THE SEVEN FIRE PROPHECY
The Seven Fires Prophecies of the Anishinabe were envisioned many moons ago. Let us be the People of the 7th Fire, the Rainbow Warriors!
Then the First Prophet said to the people, "In the time of the First Fire, the Anishinabe nation will rise and follow the sacred shell of the Midewiwin Lodge. The Midewiwin Lodge will serve as a rallying point for the people, and its traditional ways will be the source of much strength. The Sacred Megis will lead the way to the chosen ground of the Anishinabe. You are to look for a turtle-shaped island that is linked to the purification of the Earth. You will find such an island at the beginning and at the end of your journey. There will be seven stopping places along the way. You will know the chosen ground has been reached when you come to a land where food grows on water. If you do not move, you will be destroyed."
The second prophet told the people, "You will know the Second Fire because at this time, the nation will be camped by a large body of water. In this time, the direction of the Sacred Shell will be lost. The Midewiwin will diminish in strength; a boy will be born to point the way back to the traditional ways. He will show the direction to the stepping stones to the future of the Anishinaabe people."
The third prophet said to the people."
In the Third Fire, the Anishinaabe will find the path to their chosen ground, a land in the West to which they must move their families. This will be the land where food grows on water."
The Fourth Fire was initially given to the people by two prophets. They come as one. They told of the coming of the Light Skinned race.
One of the prophets said, "You will know the future of our people by the face the Light Skinned race wears. If they come wearing the face of brotherhood, then there will come a time of wonderful change for generations to come. They will bring new knowledge and articles that can be joined with the knowledge of this country; in this way, two nations will join to make a mighty nation. This new nation will be joined by two more so that four will form the mightiest nation of all. You will know the face of the brotherhood if the light-skinned race comes carrying no weapons. If they come bearing only their knowledge and a handshake."
The other prophet said," Beware if the Light Skinned race comes wearing the face of death. You must be careful because the face of brotherhood and the face of death look very much alike. If they come carrying a weapon. Beware. If they come in suffering. They could fool you. Their hearts may be filled with greed for the riches of this land. If they are indeed your brothers, let them prove it. Do not accept them in total trust. You shall know that the face they wear is one of death if the rivers run with poison and the fish become unfit to eat. You shall know them by these many things."
The Fifth Prophet said, "In the time of the Fifth Fire, there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of all Native people. At the warning of this Fire there will come among the people who hold a promise of great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teachings, then the struggle of the Fifth Fire will be with the people for many generations. The promise that comes will prove to be a false promise. All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people."
The prophet of the Sixth Fire said, "In the time of the Sixth Fire, it will be evident that the promise of the Fifth Fire came in a false way. Those deceived by this promise will take their children away from the teachings of the elders, grandsons and grand-daughters will turn against the elders. In this way, the elders will lose their reason for living. They will lose their purpose in life. At this time, a new sickness will come among the people. The balance of many people will be disturbed. The cup of life will almost be spilled. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief."
The Seventh Prophet that came to the people long ago was said to be different from the other prophets. He was young and had a strange light in his eyes. He said, "In the time of the Seventh Fire, New People will emerge. They will retrace their steps to find what was left by the trail. Their steps will take them to the elders, who they will ask to guide them on their journey. But many of the elders will have fallen asleep. They will awaken to this new time with nothing to offer. Some of the elders will be silent out of fear. Some of the elders will be silent because no one will ask anything of them. The New People will have to be careful in how they approach the elders. The task of the New People will not be easy."
If the New People remain strong in their quest, the Water Drum of the Midewiwin Lodge will again sound its voice. There will be a Rebirth of the Anishinaabe Nation and a rekindling of old flames. The Sacred Fire will again be lit.
It is at this time that the Light Skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal Fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light-skinned race makes the wrong choice of roads, the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth's people.
Traditional Mide people from other nations have interpreted the two roads that face the Light Skinned race as the road to technology and the other to spiritualism. They feel that the road to technology represents a continuation of the Head-Long rush to technological development. This is the road that has led to modern society, to a damaged and seared earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction? The road to spirituality represents the slower path traditional Native People have travelled and are now seeking again. The Earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.
In the confusing times of the Sixth Fire, it is said that a group of visionaries came among the Anishinaabe. They gathered all the Midi of the Midewiwin Lodge. They told them that the Midewiwin Way was in danger of being destroyed. They gathered all the sacred bundles. They gathered all the scrolls that recorded the ceremonies. All these things were placed in a hollowed-out log from the ironwood tree. Men were lowered over a cliff by long ropes. They dug a hole in the cliff and buried the log where no one could find it. Thus the teachings of the elders were hidden out of sight but not out of memory. It was said that when the time came that the Indian people could practice their religion without fear that a little boy would dream where the Ironwood log, full of the Sacred Bundles and Scrolls, were buried. He would lead his people to the place.
Grandfather William Commanda
“In the time of the Seventh Fire, a New People would emerge. They would retrace their steps to find the wisdom that was left by the side of the trail long ago. Their steps would take them to the Elders, who they would ask to guide them on their journey. If the New People remain strong in their quest, the sacred drum will again sound its voice.” “There will be an awakening of the people, and the sacred fire will again be lit. At this time, the light-skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. One road is the road of greed and technology without wisdom or respect for life. This road represents a rush to destruction. The other road is spirituality, a slower path that includes respect for all living things.” “If we choose the spiritual path, we can light yet another fire, an Eight Fire, and begin an extended period of Peace and healthy growth.”
-Grandfather William Commanda (Algonquin)