A Yellowknife musician releasing his first album this week, is pledging all proceeds generated in the first year be donated to the Residential Schools Survivors Society – a BC organization that provides counselling and cultural support services to residential school survivors and their families.
Gerad Haughian, stage name Jackson Crowe, expects 12 song album Jackson Crowe: Tombstones, to be available on iTunes and Apple Music by Friday and Amazon Music, Spotify and iHeartRadio by next week.
While Haughian is not Indigenous himself he said the cause is important in acknowledging privilege and “understanding that it stems from historic colonial injustices, many of which remain entrenched in Canada’s public and social institutions and actively disadvantage especially my Indigenous brothers and sisters.”
In light of recent discoveries of the unmarked graves at former residential schools across the country, Haughian said the shame and sadness he felt propelled him to take action and he encourages others to find “small projects like this one,” to contribute.
While Haughian is unsure about the streaming platforms commission rates, he said he plans to post photos of receipts to his Facebook page so the public can be assured of transparency between earnings and donations.
Haughian has done some recording before, but Tombstones is the artist’s first full length album. The process took three years, in part to write and select the songs, in part because Haughian plays each part of each track.
“I’m a multi-instrumentalist and singer, so every beat, note, and voice is me,” he said. “I had no collaborators, no studio, and no sound engineers.”
He describes his music as country-rock with influences from folk, blues, rock and old-style country.
Though he and his wife have only lived in Yellowknife for a little over a year, “it seems to be exceptionally inclusive, forward-thinking, and caring,” Haughian said.
With Tombstone’s release set to overlap with Canada Day, Haughian acknowledged the need to show support for “those who have, for over a century, fallen through the huge cracks in our systems.”
“Canada is a country worth celebrating, but not at the cost of others’ lives. We can all do better. We must do better if we truly want to be proud of this nation.”