[Cover photo credit to Barry Schneier]
Cape Cod-based Indigenous Folk singer-songwriter Kim Moberg’s latest project, The Seven Fires Prophecy: Suite for Humanity, out August 11th, 2023, pays homage to an Anishinaabe legend. The tale refers to phases in the life of people on Turtle Island, the original name given to the North American continent.
The seven fires represent spiritual teachings and particular periods of time, and suggest that human beings can and should come together on a basis of respect; it says we are currently in the time of The Seventh Fire, when we as a collective species of human beings have a critical choice to make.
For the nine-song suite, Moberg teamed up with Grammy-nominated producer Jon Evans (Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan). The track “The Fifth Fire – The Promise” is out now.
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.
The release follows the first single, “The Seventh Fire – The Crossroad,” which was the “catalyst” for the project.
It is said we are currently in the time of The Seventh Fire and the prophecy teaches us that during this time it is critically important for human beings to choose to come together as one, to care for and respect each other and our Earth in order to survive. I believe we can do this and to me, the ‘fire’ in this song refers to hope. ‘And the fire still burns’ means that hope lives.
Moberg is an Indigenous artist, born in Juneau, Alaska, the daughter of a mother of Alaskan Native Tlingit descent and a US Coast Guard veteran father from Kansas.
I’m an Indigenous artist who is trying to learn more about and shed light on my own cultural heritage and that of other Indigenous nations in the area where I live. I want to use my music to help let non-Indigenous folks know that Indigenous people are still here. We are an integrated and valuable yet extremely marginalized part of today’s society and we are very proud of our culture and our heritage.
The Seven Fires Prophecy is Kim’s third release, following 2020’s Up Around the Bend, and 2017’s Above Ground, both also recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Jon Evans.