Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 51 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Coach Bobby tells Daunis to be smart. He’s always helped and defended her, but now he says that Jamie is “done” and Daunis will go to the middle of nowhere. If she cooks great meth, Mom will stay alive. Daunis knows they’ll keep threatening her loved ones as Coach pulls over to let Levi into the car. He sits behind Daunis and puts a hand on her bruise. Though Daunis feels angry and betrayed, she remembers Coach Bobby’s coaching: she can’t control bad calls on the ice, but she can control how she reacts and decide what to do next. When Levi and Coach look back toward the sound of sirens, Daunis looks forward and sees TJ—one of the good guys—coming toward them in his cruiser.
Levi’s choice to put a hand on Daunis’s bruise is extremely threatening and controlling. He’s showing her that he’s more than willing to hurt her (and compound the trauma of the assault) if it suits him. Even as Coach Bobby betrays and threatens Daunis in this situation, Daunis recognizes that her coach has still spent years teaching her valuable things, such as to focus on what she can control.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Daunis jerks the wheel, causing the BMW to hit a tree and spin. She’s bleeding within moments and crawls out the driver’s side of the car. TJ has Coach Bobby at gunpoint, and his partner cuffs Coach. TJ ignores Daunis as he runs to the other side of the car. When he finally turns to her, he says paramedics are coming. He says he knows now that she’s not part of the meth ring—she and Jamie were recently reported missing and in danger, and the FBI hasn’t been telling the Tribal Police everything. Daunis finally notices Levi on the ground, his leg at an odd angle.
It seems like Daunis and TJ are finally reaching a truce. They both know that the other isn’t a bad person, which suggests that from here they’ll be able to move on and coexist in their community. Indeed, TJ seems even more like a good guy as he implies that he wishes the FBI had shared more, as that way he’d be able to do a better job of protecting his community. That community, he implies, includes Daunis, even if they broke up.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Levi begs Daunis to tell TJ that Coach Bobby forced him to help, but Daunis backs away. She tells Levi she loves him enough to tell the truth. Then, she tells TJ who’s involved in the meth ring and that they were likely involved in Uncle David, Heather, and Robin’s deaths. Then, she says she has to go back for Jamie. To her surprise, TJ lets Daunis go. Daunis races for the ferry, passing the Elders. She asks Minnie to borrow her Mustang, ignoring Ron when he appears and asks to drive. On the ferry ride over, Daunis tells Ron everything. She drives the Mustang off the ferry before the ramp is all the way down. They reach the spot where the truck was parked and continue on foot. As they open the trailer door, Daunis screams: Stormy is bringing an ax down on Jamie’s ankle.
As Daunis sees it, Levi’s request that she lie to TJ is yet another incidence of Levi trying to skirt responsibility by blaming others. Coach Bobby is guilty of a lot of things, but it doesn’t appear as though he forced any of the boys involved in the meth cell to do anything. When Daunis refuses to lie for him, she implies that she understands she must make a choice now between being loyal to her family (even if they don’t deserve it) and being loyal to her community. She chooses her community, and the community then continues to rally around her and help her achieve her goals. 
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon