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A Girl Called Echo #2

Red River Resistance

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Echo Desjardins is adjusting to her new home, finding friends, and learning about Métis history. She just can’t stop slipping back and forth in time. One ordinary afternoon in class, Echo finds herself transported to the banks of the Red River in the summer of 1869. All is not well in the territory as Canadian surveyors have arrived to change the face of territory, and Métis families, who have lived there for generations, are losing access to their land. As the Resistance takes hold, Echo fears for her friends and the future of her people in the Red River Valley.

48 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2019

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About the author

Katherena Vermette

29 books966 followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 185 reviews
Profile Image for Jane.
385 reviews606 followers
December 17, 2018
Red River Resistance is a graphic novel that introduces the reader to some Métis history, specifically the events surrounding the Red River Resistance. We follow Echo, a girl in present time who seems to time travel through her dreams (both the night and day sort) to land in 1869.

Back in time, Echo sees the the Métis farming families, who have lived for generations along the Red River, struggle to be recognized after their land is sold out from under them. She witnesses the initial peaceful resistance against Canadian surveyors who are assessing that land, and the eventual more violent aspects of the resistance that happen through building tensions, miscommunications, and political shenanigans.

I haven't read the first book in the A Girl Called Echo series, and I think that led to me finding some parts of this book to be a bit confusing -- I wasn't always sure what the heck was going on in present times. Overall, though, this is a solid book that teaches the basics about what the Red River Resistance was and how it came to happen. The art is excellent, and I especially found the scenes in the past really pulled me into the story.

At the end of the story, there is an excellent timeline summarizing the key events, a map of the region, and a copy of the Métis List of Rights that was truly drafted in vain. This would be an excellent primer for anyone who would like to learn a bit about that part of Métis and Canadian history. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 for this book that is available now in Canada, and on March 1, 2019 in the U.S.

Thank you to NetGalley and Portage & Main Press for providing me with a DRC of this book.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
March 21, 2020
A Girl Called Echo comics series is a middle grades tale of Echo Desjardins, a Métis 14-year-old in a new home, learning about Métis history, the tale written by a Métis author as part of a First Peoples (#OurVoices) series. In the first volume Echo sort of time-travels (through dreams, mainly) to the late nineteenth-century, to the Red River in the summer of 1869, a time of resistance to Canada Firsters (yes, they actually called themselves that, I’m not poking at Trump’s America First approach) who intend to steal their land. The Métis families have lived there for generations, it's their land, and so a Resistance, The Red River Resistance, is formed against the colonial authority.

We need to support these educational efforts to remember important moments in North American history, Canadian history, in this case the story of the Métis who share both indigenous and European backgrounds. The history here, which we at times see through the lens of a history class (where they admit some kids fall asleep! It’s history class!), is introductory, but touches on figures such as Louis Riel and others. (I read Chet Brown’s Louis Riel: A Comics biography, too. It’s a a chance to help kids visualize these events and make them real, maybe help them find a basis to resist further oppression.
Profile Image for Erin.
3,094 reviews484 followers
December 7, 2018
A graphic novel series that is a good addition to any classroom. Picking up where Volume One left off, Echo finds herself transported to the past in the time of Louis Riel, when the Canadian government send the HBC out and forced the Metis from their land. In the present day, Echo continues to adjust to life without her mother and finding how she fits in at school.
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Laura.
2,765 reviews82 followers
November 13, 2018
In California, where I went to school, we were taught about the missions and missionaries that came in and enslaved the local native peoples. (Of course, when I went to school, that was not how it was taught). When I was growing up, we would then build little replicas of the missions, and visit them, and that was the part of California history we learned about.

And when we studied American history, we heard, a little, about native resistance, but mostly we focused on "westward expansion". If we heard about the Battle of Little Big Horn, or even about the take over of Alcatraz in more recent history, it was, again, only in passing.

In Canada, I expect it is the same. Stories of the First Nations peoples, until recently, were just footnotes in history, and the children learned about the founding of Canada, and settlers, and things like that.

Only now are schools teaching, I assume, about the colonization, and the treaties, and the resistance by the Metis.

So, while this book was written for everyone, it wasn't written for me. Or rather, this book was written for all the children who are now learning about the events that happened and how the First Nations and Metis were treated.

Note that Metis are separate from First Nations, in that they are decedents of the Europeans (mostly French trappers and such) and local First Nations. They are considered their own people.

So, this graphic novel, the second in the series, involves Echo who is both learning about events of the Indigenous peoples as well as living them, by traveling back in time. In this volume, we learn about the Red River Resistance put on by the Metis.

I have done a little reading about Metis and First Nations, so I have a little background in what is happening, but not a lot, and the author assumes that we know a little bit.

For most non-Canadians, and probably for a lot of older Canadians, they may read this and scrach their heads, as so much is assumed that we know already.

Despite this, I think this is an excellent book to teach history, more easily than ready it from a standard text book. Echo is sympathetic, and the stories are sad.

Some reviewers have said their is not enough background on Echo. I don't think we need a lot of background. That is not the point. We need to learn about what it was like when these events happened, how unfair it was, and why things happened the way they did.

Highly recommended for schools and libraries in Canada, and perhaps in the States, as we need to learn about what happened in the past.

Thanks to Netgalley and Highwater Press for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,549 reviews198 followers
March 22, 2021
A Métis teen named Echo still finds herself unstuck in time, bouncing between her history class in the present day and the Red River Resistance (or "Rebellion") of 1869. English-speaking Protestants and French-speaking Catholic Métis led by Louis Riel clash over the terms by which Manitoba will become a province in the new Canadian Confederation. A lot of events and characters are introduced in a few pages, but a timeline of events in the back helps keep everything straight.

In the present day, the troubled and previously closed-off Echo is starting to open up a little to those around her.

It doesn't feel like there are enough pages to fit all the story the author wants to tell, but I still find Echo and the history engaging. I always think of Canada as a peaceful place, so it is eye-opening to see the dirty laundry aired here.

I'm tempted to re-read Chester Brown's Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography.
Profile Image for - The Polybrary -.
329 reviews185 followers
November 28, 2018
~*Check out my blog at The Bent Bookworm!*~

Please note: this is the second in a series, and it would probably be good to link the first one to it somehow: Pemmican Wars.

Red River Resistance is a graphic novel taking place through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl, Echo who time travels between events in the Red River area of Canada in 1869-1870. Not being Canadian, I was not familiar with the history at ALL and so greatly appreciated the timeline in the back of the book!

The story portrays the injustice done to the indigenous people throughout North America during this time in history, but focusing on the Metis people of Canada. Despite the more than a 100 years since the events, Echo - a descendent of some of the original inhabitants - still struggles with her identity and place in the world, and the effects of a corrupt government that cared nothing for the people it displaced, only for the monetary value of their lands.

The illustrations in this book suit the story perfectly. They have an overall blue/gray cast that lends itself to the mood, and there are very few words even for a graphic novel. For the subject matter, it really works. I will definitely be going back and looking for the first of this series, and hope there will be more after!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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6,283 reviews67 followers
November 9, 2018
2,5/5. Didn't get into it! Too far from my reality and my liking in comic. Not necessarily bad, but definitely not for me! Again, probably more personal preference then a problem with the comic itself!
Profile Image for Josie.
77 reviews6 followers
December 13, 2020
The art? Gorgeous. The story? Incredible. On top of that - learning a lot about Louis Riel, the Northwest Resistance, and treaties. Two thumbs up 👍🏼👍🏼
Profile Image for J.A. Ironside.
Author 57 books328 followers
January 20, 2019
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Echo Desjardins is getting used to a new home and school after losing her mother. During history class one day, she finds herself transported back in time to 1860-70s Riel where Canadian immigrants are settling Red River Colony. This is the second graphic novel in a series and apparently follows straight on so I may have missed something!

However it was a quick, light read introducing a period of history I knew nothing about. I imagine it'll be even more engrossing for its target aduience which admittedly I not. Great artwork too.
Profile Image for Karl .
459 reviews11 followers
March 23, 2019
Vermette is a gem of a writer. I love her forray into graphic novels. Henderson is undoubtably the premiere Canadian illustrator for High Water Press’s Line of Indigenous graphic novels. A great creative team.
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,502 reviews448 followers
December 5, 2018
Kindred meets Canadian Aboriginal history as Echo slips back and forth between time from present day Winnipeg to the Red River Valley, where she observes the annexation of the Red River Colony into Canada and the fight of the Métis to ensure their say in their government.

Knowing absolutely nothing about Canadian history and less than that about Aboriginal Canadian history, this was fairly confusing—but it was laid out clearly.

So, having not read the first book in the series, Pemmican Wars, all I can say is that I do wish that Echo's timeline had been skipped completely, as she seemed fairly bland and closed off (which makes sense, as she was emotionally distant because of being separated from her mother), in favor of following the Métis and their struggles to keep a say on their land and their culture. Again, this was because I hadn't read the first book and didn't have the background, so this is entirely an issue to do with me jumping in mid-series.

The timeline at the very end of the graphic novel is the most illuminating, as it has a clear chain of events that lead to the Red River Resistance, the groups involved, the different motivations, the Métis List of Rights, and the creation of Manitoba as Canada's fifth province—and who wins, who loses, and who lived to tell their stories (and finally learning the the stories of the marginalized).

I enjoyed the LGBTQIA+ rep, and especially the #ownvoices Aboriginal rep.

Definitely a good read to get a basic understanding of Manitoban history, and the history of Aboriginal Canadians.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Fraser Simons.
Author 9 books243 followers
November 17, 2021
Excellent follow up to the first issue, which was pretty much all setup. Echo signs up for a bake sale and meets another kid, things are looking up. But, at the same time, she is learning about a very traumatic history from her heritage as a Métis person. So much so that as she consumes the history whenever she sleeps, she dreams about being there herself as a kind of bystander witnessing everything; this causes her emotional pain, of course.

It’s a really smart way of illustrating to people what learning this kind of history would be like and how affecting it is, generally. Some people classified this as like science fiction and time travel and stuff, but it’s very clearly a dream. You see her eyes closed and she says it’s a dream. I don’t know why people think a visual dream, imagining yourself in events you’re consuming would be fantasy. It occurs literally all of the time for some people.
Profile Image for Ashley Rose.
512 reviews121 followers
August 1, 2021

Not rating due to content being based off real life events.

I really appreciate learning more about the Metis people. Once again, I learned nothing of this in school and found myself being unbelieving of how horrible people can be to one another.
Same as the first critique, it was a little short for my liking, and I'd like to see more of the main characters world because I'm really interested in her character, but it was still a very informative graphic novel.
Profile Image for Reading_seas0n .
845 reviews13 followers
June 25, 2022
The comparison between past and present as things look up for Echo in the present and they look ok in the past until the takeover of the fort hints at the pain and trauma Indigenous people were put through.
Profile Image for Kirsten.
2,131 reviews90 followers
February 14, 2020
I like this even more than the first one! These books are an effective way of teaching about Metis history, and are also an affecting story about a young Metis girl in the modern era.
Profile Image for Kayleigh | Welsh Book Fairy.
545 reviews66 followers
December 26, 2022
— 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 —

𝐓𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞: Red River Resistance
𝐒𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬: Book 2 of a Girl Called Echo
𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫(𝐬): Katherena Vermette
𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞: Historical Fiction
𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝: 1st March 2019
𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 3/5

Red River Resistance is the second installation in the A Girl Called Echo series. It follows the 1869 Red River Rebellion that resulted in the establishment of a provisional government by the Métis leader, Louis Riel.

Echo Desjardins, who would otherwise be an ordinary school girl, can't stop herself from slipping back in forth in time through her dreams back to the Resistance.

I think that people with a basic knowledge of historical Canada and the surrounding government will have a much better understanding than I had with this. But, with that being said, I also haven't read the first book in the series, so it's no wonder that at some parts I was a little confused as to what was happening.

Although, now I have read this, my knowledge of Métis history has grown from 0%, I thought that Red River Resistance was very entertaining as well as educational. Being from the UK, I didn't realise how interesting the political movements of Canada at the end of the 1860s could be.

The illustration was also a compelling masterpiece. It was easy to savour the images and forget what was going on. Echo's dream states were depicted clearly and had a beautiful rustic depth to it.

Echo, with strong Métis heritage is a great character for school kids to relate to and root for. Unfortunately for me, I didn't really identify strongly with her.

Thank you to NetGalley, Portage & Main Press and HighWater Press for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,580 reviews51 followers
February 20, 2021
2018 Review:

I absolutely loved Pemmican Wars, the first book in the A Girl Called Echo series. I am thrilled to be saying that Red River Resistance has absolutely lived up to my expectations.

Katherena Vermette has woven a beautiful story that blends together the everyday life of a lonely teenage Metis girl in Manitoba with the history of the Metis in that area. Echo is an incredibly relatable character that I think many teens would see themselves in. I moved around a lot as a teen and dealt with a lot of depression, with music and reading serving as my primary comforts, so Echo reminds me a lot of my teenage self. The historical aspects are fascinating. It is painful and important seeing Echo come to terms with the history of the Metis, and too realistic to see her going into it without knowing very much. These stories highlight gaps in my own knowledge that make me feel eager to learn. The information in this volume is a little better known than the information in the first volume, but genuinely not by much. There is so much to learn still, so I look forward to seeing what events the next volume will focus on.

Scott B. Henderson is a talented artist, and I have enjoyed a number of other books featuring his work. This is no exception, his work in A Girl Called Echo continues to be impressive. I think part of why I connect this story mentally to 7 Generations is because he did the art for both (although both stories also have a contemporary and historical focus and were published by HighWater Press, so it makes sense either way). I always prefer Henderson's work when it's coloured, and Donovan Yaciuk's colouring works incredibly well here, and it helps to bring the story to life.

I appreciated the historical timeline and the Metis List of Rights included in the back. I personally always enjoy reading any additional real-world facts in the back of any of my historical fiction readings.

I am incredibly eager to see where else this story goes, and I look forward to seeing a third volume in the future. I hope to read more from all of the creators involved in this series. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys any kind of blend of contemporary and historical story.
Profile Image for MeggieBree.
253 reviews21 followers
March 18, 2019
I like this one for the history of the Métis, but I found the story lacking. I wish that the whole series had been released at the same time, I feel like it would have felt less disjointed.
Profile Image for Bertine.
121 reviews2 followers
August 25, 2020
I read this and the one before to my six year old daughter. It was like reading a Wikipedia article with pictures.
Profile Image for Laura (ローラ).
237 reviews111 followers
December 12, 2018
This title is an absolute must for any school library or public library in Canada. With the 150th anniversary of the Red River resistance occurring in 2019, and the major focus of the Canadian government on reconciliation, this comic couldn't have come at a better time. I am so pleased to be finding so many new comics and graphic novels by indigenous creators, and the fact that is title focuses on Métis history is fantastic!

This title is the second in a series about a young Métis girl, Echo, who finds herself in some sort of foster care. While there she is attending high school and "experiencing" the history of the past, most notably the events surrounding the controversial and tumultuous Red River resistance.

I did read the first volume of this series, and I was very excited about this next installment. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I think my main problem is that this seems to be focusing on telling the story of the Red River resistance very quickly, but in doing so, it has forgotten to develop the characters. It also takes for granted that you have some background in this history.

Sadly, this means that the characters are little more than shells. Even the main character, Echo has less than a personality. I feel like she was beginning to be explored in the first volume, but her personality just fell flat in this one. There is so much more that could be done with this story without exaggerating or undermining the important history that is being explored. I wanted so much more!

Because of this, I feel like it'll lose some of its audience. This comes off more as an educational work, and less as something to pick up for pleasure. However, as an educational work it is invaluable, and would do very well to be included as supplemental material in Canadian elementary and high school classrooms.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a digital copy for review.
Profile Image for Malcolm.
1,767 reviews433 followers
December 14, 2020
Echo’s time travelling engagements with her Métis past continue in history class, shifting in this episode from the struggles against corporate colonisation to the 1860s and the push of state sponsored settlement and the newly unified singular colonial government. This is the resistance at Red River (around present day Winnipeg) to settler and government efforts to drive out the Métis. We see efforts to build state-like structures through elected assemblies, constitutional development, institutionalised court systems and so forth. While she’s experiencing this, Echo is also finding her feet at her new school and in a cluster of other Indigenous students.

It’s a refreshing tale of friendship and learning across generations, a depiction of the presence of the past in the places we live and of ways of being that engage with that presence. The same team of drawings and colourists means that the intensity of tone and colour to depict subjecthood includes fellow students with Echo – her current world is coming to light, just as her historical world is gaining depth. It’s also a great way to teach history and to bring the experiences of those colonised by Canada to light. It’s a great series.
Profile Image for Casey Lyall.
Author 9 books126 followers
January 18, 2019
I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for review and I'm happy they did. I'm so pleased to be introduced to this series. I haven't read the first one yet, but I'm going to fix that soon enough.

Despite the fact that I jumped in at book two, I was still able to pick up the thread of Echo's story. As Echo travelled back in time through her dreams, I found myself wanting to learn just as much about the past as I did her present. This book presented history, specifically the story of the Red River Resistance in a very compelling way. Having Echo drop in on specific moments created a fast pace and gave the conflict a sense of immediacy that any reader would get sucked in by. The artwork is also superb.

I would definitely share this book with the kids at my library and I hope there will be more books in the series.
Profile Image for Mary Bronson.
1,485 reviews85 followers
January 30, 2020
I really enjoyed the first volume of A Girl Called Echo and when my local library got the second volume in I knew I had to check it out. This is such a great story about a young girl called Echo who is learning a lot about her heritage and for some reason when she is studying History when she falls asleep she gets transported back during the time she is studying and she gets a first hand experience about what it was like. I never heard of the Red River Resistance before and after reading this I want to start doing my own research on it.
Profile Image for Jesse.
2,523 reviews2 followers
January 30, 2019
I love the idea of these, but I always feel lost in the story. I can’t keep track of who’s on what side and how the events cause each other. I need more framework, and some additional info on Echo would also be appreciated! (I saw that little nod to Gilmore Girls, Scott B. Henderson; I’m on to you!)
24 reviews1 follower
March 11, 2020
“Red River Resistance: A Girl Called Echo Vol. 2” by Katherena Vermette, Scott Henderson, and Donovan Yaciuk is a graphic novel published in 2018 that has won several awards including being on the list of: The Best Canadian comics of 2018. I accessed the softcover version of this text and highly recommend it.

The graphic novel follows Echo as she begins at a new school, is making new friends, and is learning about the history of the Metis people. In the book, Echo seemingly ‘transports’ back in time and is living the history as it happens. Throughout the text, Echo goes back and forth between the 1860s and present day. This text is volume 2 of this series, however, the reader is still able to follow the storyline without reading Vol. 1.

The text and illustrative features effectively fit with the story being told. The authors utilize full paged and smaller paneled illustrations. The author also uses text bubbles to show conversation and yellow-tinted squared bubbles to introduce historical context/historical figures. The authors do a nice job blending the conversation, historical information, and images to tell the story.

The book contains diverse themes. The book was published in Canada and the story’s main protagonist is a Native American individual studying about the Metis people. The story mostly follows the Canadian government’s conflict with the Metis people as they try to take Metis land. The story does a nice job presenting the history from the perspective of the Metis people. This is much appreciated as much of History is often told from the perspective of the ‘dominant’ culture.

This text would be appropriate for 5th - 12th grade depending on reading levels of students. This text series would work great in a non-fiction unit or in a history classroom to discuss the expansion of Canada/United States into Native American land. This text would be particularly effective because it presents the history from the Metis perspective and would be great in talking about the importance of perspective in history.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 185 reviews

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