Teenage Defender of First Nations Rights Becomes Literal Superhero

This is a great essay about an unexpected tribute to a real-life hero. It’s kind of neat, to make a mythic figure out of an already courageous teenager. It’s not the first time — Zen Pencils did a gorgeous job with Malala Yousafzai, for example. Art and tributes to leadership go hand in hand, which increases the chance for inspiration and creative storytelling. I love it.

The Stake

This article originally appeared at YES! Magazine.

justiceleagueshannen

This week, we got our first glimpse of DC Comics’ newest character: a teenage girl from James Bay, Canada—and a member of the Cree, one of the largest First Nations in North America.

Created by writer Jeff Lemire, this character is inspired by real-life teenager Shannen Koostachin, a youth activist who died tragically in 2010.

The Daily Globe and Mailsummed Koostachin up simply: “She had moxie.” After learning about her life—how she inspired kids and changed her community—the sentiment seems an understatement.

A Cree member from the Attawapiskat First Nation in the remote James Bay in Ontario, Koostachin was an activist for native education in Canada.

At 13, she organized a campaign to get the temporary school in her community replaced with a permanent and safe school that offered high-quality and culturally relevant education for First Nations students.

Her persistent engagement…

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the inspiring story. Hooray for young heroes! —Marguerite

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