Music

Neil Young Releases "Indian Givers" Song and Video in Protest of Dakota Access Pipeline

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Neil Young’s musical activist statements are famed—Paste made a list of his best political songs last month. Now, he’s unveiled another in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The song is called “Indian Givers,” after the (terrible) expression used to describe people who take back the gifts they’ve given. Young implies that oil interests are infringing on the sovereignty promised to Native American nations, and he holds us all responsible: “Our brothers and sisters have to take a stand / Against us now for what we all been doing.”

Throughout the song, Young repeats, “I wish somebody would share the news,” and he tries to do just that. He fills the accompanying video with footage and photos from protests, interspersed with shots of him in a car surveying a (presumably North Dakotan) landscape. Young references the Aug. 31 protest by Dale “Happy” American Horse Jr., the Sicangu Lakota man who chained himself to a backhoe to prevent pipeline construction.

On Friday, Young released a version of the song on his Facebook page that used the word “squaw,” but re-recorded that portion when a fan alerted him that its usage was problematic.

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“Thanks for bringing the word squaw to my attention,” Young replied, per the Indian Country Today Media Network. “I will change it as soon as I can get back into the studio. I mean no offense.”

Watch the “Indian Givers” video above.

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