At one time all races of mankind had their own individual Fires and with the passage of time many of them let their Fires go. We as Indian people have done our best to keep our Fires. We as Potawatomi / Bodewadmi people are known as keepers of the Fire or people of the place of the Fire. All Tribes were given responsibilities and the first and most important one was to be garden tenders taking care of the Earth. Our second responsibility as Potawatomie’s was to the people and that was to keep the Fire burning for them. The manner in which the Fire is started is what constitutes a Sacred Fire and because of what it represents. To us it Represent the light of Creation. We were always taught to walk around the fire clockwise. That means when you approach a fire always go to your left and circle right. Be careful always to keep the wind at your back you do not want embers to blow back in your face. We were also told to bow down on one knee as we make our offering of tobacco as a sign of humility and respect to the powers that be. Since we were taught that most fires are sacred we do not put any paper, cigarette butts or anything other than tobacco in the fire. Periodically we will offer food and water to the fire this process is called feeding the fire. When feeding the fire take care and only offer a small amount of food each time until all food if offered. We were told to feed the fire the same way you would feed your baby. This kind of goes back to when we talked about tobacco earlier offer only small amounts for each offering. We never speak unkind or bad words around the fire we never turn our back on the fire and we never put a fire out, we allow it to burn out on its own. Quite typically it’s usually a man that tends to the fire but occasionally a woman has tended to the fire as well. Each place you visit will have individual teachings on the fire so pay attention to the location.