The seven fires of the prophecy represent key spiritual teachings for North America, and suggest that the different colors and traditions of the human beings can come together on a basis of respect. It predates the arrival of the Europeans, and contains information for the future lives of the Anishinaabe which are still in the process of being fulfilled. (source Wikipedia)
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During the time of the Sixth Fire,
the prophecy came true as children were taken from the teachings of the Elders and families torn apart. The traditions, language, ceremonies, and family structure were under attack by the United States government. The boarding school era of "civilizing" Indian children began as early as the 1600s in Maryland, but became policy when the United States government paid religious organizations to “educate” Native American children. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) introduced boarding schools based on the assimilationist model of the off-reservation Carlisle Indian Industrial School. The government withheld rations from families who refused to send their children to boarding schools. The boarding schools systematically stripped Native children of their tribal identity. Children in boarding schools were beaten for speaking their language and following traditional ways. They were forced to cut their hair, and their clothing and sacred items were taken away. Even their names were changed. Family members who remained on the reservations could be imprisoned for practicing traditional ways and ceremonies. It wasn’t until 1978, when the American Indian Freedom of Religion Act was passed, that American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Native Hawaiians could freely exercise their religious and cultural way of life without fear of persecution.
In the time the Sixth Fire, it is said that a group of visionaries gathered with the priests of the Midewiwin Lodge. They knew the traditional Spiritual ways would be under attack. They gathered all the sacred bundles and scrolls that belonged to the ceremonies. These items were placed in a hollowed out log from the Ironwood tree in the side of a cliff. They dug a hole in the cliff and buried the log where no one could find it so the teachings of the Elders were hidden out of sight and kept safe. It is said that when the time is right, a boy would dream where the Ironwood log is buried. He would lead his people to the teachings of the Midewiwin lodge.
According to the Mishomis Book, the seventh prophet that came to the people long ago 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 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 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 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 the roads, then 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."
It believed that the "two roads" referred to in the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire are 1) The road to materialism and technology and 2) The road to Spirituality. If the people of the Earth join together in brotherhood, we may be able to avoid the road to destruction. We are living in a crucial time. All of the prophecies have come to pass, and now we are approaching a fork in the road that will either lead us to the Eighth Fire, or to destruction.