The third graphic novel in the A Girl Called Echo series, Northwest Resistance follows Echo Desjardins and her travels through time. Going back to 1884, Echo finds herself in the thick of a new Métis resistance led by leader Louis Riel, who has returned from exile to resist encroaching forces from the East and to ensure his people’s rights are honoured. For Echo, the experience is empowering, focusing her own identity and giving her the strength to confront the challenges in her life.
Katherena Vermette is a Canadian writer, who won the Governor General's Award for English-language poetry in 2013 for her collection North End Love Songs. Vermette is of Metis descent and from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was a MFA student in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
Her children's picture book series The Seven Teachings Stories was published by Portage and Main Press in 2015. In addition to her own publications, her work has also been published in the literary anthology Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water. She is a member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective of Manitoba, and edited the anthology xxx ndn: love and lust in ndn country in 2011.
Vermette has described her writing as motivated by an activist spirit, particularly on First Nations issues. The title of her book refers to Winnipeg's North End.
The third in a YA First Nation Canadian series by Katherena Vermette, this one focused on the nineteenth century Métis resistance led by leader Louis Riel. Some of the story is told through an activist history teacher, and part of it occurs as a girl called Echo actually goes back in time to "be there" during the events of that time, something that heppens in all three books. One issue here at question is whether resistance should ever engage in violence, an issue that is anguishing for Echo, as violence does actually happen, and it's useful to discuss in current times generally, too. Educational, provocative, consistent with principles espoused in Howard Zinn's A People's History.
Seth, a white guy, wrote a comics biography of Louis Riel I really liked, but Vermette is part Metis, so it might be useful to look at both (and others) to dig into the history.
The history gets more than a little vague this time around as Louis Riel heads up a second resistance movement fifteen years after the events recounted last volume. A timeline in the back helps fill in the holes, but I'd rather the story had provided more of the details.
In the present day, Echo's foster care may be coming to an end as her mother is nearing the time when she can return home. And she is also able to shed some light on Echo's time dislocations.
I thought this might be the final volume, but there is one more coming out in April this year.
This may not be the case when Echo awoke from the dream/visit screaming. Still, all I could think about was how strong a representation of the generational trauma that has been inflicted on Indigenous people. The history is so heartbreaking. The land was taken by force and harm, and any chance given, settlers stole and hurt them.
Another solid entry, penultimate, I believe. In which Echo, in engaging with the historical text at school again dreams herself into history; only she has no agency there and is a mere spectator to the destruction of her people. Something I thought was a good way of illustrating the empathy exercise of reading, as coupled with an active imagination and probably hyper phantasic mind.
Plot wise, there’s a bit more of a development on the family front too. And, as usual, a timeline of historical events is at the end; always helpful and nice. I saw some people complain it wasn’t as fleshed out as the list of events… it’s 48 pages, not 140. 🤷🏻♂️
Echo is a Métis girl living in Winnipeg Manitoba, adjusting to her mother being in rehab, to a new school and also to jumping back and forth in time to see events that take place in the 1800's in Canada. She follows the Métis people trying to fight for their rights against a recalcitrant Canadian government that is flexing its powers as it tries to expand to the West.
In this story, we see Louis Riel again as he tries to unite the Métis and nearby Indian tribes as they try to establish their communities against incoming English settlers. It's a tragic story and ends with Riel being surrendering to the Canadian authorities to stop the warfare and protect his people. Echo views these tragic events and we see the effect it has on her. At the same time her mother is soon to be out of rehab, another event that will affect her life.
The artwork is clear and beautifully colored and the story is interesting and also provides a perspective on a portion of Canada's history that I knew little about. One more book in this short but interesting series. (3.5 stars)
This may be my favourite so far in the series, I see real character development in Echo as we are let in to see more of her relationship with her mom and her family dynamic. As a 30ish year old woman, who is not from Manitoba, this helps me understand the history of this province far better than any text book could. I will be encouraging all my middle/high school teacher friends to get this series for their classrooms and libraries.
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The third volume in the "A Girl Called Echo" series, this time readers (and Echo) are taken back in time to 1884-85. Following the Red River Resistance efforts that ultimately ended with the Canadian government making Metis land part of Canada, the Metis fled to and made their home in the North-West territory. However, more and more settlers are arriving and the buffalo are disappearing. The Metis are ready to once again make their stand against the Canadian government.
This graphic novel series is short, but incredibly well-done. There is not only the amazing concept of teaching history through a graphic novel format, but the way that the main character--Echo--interacts with her history by literally allowing her to travel through time (the mechanics of which are never explained, and can honestly continue to be left to the imagination) as she makes friends to guide her through the time period. Echo's history teacher in the present also serves well as a sort-of narrator for certain parts, which well emphasizes that this event--just like the Pemmican Wars and the Red River Resistance--is part of Echo's past, present, and future as a Metis.
Again, this graphic novel series is phenomenal and I wish more like it existed: blending art, story-telling, and history together in a captivating way for readers young and old. I look forward to more books featuring Echo's time-travel escapades, especially with the little cliffhanger in Echo's present that we are left with on the very last page, the "To be continued..." dangling like a carrot on a stick.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this title!
Northwest Resistance is the third volume of the A Girl Named Echo graphic novel series, and like the first two volumes, is quite good. The story once again follows the titular Echo as she is transported mysteriously to the relevant time periods significant to Metis history. In this case the 1885 resistance. Plot: Echo encounters Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont at the outset and throughout the conflict, dropping in periodically such as at the Battle of Duck Lake. Weaving through the historical narrative is the contemporary one, Echo and her concern for her ill mother reflects the violent struggle of the Metis fighting for their rights. A major theme present in both is hope. Hope that things will improve and holding out hope under implausible odds. Setting: Physically, the story takes place in the prairie provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba mostly), while the time period jumps back and forth between the present day and 1885. Characters: Echo is once again our protagonist, with several major and minor supporting characters including Echo’s own ancestors, and important Canadian historical figures like Louis Riel. The characterization is mostly broad, but well done. Echo herself is a little thinly drawn. Final Thoughts: For a series that provides historical knowledge and context while attempting to tell its own narrative, you can do far worse than Katherena Vermette’s series. 8/10 Recommended Grade Level: 7+
Excellent addition to the series that brings history to life. As with previous books, Echo finds herself transported back in time to important events in Métis history. Manitoban social studies teachers will especially appreciate how they could use this graphic novel to teach about important historical figures, including Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel. Henderson's artwork continues to perfectly illustrate Vermette's historical narrative. (Special thanks to Highwater Press, who provided me with an ARC.)
Echo's time travelling now takes her to the year 1885 and into Saskatchewan. Echo watches and learns more about the events around the Battle of Batoche and everything that happened there. In the present, things are changing with her home situation, with her mother coming back to live with them.
I visited Batoche the summer I was 17, so that was a cool connection I had to this story. One of the things I like about these books is how devastated Echo is after each battle she witnesses. When you are just reading the history and you see that only 5 people died or whatever, it doesn't seem that bad. But seeing her just weeping each time reminds me that these were still people and it was horrible.
I love the concept of these comics, but I always wish there was more context given to the events as they’re unfolding. The back matter is appreciated, but it would make more sense being included in the narrative. I loved the genealogy addition to this volume; it made me want to revisit the first two.
Illustrations are nice, and it's really interesting learning about Metis history. It's been a long while since I read Volumes 1 and 2, so it was a little confusing at the beginning, but easy to pick up and read. Overall, this would be better for a younger audience, but if you like canadian/Indigenous history, this is a good introduction!
I have enjoyed the Girl Called Echo series. It follows Echo, who is Metis, as she time travels back and forth from the present day to the time of the Metis resistance. It reminds me of Kindred by Octavia Butler. My biggest issue with the series is that the volumes are so short. It would be easier to follow if the author made each volume longer and spent more time with Echo in the present day. The author should also slow down the plot when she travels back in time. It's difficult to keep track of everything that's going on in the past. The author tries to compensate for this by providing a timeline at the end, but it is a huge information dump for such a short book. I would love to see more of what is going on with Echo and her mother in the present day. After three volumes, I still don't feel connected to her character. She is more of a device that's being used to present the historical information, but her present-day issues are throwaway material. I don't know much about the history of Canadian Indigenous people and I appreciate an owned-voices series that shows what they went through. Flaws aside, I think it is a great tool for teachers and recommend it to anyone who doesn't know about the Metis or Canadian Indigenous history.
[I was sent a copy of this comic on Netgalley in return for an honest review.]
'Northwest Resistance' is the third volume in the graphic novel series, 'A Girl called Echo'. It follows the main character (Echo) as she explores her heritage and the history behind The Settlers and the Canadian government.
Despite being only a short read, the comic is extremely well written and presents the story in both a captivating and interesting manner. We explore the history directly alongside the main character, and are given a more in depth understanding of how things may have turned out the way that they did.
I thought the artwork was beautiful and did a great job of conveying Echo's emotions, along with the story as a whole. The comic is perfect for both young and old readers as it is rather straight forward and easy to understand.
Overall, I thought the comic was very informative and I would definitely be interested to read the 4th volume when it comes out!
Katherena Vermette is an author I always enjoy, and A Girl Called Echo is just such a truly wonderful series. Getting to learn alongside Echo, both in her everyday life and in her time travel Metis history adventures, is moving, entertaining, and enlightening. Henderson's art and Yaciuk's colours really help bring it all together. I loved the new family history she got at the end the end of the story. The information included at the back was as interesting and informative as ever.
This is another fantastic entry to a fantastic series. I can't wait to see where it goes next.
A visual aid during the time of the Northwest Resistance. Again the story is intertwined with Echo in modern time which is unnecessary in my opinion. Present the history in a linear story without jumping irrelevant timelines.
The last few pages are worthwhile for educators and students with a essential information in wonderful formats for studying and review: a detailed timeline, a map of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories, and a brief bio of Gabriel Dumont.
The A Girl Called Echo series deals with the history of the Metis in Canada and life for one young Metis girl today. What strikes me as most important about this book and this series, is how it educates us about the roots and history of racism and violence against indigenous peoples.
Now is the perfect time for all of us to be reading them.
In this one, the third in the series, we find Echo still in her supportive foster home, only now her mother, who is ill, is there with her.
Fear is a theme in this book. It’s there in Echo’s worry about her mother, and it’s there in her worry about the deaths of the Metis she meets in the past. Knowing ahead of time how this story unfolds didn’t stop me from experiencing this anxiety as I lived through this time with her.
As in the previous books, Echo continues time travelling. This time she finds herself in Batoche, Saskatchewan, during March of 1885. There she is befriended by a girl named Josephine. Together they go to a gathering where Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont are speaking. She discovers that Josephine is the daughter of Benjamin, who she connected with in an earlier book.
Canada is in the process of annexing Metis land once again. “Most of the people were not opposed to becoming part of Canada, but wanted to be able to keep the land that they had inhabited for generations.” However, surveyors were “ignoring their traditional river-lot system and imposing their square-lot system.” They were also concerned that these lots would be given to white European settlers.
The Metis were getting desperate. Numerous petitions had been sent to the federal government but all of them were ignored. Eventually they formed a coalition with other settlers, Cree, and Sioux to go to battle with the Canadian government. In the end, the coalition was outnumbered and outgunned by the military. Louis Riel ended up surrendering in order to save lives.
Readers learn the history of the Metis people both from Echo’s time travelling and what look to be teacher’s lectures. The graphic format is a brilliant way to portray this information. The stunning art builds an atmosphere that is moody, bleak and horrific. It moves from the serene beauty of a winter landscape into the horrors of a young girl experiencing war.
In her life at home, Echo learns more about her ancestors. Her Mother’s research ends in a genealogy chart showing that Echo is related to Benjamin and Josephine.
As in the other books, for readers who want to know more about this aspect of Canadian history, there is a timeline at the end of the book that outlines significant events. The back matter here also includes a map of the area and a short biography of Gabriel Dumont.
My only wish about this book is that Echo’s present day story could be better developed up front. I didn't understand what was going on with her mother. I even went back to reread Red River Resistance to see if I had forgotten or missed something. This however is a quibble, and I am looking forward to going wherever this team want to take me next.
It is a delight to return to Echo’s world, as she continues her time travelling into her Métis past, literally bringing her school history lessons to life. In this third volume of her experiences she has left the Red River Resistance of 1870, and now finds herself in a Métis community 1885 as the colonial onslaught continues leading to the Northwest Resistance in 1885. Along the way she meets the teenaged Josephine, whose father Benjamin she’d met as a younger man in Red River. Echo finds herself drawn into the resistance, attending meetings with Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont, leaders of the emerging Métis nation, and experiencing the colonial military onslaught and brutal suppression of the Métis way of life. Yet the story also shows Echo’s introspection and alienation in potent ways while her distress about the past bleeds into her contemporary life.
As in previous volumes, her history classes frame the narrative but now her contemporary family life in Winnipeg takes on a larger role, in part as her mother rummages around in family history. These two contemporary frames provide a basis for some effective visual shifts as Henderson and Yaciuk’s drawing and colouring allows Echo to shift fluidly between times even as the spatial shift is greater than in her previous visit to Red River (much of the Northwest resistance happened in what is now Saskatchewan). These plot and illustrative aspects allow Echo’s worlds to become one. This is then reinforced when in the final few panels Echo’s mother’s family history research reveals Benjamin and Josephine to be ancestors. The Haitian historian Michel-Rolph Trouillot once noted that “in no way can we identify the past as past”, and this family connection reinforces the continuing presence of the past both in Echo’s world and the wider colonial existence it stands in for – making the story’s history teaching all the more potent. The more I read Katherena Vermette the more impressed I am by her work, and here we see the power of addressing readers through media that resonate with them. It’s a fabulous series.
Echo is a quiet teenager who drifts through her day with a constant stream of music playing through her earbuds. Then one day in history class, she begins slipping through time, experiencing firsthand the history of the Métis people's interactions with Canadians in the nineteenth century. For the first time, Echo finds herself curious about her heritage and begins to reach out and open up to others.
I'm learning a lot from this series, but I do wish I was getting to know Echo's character a bit more. Most of the volume is basically a history lesson (though certainly a valuable one). The sequence of events in Volume Three was difficult to follow, so I'm grateful for the timeline included in the back.
my favorite in this series so far! i like what we see of echo's life in this one, especially her mother showing her photos of her ancestors, and the development in echo's connection to the visions/historical scenes(?) she is experiencing. what stood out to me what the genealogy chart echo's mother shows her, because you can see how recent - only a couple of generations ago - these struggles over land were.
we get a general overview of the events of the northwest resistance - the art gives a sense of breadth with its sweeping wide landscapes and battle scenes - and the heart of this volume is definitely to be found in louis riel and the decision indigenous people at the time had to make about engaging in violence after the canadian government repeatedly ignored their petitions. we see characters debating and making the decision to place their lives on the line for their cause. this quote from riel was included and really spoke to this: "i have fought for liberty, and if liberty is not worth fighting for, it is not worth winning."