Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 28 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Daunis rushes to leave the bleachers, trying not to hear “vultures” saying that Robin was “one of the good Indians” and that “even the smart ones are dumb.” Her nose burns as she smells both Heather’s rotting body and everything from the night Lily was shot. Daunis can’t take it. She locks herself in a bathroom stall and sinks to the floor. The girlfriends try to get Daunis out and finally, one fetches Ron. Ron sits quietly outside the stall until security comes. To avoid a scene, Daunis leaves the stall and accompanies Ron to the hotel.
The “vultures”—bigoted white people—essentially blame Robin for her own death; their racism reveals itself when they cite Robin’s Native identity as the reason for Robin’s choice to use meth. Hearing this reminds Daunis that she’s not surrounded by genuinely supportive people. Rather, the white Booster Bus participants would likely even turn on Daunis were she to make one wrong choice, even as they (perhaps only pretend to) accept her now.
Themes
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Ron leaves Daunis with Jamie in the lobby. Daunis leans against Jamie and observes the subdued players—but Levi announces not that it’s a tragedy Robin is dead, but that the Supes played poorly this evening. Daunis is enraged. But when she leaps to her feet, Jamie gives her a warning look. Levi asks for Daunis’s advice, but Daunis says that this is no way to mourn a former teammate. Levi hugs Daunis, and then he tells the room that she’s right. Mike suggests they hold a fundraiser, like a charity game, to support drug prevention programs. The Supes and Sault High could play each other, current and former players. As the players excitedly plan the fundraiser, Daunis cries: they do care.
Even though Levi ultimately does heed Daunis’s advice to grieve Robin’s death and treat it like the tragedy it is, it’s clear that his first thought is for his team and its prospects. And though this clearly offends Daunis, she seems to not fully grasp that this may indicate that Levi’s loyalties don’t lie with the Sugar Island Ojibwe Tribe or any of his and Daunis’s former teammates. Additionally, Daunis seems to feel comforted and proud when the Supes begin to plan the charity game to honor Robin, but the Supes themselves give no indication they’re getting the same feelings from it.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Jamie hugs Daunis and quietly says this isn’t part of the plan. She argues that helping the community is good, but he insists they must stick to the plan. Daunis steps back. Jamie, she realizes, is an agent first. She tells him it’s up to the community to fix things, not the FBI, but he says the community hasn’t made any progress yet. Daunis notes that Jamie wants to save the community and then leave; he’s not thinking of the community. Remembering Robin saying that guys shouldn’t have so much power over a person, Daunis says Jamie might understand if he had a community. He’s clearly hurt, and Daunis feels awful.
As Jamie sees it, a charity game is pointless because it’s not going to help the investigation. But Daunis doesn’t only care about the investigation. She, after all, has to live in the Sault long after the investigation is over, so she’s more invested than Jamie is in making sure the community heals practically and emotionally. Insisting Jamie doesn’t understand because he doesn’t have a community is a low blow, but it also reminds readers (and, clearly, Jamie himself) of how lost and alone Jamie is due to having been adopted out of his tribe.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Quotes
That night, Daunis dreams about the night Travis shot Lily. Lily tells Travis to leave her alone and focus on himself—Lily can’t stand on her own if she always has to support him. Travis refuses and says he needs and loves Lily, but Lily insists need and love aren’t the same. At this, Travis pulls out the gun. Daunis jerks awake, the smell of sweat and chemicals in her nose. She hasn’t been able to remember Lily and Travis’s conversation before now. Just then, a text—an apology—comes in from Jamie. Daunis isn’t sure what he’s sorry for, but she says she’s sorry too. When he asks, she gives him her room number. They kiss in the doorway and Daunis tries to pull him inside, but he says they can’t and leaves. The next door opens: Grant pokes his head out and says Daunis’s secret is safe.
Lily proposes to Travis that if a person really loves their partner, they’ll be willing to let them go—and because Travis doesn’t let Lily go, by extension, he demonstrates that he doesn’t genuinely love her. It’s interesting that this memory shows up immediately prior to Jamie and Daunis apologizing, kissing, and deciding not to go further. Their relationship is very different, given that Jamie is an undercover agent and the whole thing is ostensibly a ruse. Still, it’s impossible to ignore that they’re growing genuinely close to each other—and that other people are, disturbingly in this case, taking notice.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
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