What is a FireKeeper?
Before modern comforts like central heating and electricity, fire was how we kept warm and illuminated the darkness. In cultures all around the world, both historic and present day, fire is seen as a sacred gift, and people who kept the fires lit held a special place in society, because they tended to the thing that kept the community safe and warm. Called fire keepers, flametenders, vestil virgins, and many other names, these people knew the privilege it was to tend the sacred flames.
We started FireKeepers because we saw the flames of our communities dying. We saw people trying to access health care knowing that the system they are asking for help is both actively and passively oppressing them. We saw ourselves and others stop reaching out, because all of those traumatic experiences added up, and eventually it looked like the medical system isn't meant for us. It's hard to take care of ourselves when we don't know who to ask for help. It's hard to ask for help when we feel like our fire is so dim, we think a whisper might extinguish it.
We are FireKeepers because we know how to keep the flames alive. We are FireKeepers because we understand the honour that it is to be asked to be with someone in those moments where they need help stoking the flame, or when the flames are so high they feel like they may burn up. We are FireKeepers because we want to use the knowledge and gifts we have, to keep the flame of our community burning bright.