American Indian Programs and Organizations

About the Artwork

The Three Fires of MSU

Zoey Wood SalomonZoey Wood Salomon

The people of the fires are symbolized by our seven grandmother/grandfather teachings of love, respect, honesty, bravery, humility, truth, and wisdom. Three fires also remind us to maintain balance in our body, our mind, and our spirit.

We come from the East, the direction of our youth. The East gives us light, vision, and warmth as we begin our walk on the red road. We walk with our brothers, the fish, as they swim beside us, ever reminding us to be mindful of all that surrounds us from the smallest insect to the majestic eagle who carries our prayers to the creator. There are many lessons to be learned. We come slow and cautious as the caterpillar, eating every blade of grass and leaf that is given to us. Sometimes it is hard and so we lean on our brothers as we have been taught by the fish as they carry us forward against the currents of life.

Click on this image to see the entire painting in a larger version.Click on the image to see the entire painting in a larger version.

The three fires fill our thoughts with the good things and light up our minds as the stars light up the night. Together we find the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, the Pointers, and Polaris. We talk about the big bear and the little bear. We know we will never get lost so long as we have the stars of night.

Soon the time comes for us to leave. We will take all the knowledge and carry it with us. We will leave as beautiful and agile as the butterfly, as swift and determined as our brothers, the fish, to reach and surpass our goals. We will have the strength and courage of the eagle as we fly over the mountains in our life and to cross continents where the red road takes us.

–Zoey Wood-Salomon

About the Artist

My poetry is an important part of my greater art. I also paint in the traditional Woodland style of my Odawa heritage. As a self-taught artist with no formal training, I learn by observing and listening. My creator helped me to get in touch with who I am and where I come from. When I paint and write, it is the time that I feel closest to my creator. So for me to survive spiritually in a good way, I will paint and write. It is through this that healing happens.

Zoey Wood-Salomon
(705) 759-4897

Pyensag Enji-nokilyaad
(Little People Studio)
22 Wilks Street
Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
P6C 2M7

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