Seven Fires Wampum Belt

Nov 11, 1913 to Aug 3, 2011

William Commanda, Anishinaabe, grandson of Chief Antoine Pakinawatik and  Keeper of the Seven Fires Wampum Belt, the Three Figures Wampum Belt and the Jays’ Treaty Wampum Belt,

The Seven Fires Wampum Belt records a Turtle Island prophecy which is a warning to the people of Turtle Island ancestry about the future of Turtle Island. The prophecy includes all people presently living in Turtle Island.

The Midewiwin (the Grand Medicine Society), calls each prophecy a fire.  The first fire prophecy was given by the Mi’kmaq to the Anishinaabe. The message was to move further inland to a new territory in Turtle Island or they could be destroyed.

The second fire prophecy said “You will know the second fire because at this time the people 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 girl will be born to point the way back to the traditional ways.  She will show the direction to the stepping stone to the future of the Anishinaabe people”.

The third fire prophecy said “The Anishinaabe will find the path to their chosen ground, a land in the west to which they must move their families”.

The fourth fire produced two prophecies.  The first prophecy, “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 Turtle Island. In this way two nations will join to become 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 of the light skinned race comes carrying no weapons, it they come bearing only their knowledge and a handshake.”

The second prophecy of the fourth fire, warned, “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 Turtle Island.  If they are indeed 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 fish become unfit to eat.  You will know they by these many things.

The fifth fire prophecy warned  “In the time of the fifth fire there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of the people of Turtle Island.  At the waning of this fire there will come among the people one who hold a promise of great joy and salvation.  If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teaching, then the struggle of the fifth fire will be with the people of Turtle Island for many generations. The promise will prove to be a false promise.  All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people”.

The sixth fire prophecy says  “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 teaching of the elders. Grandsons and granddaughters 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 become a cup of grief.”

The seventh brings choice,  “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. 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 need 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 Tribe and a rekindling of old flames.  The sacred fire will be lit again.

It is at this time the light skinned race will be given a choice between two roads.  One road will be green and lush, and very inviting.  The other road will be black and charred and walking it will cut their feet.  If the people decide to take neither road, but instead to turn back, to remember and reclaim the wisdom of those who came before them.  If they choose the right road, then the seventh fire will light the eight 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 Turtle Island will come back to destroy them and will cause much suffering and death to all people on earth.”