Canadian writer Jeff Lemire has found inspiration in a real-life person for a new character that will be apart of Justice League Canada when JLA is rebranded in 2014.
Shannen Koostachin, a 15 year-old Cree activist from Attawapiskat First Nation, caught Lemire’s attention when she led students to the nation’s Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario to lobby for a new school. She was killed in a car crash, in 2010, just before her sixteenth birthday.
“I think if I can capture some of that heart and some of that essence in this character, perhaps she'll almost be a guiding spirit in the creation of this character,” the writer told Canada’s CBCNews.
According to the publication, Lemire came up with the idea of a Cree superhero because, he was “fascinated with the culture he saw while visiting Northern Ontario as a child.”
Lemire plans to visit schools in other communities in the northern James Bay area of the country to talk to students. He’s also reportedly organizing a contest in which students can suggest super powers for the new, unnamed character.
“There would be the cultural strengths,” Lemire said. “The family ties, the knowledge of the land, the rich, rich symbolism of the Cree on James Bay.”
Charlie Angus, the MP [member of Parliament] for the area told CBCNews there's a “huge need for role models and heroes who First Nations can look up to. Koostachin is a real-life role model who can speak to them.”
“This shadow of Shannen, looking down on these youth today, is certainly something that would work within the comic book format,” he said.