Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Kim Moberg - "The Fifth Fire - The Promise"

Photo by Barry Schneier

Kim Moberg is a Cape Cod based Indigenous folk singer. Her upcoming album refers to the phases in the life of people on Turtle Island, the original name of North America, in Anishinaabe legend. The latest single, "The Fifth Fire - The Promise," is about the time of Indigenous children being sent to boarding schools. It's a traditional folk song that does have some modern elements. It never quite makes it all the way into folk pop, but it comes close at times. Plus, Moberg's vocals have this intensity that is endlessly compelling. As she sings, you're almost commanded to listen.

Kim Moberg explains her new song:

“It has been said that the fifth fire was the time of the Indian 'boarding schools' when Indigenous children were taken from their families by missionaries to be assimilated into the Christian white world with the goal of erasing their culture, not permitted to speak their native language, wear traditional clothing or practice any religious or celebratory ceremonies.

“My maternal grandmother grew up living fully in the traditional Tlingit ways in Alaska, yet in one generation—my mother's generation—the entire culture was nearly lost to colonization. My mother narrowly missed being sent to the boarding schools and remembered having her mouth taped shut as a very young child if she spoke Tlingit in school.”

You can listen to "The Fifth Fire - The Promise" below. The Seven Fires Prophecy: Suite for Humanity is due out August 11. For more on Kim Moberg, check out the artist's website.

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