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How to pose as a teenage biographer for Jay Friday


At last I had reached the grownup age of 19.

While attending a YMCA camp in northern Ontario, Canada, I was drawn to a lone Ojibway Indian, named Jay Friday. He had been “given” one of the many islands that his people had once owned by nature. He was allowed to pick out any island that he wished.

Jay was a dusky, tall athletic man in his mid-50s. He carried himself with confidence and grace. I liked him, and I think he liked me. He had been married to an educated white woman, but her death had left him alone.

Jay’s island was located in Timagami Lake, some 33 miles from town by water launch. He did fishing and guiding at the end of this pristine lake for tourists and others.

This wa...

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