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Fire & Water – Our Responsibilities

Dec 19 2012
Indigenous knowledge and our traditional way of life instruct us to be kind to each another and to have healthy, loving relationships. The wisdom and teachings must first be learned on a personal level before they can spread out to make a difference within the larger community.

The Anishinaabe, or Ojibwe people, were given teachings from the Creator. Responsibilities were given to make sure that the people would live in harmony with one another and the natural world and that families and communities would continue to grow and be healthy.

Fire and Water: Original Teachings & Today’s Duties by Nancy Cooper focuses on two of the main responsibilities that were given to men and women – fire and water. Learn about how the men and women are to take care of the fire and water and how today men and women are still being responsible for these teachings through their activism.

Men were given the responsibility of keeping the fires lit in the communities. Men are also the fire keepers in the sweat lodge and other ceremonies. This is a very sacred responsibility because the fire protects and helps us. Without the fire keepers watching out for the people in ceremony, the circle would not be complete. Fire sustains life by bringing warmth and purifies the spirit.

In traditional Anishinaabe communities, women were given the responsibility of taking care of the water. Water is a medicine that helps to keep us all alive. We all need water to survive. Without water, all of creation could not exist. The Anishinaabe believe that water is the blood of Mother Earth. People depend on water for drinking, for medicines that grow in the water, for travel, and for a lot of the food that we eat. Water is a sacred gift from the Creator.

Learn about two of the responsibilities that were given to men and women – fire and water. This book will provide examples of how men and women today are still being responsible for these teachings through their activism and taking care of fire and water.



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