CHICAGO – Legacy is something all of us want to be able to leave behind, to be remembered for something by generations. No matter the age, on some level this desire is innate within all racial groups.
Even a young Cree girl from Attawapiskat is still making waves and her legacy lives on after her death.
Shannen Koostachin, whose life was tragically caught short at age 15 in a car accident, had begun a campaign at age 13 to bring equal schooling/education rights to First Nation students throughout Canada. Her challenge to the Indian Affairs Minister did not go unnoticed and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize award. In 2012, two years after her death a brand new school was finally built in Attawapiskat.
Now, DC Comics author Jeff Lemire announced his plan for a new superhero based on Shannen and her dream of a better life for the First Nations people. Expected to launch next year, this character will be apart of the Canadian Justice League. No name or superpowers have been decided yet, however, Mr. Lemire has said he is designing a competition for First Nations children to decide the character’s superpowers.
“There would be the cultural strengths,” says Lemire about the character’s preliminary traits. “The family ties, the knowledge of the land, the rich, rich symbolism of the Cree on James Bay.”
DC Comics has already made strives in diversifying their heroes. In 2012, the new Green Lantern, Simon Baz, became the first Muslim-American superhero and emphasized the struggle of racial tensions between Muslims and Americans.
It is amazing to see real life heroes becoming superheroes and more people of color becoming a bigger presence in the comic book world.