Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 30 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Daunis drives home in shock. Was Robin on campus that day because she was dealing drugs? Daunis is ashamed to even consider it, but before contacting Ron or Jamie, she identifies her mushroom samples. One seems promising, but Daunis eventually identifies it. She stews angrily for a minute before going to the kitchen, following the smell of Mom’s warm cookies. Daunis asks if Uncle David kept his journals anywhere but his home office. She’s just curious because she wonders what he was thinking about in those final months. Mom tenses, and Daunis wishes she could tell her mom more. Once the investigation is over, she can.
After realizing she incorrectly judged Uncle David, Daunis isn’t willing to allow herself to do the same with Robin. This is why she’s so intent on considering other reasons why Robin might’ve been on campus—she thinks writing Robin and David off indicates her own immaturity and naivete, and she’d like to approach this maturely and generously. Daunis appears to be treating Mom less carefully, though, when she asks about the journals, suggesting that she’s realizing she perhaps doesn’t need to baby Mom as much as she has in the past.
Themes
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Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Mom and Daunis discuss that Uncle David spent most of his last weeks at school, but Daunis recalls that he organized element sample jars by the periodic table, not alphabetically. Was that to identify if kids were stealing? Privately deciding that’s a dead-end, Daunis asks Mom how she felt about GrandMary selling Grandpa Lorenzo’s office furniture when she sold the shop. Mom is obviously still upset about it, but in answer to Daunis’s question, she says GrandMary turned over all the desk keys to the Edwardses.
In order to unravel the mystery of how David died, Daunis finds herself trying to dig deeper into her family members’ quirks and even their physical belongings (like Grandpa Lorenzo’s furniture). Daunis is helping the investigation, but she’s also working to figure out exactly what was going on in her family—and where she fits in.
Themes
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Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Auntie and Daunis go to the hospital for blood draws; they go there instead of Tribal Health since Auntie is the director and people might think she’s pulling strings to enroll Daunis. With her test results, Daunis then drives to the tribal enrollment office. Stormy is there because he can’t find his passport and wants to know if he can get into Canada with his tribal ID. In theory, he should be able to, but border patrol doesn’t always know the rules. He tells Daunis that the Supes are going to see a Greyhounds game tonight, so she offers to drive him to his mom’s house to look for his passport.
Auntie and Daunis are well aware that Daunis has privileges plenty of other Tribal members don’t have, such as an aunt in charge of the health center and a wealthy, white mom. While those things sometimes help her, now, she realizes they’re not assets—they might hurt her case. Stormy’s fear that he can’t get into Canada with just his tribal ID is yet another instance of Native Americans suffering prejudice and discrimination, even when they follow all the rules.
Themes
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Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Stormy makes an offering of semaa when he and Daunis are on the ferry, which surprises Daunis—but she reasons that when his parents are with it, they attend ceremonies. He becomes increasingly anxious as they get closer to his house, but Daunis waves him inside. She only goes in when Shawna Nodin invites her in and offers coffee. The house is clean, and Stormy’s school photos and a poster from the Anishinaabemowin conference last year are on the walls. The poster image is a photo of teepees set up outside a boarding school; it’s comforting to think that parents followed their stolen children, and maybe the kids heard songs and prayers and smelled the smudge.
Stormy’s relationship with his parents is clearly fraught, given how anxious he is about seeing them. This reminds Daunis again of her privilege: not everyone in her community has consistently supportive parents at home. Still, that the poster is so prominently displayed in the Nodin home suggests that the Nodins do want to be there for Stormy, just as the parents in the photo were for their children. And the photo—which implies (rather than depicting outright) that there are stolen Native children in the school—offers some hope that despite discrimination and government policies designed to eradicate Native people and cultures, Daunis’s culture will continue to thrive.
Themes
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Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
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Daunis tenses when Stormy’s dad walks in. He’s never liked her much, since he sees her as Zhaaganaash. He drinks a cup of coffee, smokes a cigarette, and then tells her about how GrandMary and her friends all tried to swindle Nish artisans, including his grandpa. Daunis doesn’t know what to say—GrandMary has never liked Native people, though she loves Daunis. Just then, Stormy comes downstairs with his passport and asks Shawna for money for dinner. Stormy’s dad hands over nine dollars; Daunis knows the family probably can’t come up with more. On the ferry back, Levi texts and asks to borrow Daunis’s debit card later. Daunis says he can, but he needs to treat Stormy, Mike, and Jamie.
Stormy’s dad is exactly the kind of person who stands between Daunis and being accepted into the Tribe, given that he’ll always see Daunis as not Nish enough. Daunis knows that she might be GrandMary’s granddaughter, but she is Nish and doesn’t condone her grandmother’s beliefs or actions. Part of Daunis’s coming of age happens as she realizes that she can love GrandMary, but not love the things her grandmother believed.
Themes
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Daunis drops Stormy off at Chi Mukwa, gives Levi her debit card, and lets Jamie give her an underwhelming kiss. A storm is rolling in, and Daunis lists the things she needs to do and figure out when she gets home. First, she needs to check the debit card’s account balance—Levi can be careless. The most recent statement she finds is from last year, so she calls the customer service line. The customer service lady says that the mailing address is Levi’s address and the current balance is $10,856.77—way more than the $400 Daunis and Levi usually keep in the account.
That Daunis hasn’t received a paper statement in a year and seems surprised by this implies that Levi changed the mailing address sometime last year. However, Daunis is far more concerned by the fact that there’s suddenly way too much money in the account, suggesting that perhaps Levi is involved in the meth cell or some other odd financial scheme. At the very least, Daunis knows she needs to dig into Levi, though this will be emotionally fraught for her given her desire to give Levi the benefit of the doubt.
Themes
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Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon