Waokiye" (Y-oh-kee-ay), means "Traditional Helper" in the Lakota Sioux language.
Created by artist Peter "Wolf" Toth, Waokiye was completed in May 1978. At the dedication ceremony on May 20, 1978 Toth simply said, "The American Indian is a proud and often misunderstood people...even as a young boy I had admiration for my Indian brothers and perhaps this monument, and all the others, will bring awareness of a proud and great people."
Toth was an immigrant to the United States from Hungary. His family fled from the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. In learning about the Native American culture, he empathized with the tribes' situation. He saw parallels to the violent repression of the Magyar people he experienced in Hungary.
Toth started his project, The Trail of Whispering Giants, to highlight the struggle of the American Indians for justice and recognition of their human rights. Waokiye is 27th in the series and the series has over 70 statues remaining throughout the United States, Canada, and Hungary. They represent all humanity and stand against injustice to all people. This philosophy is a mirror of Cabot Yerxa's 50-year commitment as an American Indian Rights activist.
The 750-year-old Sequoia redwood log was donated by the California Division of Forestry. It was delivered at the end of February 1978. It weighs over 20-tons and stands over 22 feet high. The tree had been struck by lightening in the mid-1950's. The feather is made from an Incense Cedar from Idyllwild, is 15 feet tall, and over 4 feet thick. The entire statue is over 40-feet high.