event

Prophecy of the Seventh Fire: Choosing the Path that is Green

37th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures

Reserved Seat

$40 or 40 Berkshares

Includes admission to the keynote address and panel discussion (1:00 – 5:00 pm) 

Premium Seat with Reception

$150 or 150 Berkshares

Includes the afternoon’s event plus an evening reception (5:30 – 8:00 pm) at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, with a dinner menu featuring North American indigenous ingredients.

Purchase Tickets

For questions about tickets contact the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Box Office at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Open between 12pm and 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Box office phone number: 413-528-0100

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In the folklore of the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire predicts that there will come a time when we must choose between two paths. One path will be green and lush. The other will be well worn but scorched, and walking it will cut our feet.

Winona LaDuke—activist, community economist, author, and member of the Ojibwe Nation of the Anishinaabe peoples—says that now is that time. During last year’s Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, LaDuke called for us to make the right choice. In a message to the Water Protectors she said, “We are not just fighting against something, but clearly and decidedly walking with open eyes and hearts down the path that is green.”

For more than twenty-five years Winona LaDuke has been a leading advocate and organizer for Native American groups working to recover their ancestral lands, natural resources, and cultures.

As a young Harvard graduate she moved to her family’s home on the White Earth Reservation in upper Minnesota, where she created a community land trust organization to re-gather traditional lands lost to private ownership. She stands as one of the most important spokespersons for a fair land reform that includes equity in buildings (not in land value) for those using the land.  She described this work in her 1993 Schumacher Lecture “Voices From White Earth: Gaa-waabaabiganikaag.”

On Saturday, November 4th, LaDuke will deliver the keynote address at the 37th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, which will take place at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Her talk will be followed by a panel discussion led by Nwamaka Agbo, a member of Schumacher Center’s board of directors and the Innovation Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, California.

Nwamaka Agbo will moderate a discussion between young people from diverse backgrounds who are doing work to reclaim ownership of community resources in order to build stronger local economies and ecologies—those who have chosen the Green Path. In facilitating the conversation she will bring to bear more than ten years of experience in social and economic justice organizing and economic development.

Prophecy of the Seventh Fire

The seventh prophet that came to the people long ago 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 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 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 the roads, then the destruction which they brought with then in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth’s people.”

– Teachings of the Seven Prophets: The Seven Fires” read by Elder William Commanda at the Aboriginal Learning Network Constituency Meeting of Elders, policy makers, and academics on April 16th and 17th, 1997 in Aylner, Quebec.

Related Lectures

Prophecy of the Seventh Fire: Choosing the Path That Is Green
A Conversation About Land and Liberation

Event Speakers

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke—an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) member of the White Earth Nation—is an environmentalist, economist, author, and prominent Native American activist working to restore and preserve indigenous cultures and lands. She graduated from Harvard University in 1982 with a B.A. in economics (rural economic development) and from Antioch University with an M.A. in community economic development. While … Continued

Nwamaka Agbo

Nwamaka Agbo is excited to bring over 10 years of experience in working on social and economic justice issues and campaigns that help support the sustainable and equitable development of thriving and prosperous communities as the Innovation Fellow for the Movement Strategy Center. As the Director of Programs at EcoDistricts, Nwamaka was responsible for leading … Continued

Event Panelists

Karissa Lewis

Karissa Lewis is the Executive Director of the Center for Third World Organizing. With extensive experience in organizing and activist training, she works to build leadership in communities of color and is dedicated to creating a movement for social justice that is led by the people most affected. She has organized around issues ranging from gentrification … Continued

Gopal Dayaneni

Gopal Dayaneni is a member of the staff collective at the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project. He is an active trainer with and serves on the boards of The Ruckus Society and the Center for Story-based Strategy. He also serves on the advisory boards of the International Accountability Project and the Catalyst Project. Gopal … Continued

Robert HawkStorm Bergin

Sachem HawkStorm is the chief of the Schaghticoke First Nations and a direct descendant of the great Wampanoag Chief Wasanegin Massasoit. Schaghticoke First Nations is one of three nations of the Schaghticoke Tribe, with 370 members, and also a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. The word “Schaghticoke” means “the Mingling of Waters,” and signifies the merging of what … Continued

Sponsors

David Brower Center Available Potential Enterprises Capital Institute Christopher Reynolds Foundation Good Work Institute Main Street Resources Plantin' Seeds Judy Wicks The Myrin Institute