Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lily keeps blankets in the Jeep; Daunis uses them to swaddle the garbage bag. She heads home for the garage door opener, but it starts hailing before she gets there. So, she pulls over and calls Jamie to tell him she’s hauling trash. He says he’ll meet her where she’s parked. Daunis giggles about the absurdity of the situation and starts to text Lily. When Jamie opens the Jeep door and sees Daunis’s expression, he tells her to let him drive. Remembering Gramma Pearl, Daunis remembers learning that Gramma Pearl cured her earache with urine because urine is sterile and a hydrogen peroxide substitute. What would Pearl think of this situation? Would she believe Daunis is trying to help by partnering with the very government that tried to take her to the boarding schools?
For a moment, Daunis feels like Lily is helping her solve the mystery and help the investigation. But Daunis can’t escape for long the crushing reality that Lily is dead—and that she’s involved in the investigation in the first place to try to get justice for her friend. Jamie, for all his faults and deceptions, seems to genuinely care about Daunis’s wellbeing, hence his insistence on driving. This gives Daunis the opportunity to ponder how, exactly, she should think about her role in the investigation. She knows that Ojibwe medicine practitioners have come to many of the same conclusions conventional science has, such as that something sterile (whether that be urine or hydrogen peroxide) will cure an earache. But it’s not clear yet if being able to identify these similarities is enough to justify Daunis cooperating with government entities who have, in the past, seriously harmed her community and family.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Jamie drives to the garage, drops the bag on a countertop, and then joins Daunis to huddle in a blanket. Daunis explains that Gramma Pearl loved storms and coached little Daunis through talking to the thunderbirds and the ancestors during storms. Jamie inches closer, and Daunis lets him comfort her. 
Daunis and Jamie begin to connect as she shares more about her culture with him. She’s not willing to acknowledge it here, but she is falling for Jamie—and this seems like as good an opportunity as any to get close to him and get the comfort she desires.
Themes
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Ron arrives a bit later and tells Daunis to not involve local or tribal police. Then, Jamie carefully unpacks the bag of drain cleaner, brake fluid, tubing, and empty cold medicine packages. Jamie explains that Canada doesn’t restrict medicine sales, and Daunis remembers Jamie asking her about buying stuff in Canada. Ron asks if Daunis would be willing to go to the drug lab next weekend over Labor Day. Thinking of what Gramma Pearl would do, Daunis says she and her boyfriend will spend a romantic weekend in Marquette.
Telling Daunis not to reach out to local or tribal police further disconnects Daunis from her community. To be sure, she’s made it clear that she doesn’t trust or like tribal police much—but TJ, for all his faults, is a part of her community. As Daunis accepts this and agrees to go to the drug lab, she aligns herself more with the feds, though she does this believing that she can nevertheless help her community by doing so. 
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon