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 Métis writer of poetry, fiction, and children’s literature. Her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses’ Company) won the 2013 Governor General Literary Award for Poetry. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies, including Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water. Her first novel The Break is a National Bestseller and a 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia, and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Scott Henderson has worked as an illustrator for comics, portraiture, and advertising art. He is author/illustrator of the sci-fi/fantasy comic, The Chronicles of Era and has illustrated two comics for the Canadian Air Force’s For Valour series, the bestselling graphic novel series 7 Generations, selected titles from the Tales From Big Spirit series, and the graphic novels, Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story, Fire Starters, an AIYLA Honour Book and Eisner-award nominee, A Blanket of Butterflies.
Since 1998, Donovan Yaciuk has done colouring work on books published by Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse comics, honing his craft as a part of the legendary, now-defunct Digital Chameleon colouring studio. Donovan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba. He lives in Winnipeg, MB Canada, with his wife and daughter.
4 out of 5 stars
This text provides an accessible entry for students engaging in history related to Louis Riel and the Metis. The graphic novel format is engaging, and creates opportunities for students to work through image and text connections. I think based on my reading of it, it would be important to be read in series (as it seems to be intended) in order to understand the time-travel element that occurs. The time travel element does allow students to engage in the historical material in a way that asks, "what would it be like to be at important events when they happened?". One critique is that some dialogue comes across more like written language than spoken making it sometimes feel artificial to a reader.
5 out of 5 stars
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 Métis land part of Canada, the Métis fled to and made their home in the North-West territory. However, more and more settlers are arriving and the buffalo are disappearing. The Métis 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 Métis.
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.
4 out of 5 stars
As a Canadian teacher, I find the ‘A Girl Called Echo’ series particularly relevant for the classroom. This is the 3rd installment in a series about Echo Dejardins, a Métis youth living in the present day. Each book tackles a different aspect of Métis history (a subject that is often missing from many historical perspectives). Echo travels back in time to visit the time period each event occurred so the books jump back and forth between present and past.
This particular book focuses on The Northwest Resistance, an uprising against the Canadian Government led by the Métis. What I love most about these books is the sense of identity Echo is gaining as the books progress. Each time she learns about her heritage she discovers a piece of herself.
The graphic novel format is perfect for the classroom and provides an interesting way to look at Indigenous issues in a lens that is relevant for students.
4 out of 5 stars
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.
Recommended Grade Level: 7+
4 out of 5 stars
[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!
4 out of 5 stars
Educational, action-oriented, and ancestral historical fiction involving Louis Riel and the Metis and First Nations people...along with a young back-and-forth through time travelling 13 year old Metis girl. She's experiencing the strength and pain of her current and ancestral relatives. The graphic novel format for this story is geared toward teen readership, as both educational and to show the real life righteous struggles of the Metis and First Nations people in Canada. A worthy goal and an excellent story with good art.