December 03, 2023

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Indigenous Singer /Songwriter Trent Agecoutay, new album ‘A Place To Call Home’ shines light on Indigenous homelessness

Indigenous Singer /Songwriter Trent Agecoutay, new album ‘A Place To Call Home’ shines light on Indigenous homelessness

My name is Trent Agecoutay I have a new album coming out May 1st. I am an Indigenous Singer /Songwriter and I have spent over 20 years playing in the Country Music scene in AB. If I am going to be honest, I haven’t always felt like I have connected to your typical Country Music themes in the last little while. I spent time loading gear into old Honky Tonks as a young child, my Dad Jim Agecoutay has been playing clubs in AB since 1972, so Honky Tonk music runs through my veins, I just needed to write an album that incorporated my love of Country Music and my own world view.

As of February of 2022, Homeward Trust published the By Name List Data, and it showed 3049 people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton. Out of the 3049 people experiencing homelessness, 61% identify as Indigenous. Why is there such a large percentage of Indigenous people experiencing homelessness on their own traditional territory?

I started working for Homeward Trust Edmonton in June of 2016 at Find Furniture Bank as a delivery driver warehouse person. I had recently moved to Edmonton from Red Deer in search of a bigger music scene and was just starting to get my foot in the door with a few venues and started to surround myself with like minded musicians. I never thought a simple delivery driving job would change me in such a profound way.

I spent the next five years of my life at Homeward Trust in many different positions. I started as a Housing Locator, then a Housing Outreach Worker, an Indigenous Cultural Support Coordinator for an Indigenous Permanent Supportive Housing program and finally Landlord Support. I saw family members on the streets. I saw the effects of intergenerational trauma every day I worked as a frontline helper on the streets of #YEG.

I wrote this album to shine a light on the Indigenous homelessness and each song is a different moment in time in someone’s healing journey.

  1. Anywhere But Here – The song talks about lack of economic opportunity in their home communities, residential school trauma, and the search for something better
  2. Couch Surfing – The song talks about lack of resources, the cycle of poverty and the feeling of being unsafe in a strange place.
  3. A Place To Call Home – The song talks about the lack of economic security for Indigenous people, the cycle of poverty and the lack of resources for people experiencing homelessness.
  4. Do You Hear Me Now? The song is about Intergenerational trauma and the government and religious policies that are responsible for the breakdown of Indigenous Culture and Identity for the last seven generations.
  5. Alibis – Talks about the struggles with addiction, which is a symptom of  Intergenerational trauma, and a factor in many evictions.
  6. Kokum’s Stories – Indigenous people experiencing homelessness are often more successful in the Housing First program when they are re-introduced to Indigenous Culture. Kokum’s Stories is about remembering where you come from, and finding strength in you Ancestors.
  7. Hiway 40 Blues – is a song about finding your way home. Many Indigenous people travel to the city in search of a better life . After experiencing systemic racism in the cities and struggling to get by on their own, they realize there is strength in community and find their way home.
  8. I Don’t Regret A Thing – is a reflective song that describes someone who has found a positive way to live their life, and when they look back at all the hardships, they don’t regret those life experiences because they know that they were responsible for making you the person you are today.

Listen to the album: https://open.spotify.com/album/2kzWXNfjOHEYWYGyVOTfJl

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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