In the Seventh Fire prophecy of the Anishnabek, each of the seven fires represent an era in human history. We are now in the time of the Seventh Fire. The task of the people of this age, including the Anishnabek and other red people, the yellow people, the black and the white, is to come together through choosing the road of cooperation. Without this, there will be no Eighth Fire, or future for Natives and others.
One person who talks about the Seventh Fire is Grandfather William Commanda of Maniwaki. An Algonquin elder, he holds three wampum belts, one of which is the Seventh Fire Prophecy belt which was made in the 1400s. His understanding of the prophecy was received from Ojibwe people in Minnesota, Michigan and northern Ontario, and through his own family, which has held the belts for over 100 years.
He speaks of the fact that the white race was welcomed by the Anishnabek, and it was hoped in the time of the Fourth Fire that the white race would come wearing a face of brotherhood, and that the Anishnabek and whites together would form one mighty nation. This did not happen and the white race chose the course of destruction and death.
Today, in the age of the Seventh Fire, the races are again faced with a choice. The two roads are the black road of technology and overdevelopment leading to environmental catastrophe, the other is the red road of spirituality and respect for the earth. Together, people of the world have to choose the right road, be of one mind, or the earth cannot survive. Cyberspace will play a big role in this movement, as will be examined in further sections.
In April 1994, William visited the United Nations with Hopi elders and elders from other nations, including the Migmag and Mohawk. The message from the Hopi was that desecration of their sacred lands must stop, or else there will be a purification of the earth which will destroy life. Their prophecies are in line with those of the Seventh Fire: "Mankind must return to Peaceful ways, and halt the destruction of Mother Earth, or we are going to destroy ourselves. All the stages of Hopi prophecy have come to pass, except for the last, the purification. The intensity of the purification will depend on how humanity collaborates with Creation." The Hopi gave a deadline to the industrial nations: Four years from the date of their presentation in April 1994. This corroborates the fact that we are indeed in the time of the Seventh Fire, and also at the culmination of other Native prophecies.
In Spring 1995 Six Nations hosted the Cry of the Eagle Conference, which was attended by many of the same delegates to the 1994 UN presentation, as well as other leaders and elders from Tibet, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mexico and South America. Hopi elder Thomas Banyacya stated that "the Hopi is looking for a white brother... We will create a spiritual circle where we join the material and the spiritual together and we will take care of the whole world in a spiritual way as well as with the fabulous inventions" (in Hill and Monture 1995: 102). William Commanda has said that "Native people must put aside their differences and speak for Mother Earth and the Great Spirit that is in all people, all races and colours" (LeBlanc 1995: 9).
William teaches that now is the time for Native people to forgive colonizers for their ignorant and destructive actions. Without this forgiveness, Native people will not be able to think clearly ¾ and they need to be strong and healthy in order to be able to teach the road of cooperation and spiritual understanding to the industrial nations before it is too late. This is part of a movement toward decolonization ¾ a time when Native concerns and identity are finding a voice.
The Seventh Fire is not just a time of reclaiming spiritual teachings; it is the time to use those teachings to help correct the imbalance felt in the circle that is the world. It is more than a revitalization movement, it is more like an arrival. Many Natives today are listening to teachings like the Seventh Fire prophecy, the Seven Generations teachings of the Iroquois and the prophecies of nations like the Hopi, and they are making these concerns felt on the Web.