by Ellen Lloyd
Like many other Native
American teachings, the Seven Fires Prophecy comes with a
powerful message to future generations.
It tells us we are
architects of our own fate and we have two choices if we wish to
Anishinaabe people still wait for
their Seven Fires Prophecy to be fulfilled. It deals with the
the Turtle Island, a Native
American name for North America, but it concerns the rest of
the world as well.
This prophecy is spiritually encoded in the wampum belt of the
Anishinaabe that has been passed down for generations.
Wampum belts existed long before
the European contact with the Native Americans and were used as the
official tribal records, to keep historical records, to commemorate
important events such as festivals or served as public records of
Came to The Anishinaabe People
The Indians learned about the Seven Fires Prophecy during
their encounter with the seven prophets who taught them the how a
good person should live and revealed the secrets of the seven fires.
In what way can modern people living in North American relate to the
Seven Fires Prophecy? The Anishinaabe people think much of what we
experience in our modern world shows the prophecy will be fulfilled.
But will these
anticipated future events create a better world?
The Anishinaabe, which is
often translated as "first man," "original man," or "good person"
refers to several different tribes living in Canada and United
These include the,
...as well as some
Oji-Cree and Metis communities.
All these tribes have
their own identity and leaders, but they do share cultural
traditions and some beliefs.
According to Anishinaabe tradition, their people came from eastern
areas of North America, and from along the East Coast. Their
homeland became the Turtle Island, meaning North America.
As previously discussed, many ancient cultures held the turtle
sacred and the animal was often associated with
the creation of the world.
Ancient worship of turtles can be encountered world-wide.
The Anishinaabe do not have written records, but their oral history
tells that seven prophets came to their people to give them
knowledge. These prophets called miigis had human form, but
they were glowing, and they had nonhuman powers.
These highly enlightened
spiritual beings came from the ocean...
One of the prophets
returned to the depths of the ocean and the six other spiritual
teachers stayed with the Anishinaabe and taught them the true values
The Seven Fires Prophecy given by the prophets in seven
different time periods, called a "fire" conveys a a simple and
Leaders of the
Anishinaabe think we have entered the seventh epoch and we
must now decide whether we continue on the road of materialism or
follow the road of spirituality.
Those who chose spirituality will survive, but materialism will be a
The Anishaabe were Warned About the Light Skinned Race
The Anishinaabe say that their first prophets came to warn them
about a 'Light Skinned Race' that would come to their land.
They were told to divide
into two groups.
Indians who stayed to
welcome the 'Light Skinned Race' were warned by the prophets to be
cautious with these new people.
They said that even if
the newcomers were smiling, they still bring death to the land.
inspired by Anishinaabe textiles
The 4th, 5th and 6th prophets said:
"If they (Light
Skinned Race) come bearing nothing in their hands, you must
still be cautious for they may be smiling, but in reality they
may be wearing the face of Death.
Do not accept them
readily but wait and see. You will know them by their actions."
"If they come with
the face of Brotherhood, you will become one people. Their
knowledge of the material world and your spiritual wisdom will
be joined together to create a mighty spiritual nation and you
will be joined by two other races, (we believe) Asian and
African, to create the mightiest nation of all."
"If, on the other hand, the Light Skinned Race comes wearing the
face of Death then a great calamity will befall the people of
this land. Great suffering and pain will be visited upon your
The very cup of Life
will almost be overturned."
"You will know which face the Light Skinned Race is wearing when
the fish are dying and the water's unfit to drink."
Decide if They Follow the Road to Materialism or Spirituality
The seventh prophet who came to the Anishinaabe was different.
His eyes were glowing and
he brought a message not only to the Indians, but also the Light
He said that,
"at the time of the
Seventh Fire, a new people will emerge.
They will retrace the
footsteps of their ancestors and will try to find those things
which have been lost along the way. They will approach the
elders in search of guidance.
It will not be an
easy task but if they are of good heart and pure intentioned
they can prevail. Some elders will be sleeping and have nothing
to say, others will say nothing out of fear.
The New generation
must be fearless in their quest.
Above: The Wampum Chronicles: Mohawk Territory;
Below: "Nation to Nation," focusing on treaties, indicates
a new, more historically serious direction for exhibitions
at the National Museum of the American Indian.
The Light Skinned race will be at a crossroads.
If they continue down
the road of Materialism, it will be their destruction and for
all humanity as well.
But if the Light
Skinned Race chooses to join with the Natural People of this
land on the Spiritual path then they will again have the chance
to create a nation, the greatest spiritual nation ever to have
Two other races will join these two races.
Together, they will
together light the 8th and final Fire an eternal fire
of Peace, Harmony, Brotherhood and Sisterhood."
The Seven Fires Prophecy
does not only address the Anishinaabe, but all people on this
It is a warning, but it
also offers us as humans a choice to change the course of events.
To create a better
world, we must put aside our cultural differences and become
united so that Mother Earth can heal. If we don't do this, we
are doomed to destruction.
A similar prophetic
message can be found in the prophecy of
the rainbow warriors.
According to Brooke
Medicine Eagle, Daughter of the Rainbow, Crow and Lakota,
"we have the
opportunity to build a Rainbow bridge into the Golden Age. But
to do this, we must do it together with all the colors of the
Rainbow, with all the peoples, all the beings of the world.
We who are alive on
Earth today are the Rainbow Warriors who face the challenge of
building this bridge."
Eagle and the Condor Prophecy, a 2,000-year-old message
for the future also tells what happened in the past and how human
societies split into two paths.
It tells the story of
conflict, but also peace and re-union.
It should be added that far from all Indians share a belief that
things our planet can change for the better. Many of the Hopi
believe we are living in the "End Times".
The Hopi think destruction of this
current world is inevitable and the fifth world will emerge when the
Blue Star Kachina makes its
appearance in the heavens. This will be the Day of Purification...
Just like the Maya await the return of their white bearded god
Kukulkan who to the Aztecs was
as Queztalcoatl, the Hopi still
return of Pahana, their lost white
brother who will he will come back carrying a missing section of a
sacred Hopi tablet.
Whether one believe in prophecies or not, it cannot be denied that
Native Americans' myths, legends and prophecies offer modern humans
perspective and time to reflect on our actions on this beautiful
planet we call our home, Mother Earth.
Putting the spiritual issue aside, and looking back at history and
current events, it seems doubtful some people can or will ever
change for the better.
As previously stated at the beginning of this article, perhaps we
are all architects of our own fate, unless
everything is predetermined of
course. We must take responsibility for our actions and accept what
Sometimes it's better not
knowing what the future has in store, but one thing is certain:
being a good person
is never wrong...