An upcoming multimedia project that includes a graphic novel aims to show how a young First Nations girl sees the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Will I See? is a collaboration betweenÂ author David Robertson, illustrator GMB Chomichuk and musician isKwÃ©.
CBC Unresolved:Â Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women
It tells the story of an Indigenous teenager named May who encounters objects in her life that embody the spirits of Indigenous women who have died.
When May and herÂ kokumÂ (or grandmother)Â turn the keepsakes into a necklace,Â a “world of danger and fantasy opens up,” a release from the group states.
Collaborators said they want to use music, art and literature to create social change and serve as an example of what can be done to overcome the “epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls on a society level.”
IsKwÃ©Â and Robertson said the project came together naturally â€” both artists admired each other’s work. Robertson is author of The Helen Betty Osborne Story, while Winnipeg-born isKwÃ©Â was named one of CBC Music’s musicians to watch in 2016.
May’s story first emerged out of conversations isKwÃ©Â had with her cousin Erin Leslie. But busy schedules and the demands of school prevented them from realizing the performance project they had planned.
That’s when RobertsonÂ approached isKwÃ©Â about turning May’s story into something biggerÂ â€” a multimedia project that included a graphic novel and a music video.
“So we started building the idea,” she said. “I’m going to give the credit to Daveâ€¦. He just made it happen.”
Two of isKwÃ©’sÂ songs are essential inspirations for the project: “Will I See” and “Nobody Knows.” Both songs are about the death of 15-year-oldÂ Tina Fontaine. Fontaine was found dead in a bag inÂ the Red River in August 2014.
“They are two very different songs in tone but they are both equally powerful,” said Robertson.
The author has referred to isKwÃ©Â as “one of the most important voices in this country right now.”
He hopes their work togetherÂ affects change and helps resolve the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women over the long-term. He also wants it to spurÂ action.
“Taking action can be as simple as having a discussion about it and sharing a video, lending a book to somebody,” he said.
“People can read and see this video and become educated, inspired and really just increase awareness for an epidemic that’s happening in our country.”
Robertson said the music video will be released by the end of 2016.Â The graphic novel is set to be published in early 2017.