Hip-Hop and Reconciliation with Crook The Kid
Rapper Crook The Kid, also known as Dylan Jones talks with Merrell-Ann and Michael about his music, music in general, and how it connects to reconciliation. He talks about growing up, writing down lyrics as a teenager, and how he knew this is the career he wanted. and shares lyrics relevant to reconciliation.
Merrell-Ann Phare (00:05): This is Porcupine. I’m Merrell-Ann Phare.
Michael Miltenberger (00:07): And I’m Michael Miltenberger and we’re the hosts of the Porcupine Podcast.
Merrell-Ann Phare (00:10): Okay. So there’s this old joke that goes how do two porcupines hug?
Michael Miltenberger (00:14): Carefully.
Merrell-Ann Phare (00:14): And such is the story of reconciliation, at least so far. In this podcast series, we’re exploring reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. We’re looking at its funny, educational, touching, and difficult aspects, and also its prickly parts.
Michael Miltenberger (00:38): We’re here with Dylan Jones, also known as Crook the Kid, a young man from Fort Good Hope who has a couple of careers on the go. He is from, been in, grew up in Fort Good Hope. And he’s now moved on to some very interesting career choices from a very interesting start where he quit school in Grade 10. And here he is today to talk to us about what he’s doing and some of the very interesting things he’s into.
Dylan Jones (01:10): Hello, thank you so much for having me.
Merrell-Ann Phare (01:13): It’s so great for you to be here. It’s awesome.
Dylan Jones (01:16): And to be able to call each other from such a far distance away over this cool little program.
Merrell-Ann Phare (01:23): Yeah. Because I’m on the, I’m here from Winnipeg and Michael, you are in?
Michael Miltenberger (01:28): Inuvik.
Merrell-Ann Phare (01:28): And Dylan, where are you?
Dylan Jones (01:30): I’m in Ford Smith right now.
Michael Miltenberger (01:33): All right. Maybe you can just tell us a bit about yourself and the careers you’re in right now and how you got into these two particular, very unique and interesting, but I think related, careers
Dylan Jones (01:47): Might be a bit of a long story. So I grew up in Fort Good Hope or Radilih Koe or Place of the Rapids. That’s where I spent the formative years of my life. I suppose, like anybody that grows up in a small isolated community, you wonder what the rest of the world’s like. So at about seventeen is the first time I left home and went out to try and get a job in the South and did labor and construction. And these kind of, these kind of meaningless things where you work hard all day for very, very few dollars in the end and wonder whether or not you’ll have work again the next day, you know, the regular story. And so I guess it’s the music thing began at growing up in Good Hope as a young, as a young guy. I think we all sort of attached to music or rap music specifically just cause, it’s spoke to us as young people, not the not the crazy part or the, the gang stuff or the criminality side of it, but the side of sort of living a rougher kind of life where you had to make, do with what you had, and there was a survival aspect to it and these things. So myself living that kind of life, I I used writing, I guess, as a way to express my own feelings and put it on the paper, instead of having it stuck in my head every day and sort of having dark thoughts and thinking of, you know, the things that come to mind when you’re living in an isolated community. So I began putting it to paper and sort of went, went from there.
Merrell-Ann Phare (03:24): How old were you when you first started putting down your thoughts to paper?
Dylan Jones (03:29): I’d probably say about probably about 13 years old, 12, 13 years old. There was a, there was a funding, some kind of funding thing came through town. And this man named Kenny Shae was who was always our our musician, our resident musician, or the guy to go to for dances and whatnot. So he ended up getting this grant and getting this thing where they brought acoustic guitars in to town at the Aurora College. And if you paid this little fee, he would teach you some chords and teach you a little bit about music and whatnot. And so, so I joined it and found that these words, I was just writing just to get the words out of my head, I could turn them into music. I continued playing with Kenny Shae, and continued teaching me a lot of a lot of things about music. As I, as I began, he was the one who told me to push your voice out when you’re singing and how to not be afraid and how to stop thinking what people watching me.
Merrell-Ann Phare (04:28): So did you think, did you think about, did you think about the words you were doing then as songs, or was it just a way for you to get your, your ideas on paper?
Dylan Jones (04:38): It wasn’t so much ideas. It was, uh, I suppose that at that time in Good Hope we were the community was going through a lot of hardship, when we were young. I say, we I’m speaking with me, and the group I, I guess we call each other brothers that we grew up with. But Fort Good Hope has seen as one of its harder times. And we all had our fair share of that, that hardness and trauma and losing family and losing friends and suicide or whatever. So it wasn’t more ideas. It was the things I was keeping my head, I guess, that were, that were too much that if I just didn’t say anything, I would, they would eat me. Who knows what would happen then. So it was getting those words out, not not, not ideas. Yeah.
Merrell-Ann Phare (05:27): Oh.
Dylan Jones (05:27): Yeah.
Merrell-Ann Phare (05:28): And so were they, were your feelings in your mind, and then I guess the, the things you were going through, did, did you like hear it as, as music when you were putting it down? Or how did it cause you’re, Michael didn’t mention when he introduced you that you’re a hip hop artist and that’s what Crook the Kid is, that’s your hip hop name? And so did, did that, was that what inspired you from the beginning? Was it that kind of music? Did you conceive of your words that way? Or did it grow into that?
Dylan Jones (05:59): I would be lying if I said I knew exactly what happened and when, but I listened to a lot of rap music and I guess that’s sort of the, sort of what I related to and what I knew, and the words just happened, happened to fit. There was no plan. There was no teaching, there’s no music classes. There’s no outside of what Kenny had done. There was no, there’s no exposure to music, especially no, no rap music or anything like that. So I, I can’t say I knew what I was doing. I would be lying if I said that. But the words came out and I looked around and my wife showed me how to find instrumentals and things online. And I, we, me and my wife have known each other, our whole lives. I’ll say that. So she, she goaded me on and I guess if you do enough looking around and research, you can find yourself a little instrumental. And it just, one thing led to another. And I was holding a song of myself and of a story of something I lived through. And I felt related to my friends and family. So I decided to show people and the reaction was more than, I guess I could have ever even imagined.
Merrell-Ann Phare (07:22): Can you explain your, your heritage, your background?
Dylan Jones (07:28): My heritage, my background, my mother comes from Miꞌgmaq and East-Coasters and whalers and that story and my father is, my father is a rolling stone. We’ll say. One day he might tell me his story or his history, but until then I am happy with what we have. My my wife is everywhere, I guess, Churchill, Manitoba on our, while we were on our way to Baker Lake, we were, my parents were on their way to Baker Lake. And then I only spent one day there because then we were going from Churchill to Ranken. And, and then I guess at the time, if you’re in Ranken and there was no if you’re having a baby, you had to get sent to Churchill and then right back. So then we went to Ranken and then from Ranken to Baker Lake. And then I was very, very young, just this little, little, little kid, and then from Baker Lake to Good Hope. Those are the places I have known
Michael Miltenberger (08:36): Dylan, as you as you grew into this and you reconciled lots of very difficult experiences, from what I gather, listening to some of the some of the interviews with you at some point, your, you mentioned that your wife convinced you to do your GED and getting, let’s get an educate, get, get an education, then move, move forward, take your music with you and…
Dylan Jones (09:05): She didn’t do it so much “Like let’s move forward, like you’re stopping us from moving forward.” It wasn’t like that. It was like uh, she saw that I was capable of more, I guess, than I saw myself capable of. And I’m not, I’m not perfect. I haven’t overcome everything that I feel negatively about by any means, but I’m lucky to have a support system that believes in me sometimes more so than I guess I believe in myself, but she seen it something, I guess in me wanting, wanting more. And she saw that I could be capable of it. And I knew it’s what I wanted, but I didn’t believe it could just happen that you could come from nothing. You could be a dropout and you could just put in the right applications and do the right paperwork and sign the right dots and do enough research and backtracking and finding grades and finding this. Eventually she was holding an acceptance letter for me to school. And, you know, it was, it was crazy. But I, I, I, I believe whole-heartedly in my support system. It’s not, it’s not just me doing these things.
Merrell-Ann Phare (10:19): I’m not a expert by any stretch of the imagination in hip hop. I had to look up on Wikipedia, the difference between rap and hip hop. So just so you know, I’ve got to, but I learned that. So it shows it’s never too late to learn those things. But I mean, I just loved the songs that I was able to see of yours that were on online on YouTube. And, and I, I, I just was amazed at, at, I thought there’s, there’s no recording studio that I in Fort Smith or, and so I was just, I was amazed, how did you, how do you actually make your music? Like, what do you actually do to, and so you’ve explained a little bit, I guess you found things online and et cetera, right?
Dylan Jones (11:07): It’s difficult. So I guess like, like most things that are done in the North, we kind of have to rig them up our own way and try and figure out a way around having access to technology or studios or anything like that. So the majority of my music is actually recorded on, I guess, you know I can say it, you know, just a laptop that crashes every 15 minutes and a hundred dollar mic from Canadian Tire kind of thing. Like it’s a, and then a buddy who’s sat there long enough to figure out how the buttons work. And then if you, you know, if you sit there and you push enough buttons for a long enough time, you end up with something half decent in the end, but we, we, we come from nowhere with nothing in regards to how the music is produced. Yeah. We just take the opportunities.
Merrell-Ann Phare (12:05): That story will be so inspirational for so many kids, you know, that you can actually do the quality of music that you can do with just, it sounds like, mostly just determination.
Dylan Jones (12:15): Well, I really believe in it, I believe. And I feel like people, if they listen to it, they’re not listening for fancy production values or what effect I used on my voice or anything. I feel like, well, I hope that they’re listening to the story. And then if you can put enough for yourself and your emotion and your truth, I guess, into your story, then people will listen to it. Whether or not it’s recorded in a million dollar studio or underneath a blanket in a basement.
Michael Miltenberger (12:49): Dylan, can I ask you, I’m curious about your, your writing, started when you were 13 and now you’re in your mid-twenties or their abouts. And sounds like you started with lots of things in your mind that you wanted to just put down. How would you, how would you describe that creative journey and where you are now with your thinking and writing, and when you look back and some of the things that were really on your mind when you were 13 and know that you’re a dad with children and you’re into a career, and you’ve been doing this, how is that, how are things now in terms of the, that creative flow?
Dylan Jones (13:29): Even though things have changed quite drastically in what I might have access to, I’ve still only lived the same life and the stories remain the same. I believe I I try to speak to issues that were, that are real and that are broad and don’t necessarily change until something big happens. So I, the inspiration comes from the same place. The writing process is still just as random as it ever was. There’s there’s no, there’s no big plan. There’s no big plan. I believe in what we’re saying. I believe that the youth of Fort Good Hope and the people of Fort Good Hope, deserve more recognition and deserve access to better life than the one in which they have access to now with no control over. And thinking about that is, is enough.
Michael Miltenberger (14:25): Where does the land figure in this? I know the land in the North to the people is one of the most important things.
Dylan Jones (14:33): If you live in an isolated community or farther North, whether it’s Nunavut or Northwest Territories or Russia, or anywhere in the world, if you live in the Arctic in isolation, then you have a certain dependency on the land and you hold a certain value with it. So the land is, the land is life. Whether it’s providing you supper or shelter, or to step away from the problems in society, the community, the land I guess it comes in at every stage for a Northerner. Yeah. It’s one in the same.
Michael Miltenberger (15:06): Has that made it into your writing as well as you try to all the things you think about and things you’re looking at in your other career now?
Dylan Jones (15:13): Yes. Yes. I’m thinking about the land more so in the ENR career, actually that’s the whole, the basis of it. But as far as coming into the music, the people I speak for in Fort Good Hope, and in the Sahtu, and isolated communities. It’s not us, that’s harming the land. So if I speak to something that I hope is heard in the communities amongst the youth and stuff, I have no worries of them harming the land. So I, I, I speak about socioeconomic issues as much as I can. I speak about what we see socially outside of our front door, cause the, the respect for the land is innate and it’s, it’s there regardless of social calamities. So I try to speak only to social issues.
Merrell-Ann Phare (16:01): Dylan, could you give us an example? Could you, could you talk to us about, say one of your, your songs that you find particularly related to what you just said?
Dylan Jones (16:12): Locals Only. Yeah. Locals Only is, uh when I perform that song, I, I picture myself standing on the dirt roads of Fort Good Hope, It’s up, to what propensity would you like me to explain it? Do you like to relate it specifically to a song or a certain lyric within it or?
Merrell-Ann Phare (16:36): Yeah, just, I was just hoping you could just give us an example for, for people that might not have heard that song. Like how, how you see that as being…
Dylan Jones (16:47): Okay, I could just acapella a few lines from the beginning of the song, if you like? Where I’m from, your home is a horizon. The streets are paved with stone, riddled with violence. Where I’m from your life is what you make it. And you can have what you want long as you take it. Social status isn’t something that’s measured in diamonds. Your will to surviving, overcome with a smileys. See, it’s hard to talk about it sometimes I can be honest and these eyes can barely close anymore, staring in silence. Man, I can’t help but question life and how cheap this all is when I’ve seen so many friends trade their’s for literally nothing. I’ve been flirting with the devil so long, her arms are open. The bottles pop, the kettle’s on, and his spoon is cooking. See, now my body tells a story, in tattoos and scars of how far I’m willing to go to reach up and touch these stars. In the face of addiction we are all brothers and sisters only some are for the bed or another’s no longer with us, but together we can weather the storm or be it endless, we can watch it pass together through the window of my housing unit. And I know you’ve been down a long time, and probably used to it. And I know suicide can’t be easy because I tried to do it. But I’ve been blessed with some people in my life that can help me through it. And now I’m better, it’s time to move on to something bigger. Believe me when I say that the dark days don’t last forever. The shadows fade, the storms clear and the days get better. See everybody’s got a limit, it doesn’t matter how hard you push them and trying to be someone who don’t need nobody just isn’t working. They’ve been knocking at this door forever, expecting it to open. But the rain, nobody left inside and ain’t nobody coming. See, I use what I had to work with and never said it was perfect. Now every time I talk to God, I asked her to spare no mercy. Yeah.
Merrell-Ann Phare (18:42): Wow. Holy smokes. Dylan, that’s just amazing. That’s just beautiful. Thank you so much for that.
Dylan Jones (18:51): Thank you.
Merrell-Ann Phare (18:51): Those are very powerful words. Very powerful. You have a beautiful voice, by the way.
Dylan Jones (18:59): Thank you.
Michael Miltenberger (19:02): When we initially chatted with you, Dylan, we were, I was talking to you at the college there, the first time I met you, we chatted a bit about reconciliation. And sometimes people see it just as something that has to happen between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people. But it’s a word, it’s a very human word. And it’s reconciliation happens personally, between people, not just between different races or different classes of people. So your songs, how do you, how do you see that link? Cause it sounds, your own personal reconciliation with the darkness and getting through it and going to the light and the chances and things you need to survive to be who you are. What, what, how would you make it any link to reconciliation in that?
Dylan Jones (19:56): Growing up in a community where my family, I suppose, it was new and different and diverse reconciliation is not, is not trying to appease one party by giving them what you think they want. I feel that reconciliation is the ability to stop talking when another group is and allow them to speak their voice and live their truth, regardless of how it may affect your emotion. And reconciliation is the ability to not just watch someone else succeed, but find happiness in their success without having to gain something from the process. And until you can find pride or find happiness in else’s success, I don’t believe you’ve truly reconciled, but who am I? Yeah.
Merrell-Ann Phare (20:57): I have never heard a definition of reconciliation that way. I’ve never heard anybody say that. And we’ve talked to a lot of different people to, to take happiness in someone else’s success. Do you think that that’s, do you see that kind of reconciliation out anywhere in Canada yet? Have you seen it happen?
Dylan Jones (21:18): I see it happening amongst Indigenous groups, amongst themselves. Whereas now more, more leaders are coming to the same table to discuss matters that reach far into other regions instead of secluding themselves, or instead of allowing IBAs or government organizations to split, split different tribes, into their different people, into different groups, just on the basis of a different prize in the end. I see, I see people picking every, picking each other up more and more so now, even Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together fighting for the same, the same things like, they will bring Wet’suwet’en, for as an example, I suppose, but there’s support coming from all over the world and every, every country and all these different types of people Don’t get me wrong, there’s there’s much, much, much negativity and people who disagree with it, but there is, there’s all different races and nationalities standing for the benefit of one people and what they believe is right in the world and their spot in it, however, small or large it may be. So in that sense, I can see it in, um, in things like school, where they’re bringing in Indigenous law and governance programs, or they’re bringing in teachers who are trained to work with children specifically in isolated communities and understand the traumas and things that you go through growing up in an isolated community. You see it there. I suppose you see it in the media, but it’s hard to tell if it’s just trying to make money or if it’s actually true you see it amongst your friends and your family and, you know, it’s it’s there, it’s there. Maybe it’s not a big idea yet, but if you look hard enough, you could see it.
Michael Miltenberger (23:20): So speaking of family, any of your children, musicians, and have the same kind of innate ability that you do that are, want to be with you?
Dylan Jones (23:30): It seems like they’re all going to be better than me. They’ve got a big Jackson Five thing going on now and they’re trying to get on my stage and stuff too, and trying to sign my songs instead of me now. So, we’ll see. Yeah,
Michael Miltenberger (23:50): That’s gotta make you pretty proud.
Dylan Jones (23:53): It does, it does, it does. It makes me think that it’s worth it, I guess.
Merrell-Ann Phare (23:59): So what are you hoping to do with your hip hop? What are you hoping to do with your music? What do you?
Dylan Jones (24:04): I don’t know.
Merrell-Ann Phare (24:04): Do you have plans or are you just, do you have a new song in your mind somewhere, or maybe in your heart?
Dylan Jones (24:13): We’re going to keep it growing? And keep talking about the same things until the day I feel it’s, what I speak about has completely changed. I feel as though it’s worth to continue, it’s worth it to continue the same messages I go with now. That there is a, there is a hardship and a hardness and a survival required to live in isolated communities, but there’s still a happiness and a comradery and a sense of community that comes alongside with that survival. And as far as where the music goes, I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t have any concept of big money or some car or some, some things. So wherever it goes, it goes in the end. I’m happy it helps people along the way, but it is what it is.
Merrell-Ann Phare (25:02): What’s the world you’re trying to create with your music,
Dylan Jones (25:05): The world I’m trying to create?
Merrell-Ann Phare (25:07): Yeah. Like what’s the world you hope when you, when you, cause you, you said a moment ago, I am interested, I’ll keep writing music until I feel like I’ve gotten, or I see what the world is, I guess that I’m..
Dylan Jones (25:23): None of my friends who are now fathers and mothers of their own families. I suppose if none of their kids walks into a closet and hangs themselves without telling anybody why? Then maybe then I guess, I will be done.
Michael Miltenberger (25:42): Well. I think everybody would hope that you’d never have to sing about that again. But the reality is..
Dylan Jones (25:48): Happens every day.
Michael Miltenberger (25:48): Could I just ask a little bit of a lighter question?
Dylan Jones (25:53): Yep, yep.
Michael Miltenberger (25:54): Folks, my age we’re, we’re, and I’ve seen them at concerts when he was still around George Jones, Merle Haggard, all these, all these kind of love and hurt and gambling, truck driving. You send in requests and we’re all crying. Cause we’re not, our girlfriends are somewhere else and we’re all lonesome and whatever. So your, your, your music’s a little different. And how does that go over? Are they as, has the community adapted of all the older folks said, well, that’s not bad if you listen to the words, that’s pretty darn good. Maybe not George Jones, but it’s pretty good.
Dylan Jones (26:37): I’ve had nothing but support. What I’ve found is that in a lot of the smaller communities now, maybe it’s after having more of the ability to make your own decisions giving to yourself about how the future may look, maybe it’s after containing a brighter outlook on the future after devolution, everything that’s been done. But. It’s, uh, maybe I don’t, they enjoy the words, yes. But I find my support from the older crowd is more so that they see what I’m trying to do with the youth and they themselves and their own propensity understand the importance of youth traditionally, or however you may want to justify it, but they support it more so because they see how it helps with the youth and how it allows them for maybe a little more, if they look at it as opportunity or a little, if it broadens their horizons a little bit, or shows them a little more about moving forward. Because in a way, the idea of them knowing there’s a bigger world and them knowing that there’s more out there for them is protecting them in a way. So I, I get, I get that from the older generation.
Michael Miltenberger (27:54): When I was young rock and roll was just coming out. I remember my mother would come into the room and tell us, can you turn that damned “ka-tunk-ka-tunk” music down, it’s driving me crazy. So we’d have to go in the basement or outside somewhere to go to listen to the music. She, she, she mellowed a bit over the years, but when it first came out, she was, what is that? Anyway, things that maybe things have changed, that kind of music has evolved that of all this other rock and roll music. And it’s, it’s more prevalent. Back in the old days, maybe it wasn’t there at all before. And then now we have a couple of generations of it. So that’s good to hear that it’s a, that the support is there in your community.
Dylan Jones (28:43): The, the hip hop music, I find it might speak more to us now than ever cause it’s you don’t need a band. You don’t need a big guitar. You don’t need a big drum set. You don’t need all these things. You don’t need a big stage. You, rap, putting your emotion through rap music, now, it’s almost free. You need barely anything. You can do it with a cell phone. It’s accessibility. It’s, there’s, there’s more to it than just it being music.
Merrell-Ann Phare (29:15): For Michael’s benefit, could you explain the difference between rap and hip hop?
Dylan Jones (29:20): For Michael’s benefit? I find that there is no, I feel there is no there’s no real definition that I myself have Googled or looked up or Wikipedia’d or anything like that. But to me, rap music speaks to the excess and the want and the greed and the dirty parts of life and derogatory things and money that we have no concept of and treating women in ways that our mother would disown us for. And things such as this, but hip hop music is a, is an avenue for people who come from almost any walk of life to tell their story. And it doesn’t have to be negative. You don’t have to swear. You don’t have to say any of these things, but it is poetry more so than rap music is a, it’s just an example of how much excess you can have. I personally, don’t listen to rap music.
Michael Miltenberger (30:20): That’s a very sort of helps clarify, even for an old guy like me. Could you also just maybe tell me and the listeners, how, how did you get your name? Crook The Kid?
Dylan Jones (30:33): Crook the Kid. So I came up with it, again, speaking with my wife and going over things. So I’ve always liked the Western movies, the spaghetti Westerns, if that makes any sense to you, but in the spaghetti Westerns, I, it was the outlaw, the, the outsider thing that I connected to, like, I really liked it. I like it. I feel if I was in another time, I myself would have been a cowboy, kind of thing. And then the crook, the kid, the crook part of it came from growing up in Fort Good Hope, back when we were young, for whatever reason, if you went to Yellowknife or you went somewhere out of the Sahtu and someone knew of Fort Good Hope, they would instantly label you as some kind of villain or someone they wouldn’t invite in their house because they’ve heard of violence or they’ve heard of this and that, and this and that. So you were a crook without ever having committed a crime. So instead of running from it, I guess I took it and I’ll be an outlaw. That’s what it takes. Sure.
Michael Miltenberger (31:48): Wow. And when did you decide to put that on your hand? That’s a very, like you said, it’s a sign of real commitment that you’re in this for the long haul
Dylan Jones (32:00): Few years ago, a few years ago, when I really started to realize that people were connecting and being helped and that this had a chance to making a difference. I decided that if we were, we were going to make a difference. And again with though I myself suffered for many anxieties, I guess, as a, could be attribute it to a life that we’ve led, but I did it and to promise myself and promise everyone, I suppose, that I would continue on this, whatever this journey may be, that I will I’ll continue doing things that hope if I can. I’ll continue trying to make that difference, whether it’s as Crook the Kid as a rapper, as a Guardian, or if it’s as just a father to my own kids who I know will do good, or as a husband to my wife, who I hope is happier.
Michael Miltenberger (33:07): So as we, as we come to the end of our very interesting, very interesting chat, maybe you can just touch a bit Dylan, just about the segue into it, by touching on the Guardian Program, which is a new program. It’s very unique and you’re going to be the, you’re going to be the architect of the Sahtu.
Dylan Jones (33:32): I get to be part of it, I would say, but with the Guardianship Program, I couldn’t honestly say why I myself had been contacted by the community members over anybody else, but I’m very proud to have been contacted by. Hopefully it was because my love of the community and the surrounding and the people involved in it have come through and shown, in a way. But with the Guardian Program in the Sahtu, it allows us the opportunity to have development and have projects and have things like this, come in and build and established an economy in our own way. But just as I said, I suppose it allows us to do it in our own way where the values of the people of Sahtu are protected. The futures are protected. The future generations are protected and not just the future, but the past generations’ values and the paths they walked and the places they considered to be holy and the things that they held dear are also protected. It’s a, I guess it’s a new way of thinking, I suppose, where people have decided to actually get what they deserve in the end and nobody takes more than they need or are entitled to, I suppose.
Michael Miltenberger (34:49): So Merell-Ann, how would you like to say thank you to Dylan.
Merrell-Ann Phare (34:55): I’d like to ask one more question, actually, if it’s okay. The so your lyrics are very brave. Some of the things you speak about, I think are hard to, are hard to share, and even the things you’ve shared with us today, and I, what comes to my mind is the idea of being a role model. But I know I’ve, I’ve heard people who are in the public eye say sometimes I don’t, I don’t want to be a role model. I never asked for that. I don’t want that, but then other people embrace it and see it as part of what they do. Do you consider yourself a role model?
Dylan Jones (35:36): I hope so. I hope someone considers me role model. I hope it’s making a difference. When we were kids, there wasn’t much there. Like I said, there was a lot of people who were just encountering their own hardships and there was a lot of parents and a lot of people still caught in the midst of really overcoming the, whether it be residential school or whether it be addiction or whether it be this, or it was a very tumultuous time in the history of Fort Good Hope. So if I could yeah, I, I will happily be a role model if, if, if that is, that is how I’m viewed. It’s not something I would call myself, but I would be proud to be that. Yes. For as long as I could be. I don’t, I don’t know anything else that’s I have, like I said, I don’t know about money. I don’t know about cars. I don’t know about things like that, but I do know about Fort Good Hope and I do know that the best and worst times of my little life were spent there. And that’s where it will end. I know that much. Anyway. Thank you guys for the opportunity. And I suppose this is another sign that people are beginning to learn more, listen more to the youth and listen more to the socioeconomic values in our small communities, but just thank you. Thank you for having me. Thank you for reaching out.
Merrell-Ann Phare (37:07): The Porcupine Podcast is produced by myself, Merrell-Ann Phare and Michael Miltenberger. We’d also like to thank our co-producer and audio technician, Hannah Gehman, and our writer, Deborah Bowers, thanks to you for listening to Porcupine Podcast. We hope you return and please feel free to rate and subscribe. Bye for now.