Black Belt Eagle Scout is the moniker for Portland-based singer-songwriter Katherine Paul. On the Bandcamp page for her upcoming debut album, “Mother of My Children,” Paul describes herself as a “radical indigenous queer feminist.”
Concerning the album which is due out on September 14, 2018, Paul says the tunes are “about grief and love for people but also about being a native person in what is the United States today.”
Her experiences growing up in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community clearly influenced her music.
One of the songs on the upcoming album, which is deeply rooted in the Native American experience, is “Indians Never Die.” It was previously released in 2017.
The poignant tune addresses colonizers who disrespect the planet. Paul composed the song as a response to the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which adversely affected the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. However, the tune may apply to any project that violates sacred land and has a detrimental environmental impact.
“Our treaty rights weren’t being honored,” Paul declared. “Imagine hearing on the news that the government doesn’t support you as a human being and never has. 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 that we will forever protect in the present and the afterlife,” Paul added.
The haunting song asks the important question, “Do you ever notice what’s around you?”
Corporate greed causes humans to overlook the obvious long-term damage for short-term gains. Thankfully voices like Black Belt Eagle Scout are shedding a light on such poisonous colonial attitudes.