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Children of the Seventh Fire - Endorsements

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"Children of the Fire: An Ancient Prophecy for Modern Times is an illustrated teaching story for 9-11 year old children about a group of history elementary school children who visit a Native American reservation and hear an Anishinabe traditional teaching about the Seven Fires Prophecy from an elder named Kinoo, of the Three Fires Midiwiwin Teaching Lodge. The Seventh Fire Prophecy is an ancient teaching that helped predict what might happen to the Anishinabe People. The wisdom of this series of teachings and visions is presented and experienced as available and applicable to all human races, categorized as red, black, white, and yellow. Kinoo suggests that the time for all peoples of the Earth to work together in 'adopting more balanced, holistic world views, such as those of the Anishinabe People, in order to deal with the many social and environmental problems facing the modern world.' Indigenous peoples such as the Anisinabe possess a sort of holistic wiscom that encourages them to think with both minds and hearts. Children of all four races can contribute to the Seventh Fire enlightenment. Several practical projects and ideas are suggested for both the children of the Birch River Elementary School and the children from the visiting community school. Some of these include planting and growing gardens using traditional Anishinable wisdom about the Three Sisters (corn, beans, squash), practicing careful resource use, recycling, and learning to have an attitude of respect for others and gratitude for all things. If all the four races can learn to think and make choices in a new, enlightened way, the Seventh Fire keepers will light the Eighth and final Fire of Eternal Peace, Love, and Brotherhood and Sisterhood. Present technology influences without the wisdom of lasting good and human (and all beings) spirituality has led to an unbalanced and badly injured environment, planet, and society. Thus the time is ripe for the seeking of lasting wisdom such as that of the Seventh Fire Prophecy.

Children of the Fire is beautifully illustrated in color and contains brief summaries of Anishinabe history and a glossary of Anishinabe words and a listing of related resources, books, and web sites. There is also a beautiful pledge for the Children of the Seventh Fire:

'This is an agreement with myself that: I will do my best to follow the Seven Sacred Teachings which are Wisdome, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth. I will remember to treat others as I would like to be treated. When there's a conflict, I will listen to others and use reason, not physical violence. I will treat the natural environment with respect. I will treat all animals with respect. I will listen to my eldres, for they have wisdom to guide me. I will honor the gift of my life by keeping my body, mind, and spirit healthy. I pledge to make this world a better place to live, one thought and one act at a time.' (p. 36)

Children of the Fire is both a practical, powerful teaching tool and a wonderful gift to present and future generations, a bridge to a better future for all." -- Children's Bookwatch: March 2012 "The Native American Shelf"

"The time to empower our children with indigenous wisdom is now. Lisa Hart’s Children of the Seventh Fire provides an opportunity for parents, teachers, and all adults charged with the education of our children, to support natural life in defense of our planet. With the moving Foreword of Eddie Benton-Banai, the reader becomes immediately aware of the need for the traditional teachings of the Seventh Fire to go forth, and go forth they do through Hart's story and artist, Joe Liles', imagery. Children of the Seventh Fire describes and explains insightful glimpses of Anishinabe prophesies and reminds readers of America’s first seers and first environmentalists, American Indians. Without doubt, the assault on our environment is an assault on our children and the future of all children. Children of the Seventh Fire empowers the reader, indeed, regardless of age, with wisdom and positive opportunities to help restore the balance in our world and in our lives, finding ways to contribute to the health of the earth, and not participate in this present day technological insanity and greed that threatens all life as we know it. As one of the children in the story learns, 'We need to think with our minds … and our hearts.'" - Gabriel Horn (White Deer of Autumn), one of the original teachers in the American Indian Movement Survival Schools, acclaimed professor and award-winning author, (for children) The Great Change; (for adults) co-author of the novel, Transcendence.

"The Seven Fires teachings have a lot to say about our respectful relationship to the earth, setting a high standard for ecological awareness for people of all races and age groups. Although these orally transmitted teachings are known to almost all Anishinabe and related peoples of North America, Children of the Seventh Fire is the first book ever published which offers an introduction to these timely but ancient teachings to non-native school children ages 8 through 12. Using modern characters such as 'Kinoo' a native elder, Kayla, a public school student who is eager to learn, and her friend TJ, who is not so eager at first but who becomes so over time, this storybook offers students and teachers alike a clear and helpful path towards understanding this vast body of native wisdom. Ms. Hart has spent many years discussing this project with elders, fine-tuning its content, and sparing no effort to get the story right in a way that does not ignore the mistakes of the past, but which has a positive effect on children. Presented in simple terms, it is based on The Mishomis Book by Edward Benton-Banai, which has been in print for over 35 years and which has inspired thousands. Children of the Seventh Fire fills an immediate need in the lives of our children, the need to understand how to live more in harmony with a rapidly changing earth." - Evan Pritchard, author of No Word for Time, the Way of the Algonquin People, and Henry Hudson and the Algonquins of New York,  is Director of the Center for Algonquin Culture (Pine Hill, NY) and has taught at Marist, Pace and Vassar Colleges.  He has also worked as an advisor to his state Board of Education on Native American issues. 

"Children of the Seventh Fire is long overdue. It reflects ancient indigenous wisdom, needed today by everyone living in today’s industrialized society. The story tells of struggle, rediscovery of native culture and a vision of a healed and balanced world where people and the earth are again connected. We need more stories like this one, encouraging children to rediscover their true sprit through nature and create positive change both environmentally and socially. The sound of the eagle is a good sign and a well placed beginning to the story. The illustrations are outstanding and compliment this powerful story." - Scott Frazier, Director, Project Indigenous, Traditional Environmental Educator.