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  • Writer's pictureJamie Liew

"My Good Friend Jay" - A Play about Borders in the Akwesasne Community

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Meet Montana Adams. She is a University of Ottawa student, playwright and artist.

I met Montana after reading a story about her in the Ottawa Citizen and asked her if she could perform her play on borders in the Akwesasne Community for my Immigration and Refugee Law class. Given that teaching was online this year, we had to think about delivering our teaching material differently. Thanks to the Joint Shared Online Projects Initiatives (UOttawa & Carleton) and the filming and editing prowess of Étienne Trepannier (Jurisvision), I was able to access funds to work with Montana to create an online performance of this play.

Watch her perform her play "My Good Friend Jay" .

Watching the play today after several months, I was moved by the sounds of the cicadas and the water on the land. I was also startled by the screeching of the masking tape and the boats accompanying the arc of the story Montana told.

The play provides an account of what it is like to live and move through multiple colonial borders on a daily basis, how it affects one mentally, logistically and the impact the borders have on identity and community.

As you watch the play, think about the role the cigarette boxes play in depicting the geography, borders and violence the community experiences. Think about how your children, nieces, nephews play with cardboard boxes.

If you want to hear Montana's own views of the creation of this play, please also listen to an episode on Migration Conversations Podcast called Montana's Borders on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

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