the seed of a much larger vision began to take root, one of a sanctuary for animals, land, and people healing together.

Over the next few years, Lara implemented a range of regenerative agricultural and holistic land management practices. By supporting the equines to live in such a way that mimics their natural movements in the wild, she engaged their beneficial presence to fertilize, nourish, and re-seed the land, remove undesirable plants, and restore a healthy balance of forbs, legumes and grasses. She began to make compost, mixing raw manure with pasture debris, and by spring 2022, was growing fruit and vegetables on the land, and donating compost to several local food sovereignty projects, including the 40 acre Tribal Farm at The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, in nearby Siletz, OR.


Shortly after connecting with the Siletz Tribe, Lara learned that Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim, who had passed away in 2019, was the grand-daughter of the first ever elected chief of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, and in this full circle moment, she remembered the day, seven years earlier, when Grandma Aggie had blessed Storm, and offered her words of wisdom and encouragement. It was in this moment that Lara realized that she had indeed been guided, to this place, and to this vision, and was being guided still.

Since then, the herd have restored land on two neighboring properties. We continue to supply compost to the Siletz Tribe and other local food growing projects, as well as to a local community native plant and pollinator project. We are committed to working with regenerative agricultural practices and do not use chemicals or machines powered by fossil fuels or lithium batteries, as these rely on extractive industrial practices that pollute the soil, air, and water. Our aim is to demonstrate how to restore and maintain ecological health and balance by working solely with herbivores, and without enabling any of the industrialized systems actively destroying our planet. Future plans include building a herd of goats to work with us alongside the equines, in memory of Shanti.


Wild Peace Sanctuary offers a seasonal program of workshops and events focused on teaching harmonious ways of living and working on the land with animals. In addition, we are doing what we can to raise awareness of the plight of wild equines as a symbol for all wild animals and wild lands in peril. We hope to encourage others to discover their own unique way of becoming a voice for the voiceless, and, in doing so, to trust that they too will be guided, through these deeply troubled and troubling times.

This story, and the photographs below, are shared with permission,

and a blessing, from Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim's family.

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Wild Peace Sanctuary founder, Lara Lwin Treadaway with Grandma Aggie

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Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim blessing

Storm in December 2016, in Ashland, OR

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The land that Wild Peace Sanctuary calls home was traditional hunting grounds for the Wusitslum/Älsé (Alsea) people. In respect for the original people of this land, and acknowledgment of the ongoing harms from settler culture, please follow the link below and read more on the history of this place.

“Handed down from my people was a story that the only duty

left to us from the ancient ones was the duty of

prayer, so I became a prayer person.”

Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim

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