Protest Song(s) Of The Week: Black Belt Eagle Scout
Black Belt Eagle Scout is the alias of Katherine Paul, an indigenous multi-instrumentalist and
singer-songwriter. Her third studio album, “The Land, the Water, the Sky,” will be released on
In a press statement, she declared “I created The Land, the Water, the Sky to record and reflect upon my journey back to my homelands and the challenges and the happiness it brought.”
Three singles from the album were released. “Don’t Give Up,” according to Paul, is a song about mental
health awareness and the importance that her connection to the land plays within her own mental
health journey. Spending time with the land and on the water strengthened her connection to her ancestors and her culture.
The lyrics ‘I don’t give up” mean staying alive. I wrote this song for me but also for my community and anyone who deals with challenging mental health issues to remind us just how much of a role our connection to the environment plays within our healing process,” she added.
The second single, “My Blood Runs Through This Land,” also connects to Paul’s ancestors.
“When I run my hands through the rocks at Snee Oosh Beach and dip my fingers into our waterways, I am reminded of where I come from,” Paul shared. “Paying attention to all of the sounds and the feelings I get when I am immersed in trails of cedar trees and canoeing out on the water deeply grounds me and strengthens my bond to my lineage of the Swinomish tribe.”
As Paul described, “I wanted the delicateness of these moments to meet the intense reality of the history of my people. I like to imagine my blood—all of my ancestors—running through our homelands freely and powerfully.”
The third single is “Nobody,” a poignant tune about the importance of representation.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t have very many Native role models to look to on TV or the radio,” Paul recalled. “It was within my own community that I found inspiring role models through our elders and our community leaders.”
“With Native representation in music and television slowly growing, I often ask myself where I stand within representation in music and how I want to be seen. This song is about the relationship I have with my own representation in music.”
The video for this single was directed by indigenous filmmaker Evan Benally Atwood. The visuals beautifully depict a day in the life of an Indigenous family, displaying the moments of kinship that they share with the land and each other.