The UNITY Fire
Nearly all our ceremonial ways are centered around the use of air, water, plant life, animal life, and the use of fire. For this reason, a member of the 1995 Executive Committee of the National UNITY Council by the name of SleepyEye LaFromboise (Seneca/Dakota) asked one of his grandfathers, Warren Skye (Seneca) pictured, how UNITY could utilize these elements during the national conference. At the time, “Grandpa Skye” explained that whenever the Nations of the Hodensaunee people meet to conduct business or have ceremonies they always utilize a fire with prayer. Since many Nations of Native youth come together during the National Conference to better themselves, the concept of the fire was presented.
During the National Conference the UNITY fire is strictly used for social and prayer purposes and has provided conference attendees an opportunity for support, healing and spiritual nourishment. As with all elements given to us, the fire belongs to everyone. Therefore, we ask that all conference participants who can to spend some time taking care of the fire. Also, while around the fire, we just ask that everyone be courteous, reverent, and respectful.
“A fire burns within us and has so since the beginning of time. We must continue to strengthen it and keep it bright for generations to come.” Warren Skye, Fire Keeper, Tonawanda Seneca Pine Tree Chief.