Portland based Swinomish artist Katherine Paul aka Black Belt Eagle Scout, today releases her powerful debut album Mother Of My Children. Thus far she has shared three singles, ‘Soft Stud’, ‘Never Lie Down’ with the latest being the ever-knowing delicately defiant glow of ‘Indians Never Die’. It’s partly the celebration of the resistance and survival of a people against overwhelming odds of being pitted against a greedy voracious colonial enemy with a narrow human centred worldview. It’s also a salient reminder that learning from the deep connection and respect Indigenous people have with and for the land and their ways of knowing are the keys to the future health of the planet.
It was written in the wake of the #NODAPL protests by the Standing Rock representatives of the Sioux nation with support on the ground from over 300 Indigenous American nations and their supporters at the three Sacred Stone Camps protesting the threat to water resources the now operating pipeline posed and still poses. Their protest was the subject of and put down by intrusive and vicious corporate driven and state sanctioned surveillance and violence by Dakota Access LLC, state and federal authorities and private security thugs TigerSwan. Of the relationship between that and ‘Indians Never Die’, Paul says;
“Our treaty rights weren’t being honored. Imagine hearing on the news that the government doesn’t support you as a human being and never has. ‘Indians Never Die’ is a call out to colonizers and those who don’t respect the Earth; they don’t care about the water, they don’t care about how they are destroying what is around them. Indigenous people are the protectors of this land. Indians never die because this is our land and we will forever protect it in the present and the afterlife.”
‘Indians Never Die’ comes complete with video filmed on the lands of the Chinook, Chinnuk Wawa and Tillamook Nations and directed by queer Diné (Navajo) Evan James Atwood. The album itself was played in its instrumental entirety by Paul and was written around a time of intense personal loss for the queer musician. In her own words it is about both “grief and love for people, but also about being a native person in what is the United States today.” Mother Of My Children is out today 14/9 on Saddle Creek. Get it here. Listen and watch the new single below.
Tracklist – Mother Of My Children
1. Soft Stud
2. Indians Never Die
4. Mother Of My Children
6. I Don’t Have You In My Life
7. Just Lie Down
8. Sam, A Dream
Indians Never Die
Black Belt Eagle Scout (USA)
From the album, ‘Mother Of My Children’, Saddle Creek.