On Saturday, February 9, 2009, the BAFN held a cultural workshop in order to help bring back some of the cultural ceremonies that were lost through the years of white dominance.This event was held at the Best Western Hotel in Pembroke Ontario and we had over 60 eager participants.
Below are the workshops that were presented.
A Special Thank you (meegwetch) to the teachers for all their hard work in teaching us about our
traditional ways and lost culture.
Seven Fires Prophecies
Seven prophets appeared to the people. The First Prophet told the people that in the time of the First Fire they would leave their homes by the sea and follow the sign of the megis. They were to journey west into strange lands in search of an island in the shape of a turtle. This island will be linked to the purification of the earth. Such an island was to be found at the beginning and at the end of their journey. Along the way, they would find a river connecting two large sweet water seas. This river would be narrow and deep as though a knife had cut through the land. They would stop seven times to create villages but they would know that their journey was complete when they found food growing on the water. If they did not leave, there would be much suffering and they would be destroyed. And they would be pursued and attacked by other nations along the way so they must be strong and ready to defend themselves.
The Second Prophet told them they could recognize the Second Fire because while they were camped by a sweet water sea they would lose their direction and that the dreams of a little boy would point the way back to the true path, the stepping stones to their future.
The Third Prophet said that in the Third Fire the Anishinabe would find the path to the lands prepared for them and they would continue their journey west to the place where food grows upon the water.
The Fourth Prophet was two who came as one. The first told them to expect a race of people who had light skin. The future of the Anishinabeg would be known by the face the light-skinned people would wear. If they come in brotherhood there would be a time of wonderful change. New knowledge would be joined with the old knowledge and the two peoples would join to make a mighty nation. Two other nations would join to make four and they would become the mightiest nation of all. If they brought only their knowledge and their good-will they would be like brothers.
The second being of the Fourth Prophet warned the light-skinned race might wear the face of death that would almost look the same as the face of brotherhood. “If they come carrying a weapon and if they seem to be suffering, beware. Behind this face is greed. You shall recognize the face of death if the rivers are poisoned and the fish are unfit to eat.”
The Fifth Prophet said that in the time of the Fifth Fire there will be a struggle between the way of the mind of the light-skinned people and the natural path of the spirit of the many nations of natural people. “As this fire loses its heat there will come among the people those who promise great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise and abandon the old ways, the struggle will continue for many generations. This promise is false and it will nearly destroy those who accept it.”
The Sixth Prophet told them that in the time of Sixth Fire it would be clear that the promise accepted during the Fifth Fire was false. “Those who were deceived by this promise will take their children away from the teachings of the elders. The elders will lose their purpose in life and many will become sick and die. Many people will be out of balance and the cup of life will become the cup of grief.”
The Seventh Prophet was younger than the others who had come and there was a glowing light from his eyes. He said that there would come a time when the waters had been so poisoned that the animals and plants that lived there would fall sick and begin to die. Much of the forests and prairies would be gone so the air would begin to lose the power of life.* The way of the mind brought to the red, black, and yellow nation by the white nation would bring danger to the whole earth. In this time there will arise Osh-ki-bi-ma-di-zeeg, a new people who will emerge from the clouds of illusion. They will retrace their steps to find the treasures that had been left by the trail. The stories that had been lost will be returned to them. They will remember the Original Instructions and find strength in the way of the circle. Their search will take them to the elders and the new people will ask for guidance. But many of the elders will have walked the Path of the Souls to the Star Web. Many elders will have forgotten their wisdom and they will not be able to help. Some of the elders will point in the wrong direction and others will remain silent because of their fear. Some of the elders will be silent because no one has asked them for their wisdom.
If the New People will find trust in the way of all things, in the circle, they will no longer need the selfish voice of the ego and they can begin to trust their inner voice. Wisdom will be once again be found in dreams of the night and of the day. The sacred fire will once again be lit. The Light-skinned People will be given a choice between two paths. If they choose the right path the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth Fire and final fire of brotherhood and sisterhood. If they choose the wrong path, remaining on the path of the mind, then the destruction they brought with them will come back to destroy them. The people of the earth will experience much suffering and death.
Seven Grandfather Teachings
Wisdom: It is to be discovered on your journey through life… in a wildflower, in the face and words of an elder. If you listen you will hear it in every sound, if you look you will see it in all things!
Respect: It must come from within. It is not to be demanded, it is to be earned and given freely from the goodness of your heart!
Humility: Reach out… Let peace and harmony unite all nations!
Love: Is a feeling that has no boundaries. Give it… accept it… and feel its power
Honesty: Keep your life simple… speak the truth, choose honesty and kindness as your guide and happiness will follow you.
Bravery: “Let the Great Spirit bless us with the courage to keep the circle strong”. Never give in. Never give up.
Truth: Understand it …speak it…live by it!