Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Realizing that Jamie has tricked her, Daunis leaps up and demands that Ron take her back to the funeral home. When they get there, Ron says that the investigation will bring closure and healing to Daunis’s community, and Daunis has the power to help. She slams the door on him. The following day, Daunis is still angry. She sits next to Granny June for the funeral. It’s Lily’s fourth day; today, Lily will say goodbye and then cross over. Her ceremonial fire will go out in this world and light in the next one. Mom and Auntie sit behind Daunis and Granny June. Mom has been hovering annoyingly since Lily’s death.
As Daunis sees it, the very fact that Ron and Jamie are undercover is a sort of betrayal. They haven’t been open about who they are or what they want, and now, they have the audacity to ask Daunis to work with them. Of course, the fact that they’re federal agents, the very sort of people who have over the last few centuries caused major harm to Native communities, further complicates this huge ask.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Only two Tribal Council leaders are at the funeral. This makes sense, since Lily was a descendant, not an enrolled member. The rest of the council is at Travis’s funeral; his family is huge and powerful on Sugar Island. Auntie leads a Catholic prayer in Anishinaabemowin, and Daunis wonders why Granny June always talked about the residential schools taking children—but not her children. Throughout the service, Daunis wonders what she should do about Ron and Jamie’s proposition. She sobs as the casket closes—she was supposed to stop the third bad thing, Lily’s death, from happening. Instead, she was with Jamie.
Though Daunis seems to resent that Lily doesn’t get more support from Tribal Council while (supposedly undeserving) Travis does, it’s also worth noting that Travis became addicted to meth despite being from a big, powerful family. Any privilege he might’ve gained from his family, in other words, didn’t protect him from drug addiction. In considering Granny June’s silence, Daunis notices again how the residential school system has damaged families and caused trauma that reverberates through multiple generations. Meth is, perhaps, one of those traumas.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
In the parking lot, Daunis’s grief and rage intensifies when she sees Angie Flint, Travis’s mom. Levi tells Daunis not to do anything, but Daunis tells Angie to go away and pay her respects elsewhere. Jamie finally leads Daunis away, but Daunis snarls at TJ, who’s been watching the scene. Jamie tells Daunis that this will only keep happening—and she knows he’s right. Realizing this might someday affect Pauline and Perry, Daunis stops. She takes off the black stilettos that Lily forced her to buy, says a prayer and offers some semaa, and then puts sprigs of giizhik (cedar) in her shoes. She’s going to be an informant, and she needs all the help she can get so she can learn the truth about Travis, Lily, and Uncle David.
Looking around at peers like Levi and TJ, it appears as though Daunis’s generation has already made choices about how it will interact with meth; Levi, as far as Daunis knows, has chosen to not get involved. Nor has TJ  used his role as a police officer to actively work to get meth out of the community. But Perry, Pauline, and other small children haven’t been able to choose how they will interact with meth. Daunis essentially decides that it’s her responsibility to these future generations to work with Jamie and Ron. She must make the world better for the twins, and, in doing so, she’ll get justice for Lily and David.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon