Seventh Fire was an eclectic rock band formed in Ottawa in 1989. Their name comes from the Seven Fires Prophecy that has been passed down among the Algonquin people for centuries. The prophecy warns humanity of its choice to either take part in Earth’s healing, or be swallowed whole as the Earth heals itself.
Principal founder Allen Deleary of the Anishinabek Nation fused powwow with other genres such as rap, reggae, and performance art to create highly original music that was ahead of its time. His lyrics were often satirical, and as a former federal employee in the Department of Indian Affairs, his music contained searing insight into the historical and political realities of Indigenous people.
Seventh Fire’s platform grew in the ‘90s thanks to interest from campus radio, appearances on CBC National News and MTV Japan, and their many North American tours. The band recognized early on that their music was a vehicle to amplify their message, and their subject matter was usually juxtaposed with upbeat, danceable music which brought about unity at their live shows.
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Speak Up! is curated by David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation, MB), Indigenous programming consultant.