Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Indigenous metal band riffs on issues affecting Native people

 ByKanesia McGlashan-Price, KUCB - Unalaska

Three men pose outside.
With the music scene rising again after it was nearly extinguished by the COVID-19 pandemic, M.I.S. looks forward to performing together more and playing their debut album, “Kill the Man/Save the Indian.” (Jacob Stepetin)

Jacob Tix̂lax̂ Stepetin remembers growing up in his aunties’ and uncles’ homes, listening to Metallica.

“Aang, Tix̂lax̂ asax̂takuq. Unangax̂ akuq. Akutanam ilan angix̂takuq,” Stepetin introduces himself in Unangam Tunuu. “My name is Jacob, or Tix̂lax̂, my Unangax̂ name. I’m from Akutan, which is a village in the Aleutians on Akutan Island. That’s where I grew up most of my childhood. So that’s home for me.”

Stepetin said heavy metal was popular when he was growing up in the Unangam village of about 100 people

“As a kid, that was just one of the types of music that I was surrounded by, and I latched on to that,” he said. “I would spend a lot of time at my cousin’s house and my older cousins were all into metal, they all played Metallica, they all played instruments.”

Stepetin started his music journey at the age of 12 and has been dialing in his metal riffs ever since. In 2014, he began playing music with his college roommate, another Indigenous metalhead.

Together, they founded the Indigenous heavy metal group Merciless Indian Savages. Stepetin plays lead guitar. The band’s music addresses a lot of heavy topics, some that come from their own experiences. They have song titles like “Pseudo Savior,” “Manifest Death” and “Kill the Man/Save the Indian.”

The song titles grab your attention, but Stepetin said the point is to create an opportunity to talk about Indigenous issues.

“I think our lyrical content focuses a lot on things that make us angry about the Indigenous experience,” Stepetin said. “I feel like you could also write a lot of really positive music. But that’s the nature of the genre. You know, we’re metalheads, we’re passionate about metal. And so the nature of the genre isn’t really positive.”

Listen to this story:

Each song that the band writes highlights an aspect of the Indigenous experience. But more specifically, Stepetin said, they want to call attention to “the histories and systems that perpetuate colonization.”

“In the Declaration of Independence, it calls the Indigenous people of the land, ‘Merciless Indian Savages,’” said Stepetin.

He said that racist language in the Declaration was included in a list of wrongdoings the king of England had committed against the United States.

“And one of those bad things [it says] is, ‘He has brought on the merciless Indian savages,’ and then says something about how they only know about war and death, or killing or something like that,” Stepetin said. “So it’s pretty brutal. And it’s obviously extremely racist, which is not a surprise for something that was written in the 1700s.”

The statement in the Declaration of Independence that Stepetin is referring to is this:

“He has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

According to Stepetin, their band name is an educational opportunity to bring awareness to issues impacting Indigenous people of North America.

“I don’t think we’re trying to embrace this name as if it’s a valid description for who we are. It’s like an intentional misnomer,” he said.

After graduating college in 2019, Stepetin and his fellow band members relocated to Tempe, Ariz., the ancestral homelands of the Akimel O’odam people. With the music scene rising again after it was nearly extinguished by the COVID-19 pandemic, M.I.S. looks forward to performing together more and playing their debut album, “Kill the Man/Save the Indian.”

M.I.S. band members include Corey Ashley (Diné) on vocals/rhythm guitar, Jacob Stepetin (Unangax̂) on lead guitar, Ruben Dawahoya III (Hopi/O’odham/Yaqui) on bass, and Joseph Manuel Jr. (Hopi/Akimel O’odham) on drums.

M.I.S. played their second show earlier this month at the Navajo Nation Metal Fest in Gallup, N.M. You can listen to M.I.S. on all major streaming platforms or find more information on their website at


Thanks to Anecia for this story!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

Google Followers