I read this website and was so MOVED this morning that I thought I’d add it to the pile of blogposts:
THE SEVEN FIRES – an excerpt from The Mishomis Book by Edward Benton-Banai
…our Ojibway elders tell us that many years ago, seven major nee-gawn-na-kayg’ (prophets) came to the Anishinabe. They came at a time when the people were living a full and peaceful life on the northeastern coast of North America. These prophets left the people with seven predictions of what the future would bring. Each of these prophecies was called a Fire and each Fire referred to a particular era of time that would come in the future. Thus, the teachings of the seven prophets are now called the Neesh-wa-swi’ ish-ko-day-kawn’ (Seven Fires) of the Ojibway.
…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 a Osh-ki-bi-ma-di-zeeg’ (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 will remain strong in their quest, the Waterdrum of the Midewiwin Lodge will again sound its voice. There will be a rebirth of the Anishinabe 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, then the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back to them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth’s people.”
Traditional Mide people of Ojibway and people from other nations have interpreted the “two roads” that face the Light-skinned Race as the road to technology and the road to spirituality. 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 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 that traditional Native people have traveled and are now seeking again. The Earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.
The prophet of the Fourth Fire spoke of a time when “two nations will join to make a mighty nation.” He was speaking of the coming of the Light-skinned Race and the face of brotherhood that the Light-skinned brother could be wearing. It is obvious from the history of this country that this was not the face worn by the Light-skinned Race as a whole. That mighty nation spoken of in the Fourth Fire has never been formed.
If we natural people of the Earth could just wear the face of brotherhood, we might be able to deliver our society from the road to destruction. Could we make the two roads that today represents two clashing world views come together to form that mighty nation? Could a nation be formed that is guided by respect for all living things?
Are we the New People of the Seventh Fire?
I wrote this friend a comment:
Extremely interesting, brother. I am a white man of Norwegian descent, my grandfather travelling from Bergen, Norway, first to live in Chicago, USA, then in Saskatchewan, Canada. I have met many First Nations people, read a lot, and have begun to realise that you have the answers to many of the burning issues of our day. We have been so busy listening to the scientists, politicians etc, while we have killed & marginalised you, silencing your voice. No longer. I am switching sides, if at all possible. There is a wisdom that we whites have missed in all our frenzied worship of science, technology & false religion. I seek this wisdom as a dying man seeks medicine. I want to choose the road to life.
Cheers, dear brother,
Cheers to you all,
For a better world,