The fifth Prophet said, “In the time of the Fifth Fire there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of all Native people. At the warning of this Fire there will come among the people one who holds a promise of great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teachings, then the struggle of the Fifth Fire will be with the people for many generations. The promise that comes will prove to be a false promise. All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people.”
The prophet of the Sixth Fire said, “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 teachings 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 almost be spilled. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief.”
At the time of these predictions, many people scoffed at the prophets. They then had medicines to keep away sickness. They were then healthy and happy as a people. These were the people who chose to stay behind in the great migration of the Anishinabe. These people were the first to have contact with the Light Skinned race. They would suffer the most. When the Fifth Fire came to pass, a great struggle did indeed grip the lives of all Native people. The Light Skinned race launched a military attack on the Indian people through-out the country aimed at taking away their land and their independence as a free and sovereign people. It is now felt that the false promise that came at the end of the Fifth Fire was the materials and riches embodied in the way of life of the light skinned race. Those who abandoned the ancient ways and accepted this new promise were a big factor in causing the near destruction of the Native people of this land. When the Sixth Fire came to be, the words of the prophet rang true as the children were taken away from the teachings of the Elders. The boarding school era of “civilizing” Indian children had begun. The Indian language and religion were taken from the children. The people started dying at an early age… they had lost their will to live and their purpose in living.
In the confusing times of the Sixth Fire, it is said that a group of visionaries came among the Anishinabe. They gathered all the priests of the Midewiwin Lodge. They told the priests that the Midewiwin Way was in danger of being destroyed. They gathered all the sacred bundles. They gathered all the scrolls that recorded the ceremonies. All these things were placed in a hollowed out log from the ironwood tree. Men were lowered over a cliff by long ropes. They dug a hole in the cliff and buried the log where no one could find it. Thus the teachings of the Elders were hidden out of sight but not out of memory. It was said that when the time came that the Indian people could practice their religion without fear that a little boy would dream where the Ironwood log, full of the Sacred Bundles and Scrolls were buried. He would lead his people to the place.
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, 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 Water Drum 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, 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.
Traditional Midewiwin people from other Nations have interpreted the two roads that face the Light Skinned race as the road to technology and the other to spiritualism. They feel that the road to technology represents a continuation of Head-Long rush to technological development. This is the road that has lead to 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 travelled 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 the Mighty Nation spoken of in the Fourth Fire has never been formed