Starting Monday in the Schools
For the past year Jessica has been visiting schools and youth groups presenting her one woman show “Starting Monday” that deals with bullying, weight, self-esteem and the affect the media has on youth. After each performance she has a question and answere session and is available to any youth who want to talk one on one. Students and teachers approach Jessica after the performance with their personal comments “you make us want to love ourselves” two 13 year old girls told Jessica in Sagamok. Recently in Oneida of the Thames a grandmother came up to Jessica and said “I was so thankful that my granddaughter was here to see this, last year we had her in a non-native school and she came home and asked me to wash the brown off of her and cut her hair. I was so heartbroken that she’d say that but she just came over and gave me a hug and said ‘You know what Grandma, I’m proud to be brown!’ that made me so happy to hear.”
Working with Right to Play Kettle & Stoney Point and Aaajiwnaang, Algoma University and SOHAC (Southwest Ontario Health Access Centre) she has travelled to Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Walpole Island, Oneida of the Thames, Chippewa of the Thames, Sagamok First Nation, Wikwemikong First Nation, Sault St. Marie and her home community of Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation. The audience age ranges from nine to eighteen years of age with 100 to 200 in attendance per show.
Jessica wrote, directed and performed “Starting Monday” for Debajehmujig’s 2012 Summer Production of “The Three phases of Kwe” sharing the stage with Elisha Sidlar “O’Bitter Be Sweet” and Sarina Merling “In That There is Freedom.”
Performing in her community of Kettle and Stoney Point meant so much and grounded Jessica, “It was an honour to perform for my community, my friends and family. It was so overwhelming that my heart raced and eyes filled with tears when I seen everyone jump from their seats applauding but even more so when I seen my mom wiping her eyes.”