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Vincent Schilling
Indian Country Today

Minneapolis singer, songwriter and Native ally David Huckfelt — who has had a longtime working relationship with Indian Country icon Keith Secola — has just released a video for his latest song, “Book of Life,” which was written by Secola.

Huckfelt says he has dedicated the song to the Indigenous community, which has long fought for its rights.

“I wanted to dedicate the video to all of the Indigenous resistors, water and land protectors across Turtle Island because of the fierce resiliency it takes to keep standing up for the land and the people in the face of so much greed and destruction.”

Secola, the well-known Ojibwe singer lauded for such classics as “Indian Car,” “Homeland,” and “Dodging Bullets,” has been friends with Huckfelt for years. According to Huckfelt, they have collaborated on recordings and performed at Native celebrations and gatherings, tribal government centers, on the islands in Lake Superior, and much more.

"Keith Secola is like a brother to me. We've played shows from the powwows in the Northwoods of Minnesota to the dusty bars on the Arizona border. 'Book of Life' is a miracle of a song, filled with layers of difficulty and a darkness that is blasted by the light.”

“Book of Life” is one of the songs that will be part of the “Room Enough, Time Enough” release.

On the album, Huckfelt pays tribute to Lakota singer Buddy Red Bow, Patty Smith, Secola and longtime Native artist Milton “Quiltman” Sahme.

"There are some great folks in this video," Huckfelt said. "I hope the song helps soothe people's spirits in this challenging time, like a course correction for the heart.”

Huckfelt recognized Quiltman as an artist who sang with John Trudell for years and has worked with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne. He said he deserved to be honored on the album. Huckfelt also previously collaborated with Trudell on his song and video "Time Dreams” which was the last recording Trudell ever made.

(See related: 8 Great Native Music Videos of 2016)

Courtesy Peter Lee / John Trudell and Quiltman with The Pines, David Huckfelt, Benson Ramsey & Alex Ramsey, at Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, Nov. 29, 2014.

He also collaborated with Quiltman, who Huckfelt says he feels profound respect toward. “Quiltman is one of the mightiest singers in all the land, and his vocals on the song give me goosebumps,” he said.

The video features many Indigenous resistors and protectors, including Tara Houska, Winona LaDuke and Lorna Many Horses, and locations such as Standing Rock and Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Book of Life

The video was made by Suez Taylor, who also directed and produced "LN3 Seven Teachings of the Anishinaabe in Resistance." 

David Huckfelt on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is associate editor at Indian Country Today. He enjoys creating media, technology, computers, comics, and movies. He is a film critic and writes the #NativeNerd column. Twitter @VinceSchilling. TikTok @VinceSchilling. Email:

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