Six decades ago, comic books were the enemy, a subversive force that caused maladjustment in youth.
Now, they’re a tool of empowerment and healing, at least for the Healthy Aboriginal Network.
I’m talking about comic books.
The Healthy Aboriginal Network:
Since 2005, the organization’s founder Sean Muir has used comic books and graphic art to create a new narrative by and for First Nation youth.
And if ever a new narrative was needed, this is it.
The suicide rates for First Nations Youth are among the highest in the world and 11 times higher than the national average.
Our greatest shame:
Canada is awesome. Except for that thing with her First Peoples.
1/2 of First Nations people live on reserves. And the living conditions are poorer than they are in the rest of the country.
As of earlier this year, 92 First Nations communities were living under drinking water advisories.
Um, our bad:
We are a nation of well-meaning people who consistently fail our First Nations peoples.
Why we love it:
- People value what they create more than what is handed to them; Muir listens to his audience and incorporates their needs.
- The Healthy Aboriginal Network features topics that are pressing or problematic in the lives of his readers
- The comics include some traditional legends and characters
- The art is GORGEOUS! I mean, take a look to the left. Awesome, huh?
In a perfect world:
We shouldn’t need these comics. It is shameful that we do.
Having this resource doesn’t absolve us of our need to act.
But it does give some vulnerable children a tool that might empower them to create a better future even if there country isn’t particularly there for them.
See? Comics still have the power to be subversive.
We’re counting on it.