To quote the Wikipedia article on her:
"Nelvana of the Northern Lights is a Canadian comic book character and the first Canadian national superhero, debuting in Hillborough Studio's Triumph-Adventure Comics #1 (Aug. 1941). She is also one of the first female superheroes, debuting before Wonder Woman but after Fantomah, the Golden Age Black Widow, Invisible Scarlet O'Neil and others introduced in 1940.
The character was created, written and illustrated by Adrian Dingle, who was inspired by tales brought back from the Arctic by Group of Seven painter Franz Johnston. He converted tribal legends to a story of a superhero living among the Inuit peoples. Nelvana's superpowers included traveling at the speed of light along a ray of the Northern Lights and turning invisible. She fought against the Axis Powers during World War II. Her final appearance was in a May 1947 comic book."
Does have any background info on what Franz Johnston's "tales from the arctic" consisted of as far as the idea of Nelvana is concerned? I'm interested in Inuit mythology and I've always found it fascinating how superheroes and mythology become intertwined so easily.
I don't know whether or not it's connected to Nelvana-the-WWII-superhero, or a Nelvana from Inuit myth, but in Marvel Comics's "Alpha Flight" series (kinda like a crappy Canadian X-Men), the character Snowbird is supposed to be an demi-goddess whose mother was the "Inuit goddess, Nelvanna".
If anyone can give me any information about who/what the idea of Nelvana is based on, I'd really appreciate it.