Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Emotions wash over Daunis as she enters the locker room—she’s excited to play hockey one last time, but seeing Robin’s locker is sobering, and it’s hard when Auntie texts that she can’t bring herself to come watch. Daunis and Macy exchange insults, but they cross their hockey sticks once they step onto the ice. As the game begins, Daunis feels cool and in control. The Supes are better players individually, but Daunis’s teammates know how to read one another. In the final period, Stormy crashes into Daunis. She lands on her shoulder to stabbing pain, and Coach Bobby pulls Daunis out immediately. Macy soon joins Daunis on the bench and comments that Jamie is a great player. Daunis can only wonder if Jamie is truly on her side.
Daunis clearly loves hockey. It’s restorative for her; in this sense, it’s its own kind of ceremony. However, playing hockey today is emotionally difficult given that Daunis can’t ignore the people who are missing who should be there, like Robin and Auntie. The ceremony, in other words, isn’t nearly as meaningful without the people there to give it meaning. And things take a turn for the worse when Daunis injures her shoulder. The seriousness with which Coach Bobby pulls Daunis off the ice suggests this isn’t a new injury; this is, perhaps, something he’s seen before.
Themes
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
The guy who replaced Daunis is doing an awful job, but Coach Bobby refuses to let Daunis back on the ice. Macy teases Daunis; she’s injured and wouldn’t be able to do anything, anyway. Daunis and Macy’s team barely loses, yet Daunis can tell that Levi is enraged by his team’s performance. In the locker room, Daunis texts her doctor and Macy helps her out of her gear. Macy’s heatless taunts help distract Daunis from her pain. When she enters the lobby, Daunis is overwhelmed by the “community love” she feels. Hopefully, people remember today was for Robin.
In the locker room, it becomes clear that Daunis is seriously injured and needs all the help she can get. When Macy—a girl Daunis emphatically doesn’t like—helps Daunis, it drives home that the local Ojibwe community is willing to prioritize one another’s health and safety over personal conflicts. And it helps Daunis feel a bit better when she notices the “community love” in the lobby. It tells her that others feel the same way she does.
Themes
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Quotes
Daunis finds Jamie, who says in an awed voice that he had no idea Daunis was such a great player. She pretends her shoulder doesn’t hurt that bad as Stormy, Mike, and Levi join them, and Levi notes that the point of the game today was to get the Supes to gel. Daunis is enraged and remembers again Robin’s advice to not let a guy have so much power. Was Robin referring to Levi? But Daunis is distracted when Levi tells Jamie about Daunis’s old shoulder injury, and Grant appears and says that Tribal Council met today—Daunis is a member now. Daunis feels ill. Why is Grant so interested?
Even though the Supes players planned this game specifically to honor Robin, Daunis realizes that they don’t actually care about her—they’re treating the game like a more competitive than normal practice session. Things continue to unravel as Daunis wonders if Levi bothered Robin the same way he bothers her now, and when Grant expresses untoward interest in her becoming a tribal member. Given how predatory he’s been toward Daunis in past weeks, it seems likely he has some nefarious reason.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Fortunately, Daunis notices Art, Auntie, Mom, Pauline, and Perry across the lobby—and Auntie is smiling. Warning Jamie to not mention her shoulder, Daunis lets Auntie hug and congratulate her on becoming a tribal member. As Jamie jokes with Art and plays with the twins, suddenly it seems like everything is perfect. For a moment, Daunis can pretend Jamie’s a real high school student, and that she’s headed off to play hockey at a Michigan school. They’ll live together at college and offer semaa each morning. A tear falls down Daunis’s cheek: Jamie is 22 and a federal agent. Finally, Daunis lets Jamie lead her to the Jeep. He asks where she’d like to get dinner, and she asks him to take her to the emergency room.
Remember that Auntie is aware of the reason Daunis can’t play college hockey, which now seems related to her previous shoulder injury. So, Daunis tries to hide from Auntie that she made a mistake in playing tonight, just as Auntie said she would—she doesn’t want to worry or disappoint her aunt. To add to this emotional turmoil, Daunis struggles with the knowledge that she is falling in love with Jamie, regardless of how their relationship began. She wants a life with him, but she realizes that this is all just a lie, given that he’s a federal agent, not a real high school student.
Themes
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
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Firekeeper’s Daughter PDF
In the exam room, Jamie helps Daunis out of her sweatshirt and into the hospital gown, kissing her hurt shoulder. Doctor Bonasera arrives a moment later and finds that Daunis’s shoulder isn’t dislocated. But he pulls out a pen, and Daunis asks if they have to do this now—Jamie doesn’t know. Sighing at Dr. B’s pitying look, Daunis lets Dr. B run the pen down her upper arm to just above her elbow. That’s where she can feel it; from her shoulder to that point, she’s numb.
By letting Jamie in on the extent of her shoulder issues, Daunis finally comes clean with him. This moves their relationship onto more honest footing, as she’s actively hidden the truth from him prior to this. That she feels okay doing this suggests that she’s growing to trust him more, a sign of their deepening relationship—despite the fact that it is, in part, still an act.
Themes
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon