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The Indigenous Peoples’ Program Presents The Sacred Fire & Ceremony Site

July 11, 2023

Chicago is the traditional homelands of Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Odawak (Odawa), and Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi).

At the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Sacred Fire and ceremony site is an integral part of the Indigenous Peoples’ Program led by the Indigenous Task Force. You are most welcome to join with Indigenous spiritual leaders for the Sacred Fire lighting ceremony on Monday morning, August 14th. You are also invited to make ceremonial offerings at the Sacred Fire throughout the five days and four nights of the Parliament convening.

The Sacred Fire is an essential aspect and focal point of Indigenous peoples when gathering to discuss important or sacred matters. The Sacred Fire location is also where traditional Indigenous spiritual ceremonies can be conducted during the gathering for participants to be guided in a good way. The Sacred Fire is an opportunity for individual and collective fire offerings for blessings and prayers. Fire represents the warmth and light of the creator and the fire’s transformative nature teaches us that change is possible and is the constant in nature. The Sacred Fire is lit to start the gathering and continues to burn for the duration and is protected, nurtured, and continually attended to by Fire Keepers until it’s allowed to naturally burn out on the last day of the gathering.

Participants at the 2023 Parliament Convening can find the Sacred Fire on the East Terrace of Level 3 at the Lakeside Center.