The novel’s protagonist, 18-year-old Daunis is a former hockey player trying to find her way after graduating high school the spring before the novel begins. Daunis’s Mom is white, and Dad was a member of… read analysis of Daunis Fontaine
Levi is Daunis’s brother; they share a father, Dad, but his mom is Dana. He’s three months younger than Daunis, but Daunis still looks up to and adores him, and he regularly… read analysis of Levi Firekeeper
Lily is Daunis’s best friend; her ex-boyfriend, Travis, shoots and kills her at the powwow a week after the story begins. Lily is small in stature, but she’s bright, vivacious, and attracts attention… read analysis of Lily
The initial antagonist of the novel, Travis is Lily’s on-again, off-again boyfriend. He’s been using meth for about a year and cooking it for about nine months, which precipitated his and Lily’s initial breakup… read analysis of Travis Flint
GrandMary is Daunis’s grandmother on her Fontaine side. She recently suffered a stroke and now lives in the assisted living facility EverCare. Though Daunis loves GrandMary, she also has complicated feelings about her grandmother… read analysis of GrandMary
Auntie is Daunis’s aunt on her Firekeeper side. She has, throughout Daunis’s life, kept Daunis connected to the Ojibwe community and traditions, and she has supported Mom emotionally. Though she used to be known… read analysis of Auntie Teddie
Uncle David is Mom’s brother and, until his death in April, was the science teacher at Sault High. Daunis adored her uncle—he encouraged her curiosity and trained her to critically think through problems and… read analysis of Uncle David
Jamie is a junior officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs assigned to go undercover as a high school senior in the Sault as part of a meth investigation. He poses as Ron’s nephew… read analysis of Jamie Johnson
Ron is the senior FBI agent assigned to the Sault with Jamie to investigate meth-X and the associated meth cell. He’s Native and insists to Daunis (and seems to genuinely believe) that it’s necessary for… read analysis of Ron Johnson
Daunis’s dad, Levi Firekeeper, Sr., died when Daunis and Levi were seven. He was an Ojibwe hockey player bound for fame and glory when he got 16-year-old Mom pregnant and, a few months later… read analysis of Dad
Mike is a Supes hockey player who ultimately turns out to be an antagonist and the leader of the meth cell in Sault Ste. Marie, but Daunis spends much of the novel viewing him as… read analysis of Mike Edwards
One of the novel’s antagonists, Grant Edwards is Mike’s dad and a wealthy attorney in Sault Ste. Marie. He also runs the Booster Bus, as he’s a huge Supes fan. Daunis has always found… read analysis of Grant Edwards
Stormy is a Supes hockey player and one of Levi’s friends. He’s also involved in the meth cell. Stormy is a skinny kid whom Daunis doesn’t always like much—she notes several times how annoyed… read analysis of Stormy Nodin
Judge Dana Firekeeper
Though Dana ultimately turns out to be an antagonist involved in the meth cell, Daunis generally likes and admires her for much of the novel. This is despite the fact that as a young woman… read analysis of Judge Dana Firekeeper
Coach Bobby is the Sault High varsity hockey coach and a business teacher—and eventually, Daunis discovers he’s involved in the meth cell. This is totally unexpected for her, though, as Coach has always been wildly… read analysis of Coach Bobby
Granny June is Lily’s grandmother; she’s a tiny old lady and has been Lily’s legal guardian since Lily was in sixth grade. Daunis and Lily love and admire Granny for her wit, sage advice… read analysis of Granny June
Heather Nodin is one of Daunis’s classmates; Daunis finds her body on Duck Island, though it’s never explicitly made clear how Heather died (or, possibly, was killed). She’s seen in the community as something… read analysis of Heather Nodin
Two years older than Daunis, Robin was the first girl to make the Sault High varsity hockey team and later became Daunis’s mentor. Daunis looks up to Robin and thinks highly of her—so it’s… read analysis of Robin Bailey
TJ is Daunis’s ex-boyfriend and a Tribal police officer. He’s several years older than Daunis. Daunis resents and almost fears him for much of the novel, in part because she has no idea why… read analysis of TJ Kewadin
Seeney is one of the youngest Elders in the Sugar Island Ojibwe tribe. Daunis fears her for much of the novel, as Seeney once made her cry by pointing out that Daunis and other young… read analysis of Seeney Nimkee
Art is Auntie’s husband. He’s Native and Black, so he suffers more intense racism and bigotry than other enrolled tribal members do—he was once held at gunpoint at the Canada border due to his… read analysis of Art
Grandpa Lorenzo is deceased, but he was Daunis’s grandfather, GrandMary’s husband, and Mom’s father. He and GrandMary were bigoted toward Native Americans, so they were incensed when Dad, who was Ojibwe… read analysis of Grandpa Lorenzo
Grant’s wife and Mike’s mom, Mrs. Edwards, is a stylish, middle-aged lady. Several years ago, she bought GrandMary’s clothing boutique and all of Grandpa Lorenzo’s antique office furniture. Daunis generally likes… read analysis of Mrs. Edwards
Macy is one of Daunis’s former classmates. She’s full of herself, sexy, and has a knack for dispensing cutting insults with just enough truth to them to be devastating. Still, despite antagonizing each other… read analysis of Macy Manitou
Maggie is Lily’s mom, though at the time of Lily’s death, she hasn’t been involved in raising Lily for many years. Indeed, Lily often refers to herself as Maggie’s “practice baby”; after Lily, Maggie… read analysis of Maggie
Mrs. Hammond, or Mrs. H, is the secretary at Sault High. Though she’s generally kind to Daunis, she also reveals that she’s wildly bigoted—she once tells Daunis that she hopes Daunis will go away… read analysis of Mrs. Hammond
Angie Flint is Travis’s mom. She’s responsible for bringing meth to the Sault, and so she’s known to some as the “Meth Queen.” Angie already had an awful reputation thanks to the time she… read analysis of Angie Flint
Minnie Mustang is Macy’s great-grandmother and one of the Elders, so named for the red Mustang she bought when she turned 75. She’s extremely opinionated and has an ongoing love-hate relationship with Granny June… read analysis of Minnie Mustang
Joey Nodin never appears in the novel, but he’s fathered several children in the Sault, including Heather Nodin and Ryan. He didn’t care about his kids until the casino began distributing per-cap payments—and then… read analysis of Joey Nodin
Megan is dating one of the Supes and takes Daunis under her wing when Daunis begins dating Jamie. Daunis finds Megan alternately exhausting and kind, though ultimately bigoted: Megan reveals a dream catcher tattoo… read analysis of Megan
Stormy’s dad is an opinionated, hard man who vacillates between being involved in Tribal affairs and Stormy’s life, and being totally checked out when he and his wife, Shawna, are using drugs heavily… read analysis of Stormy’s Dad
Ryan is a boy who graduated with Daunis. He always acted like a stereotypical bigoted Zhaaganaash and would work Native kids up about treaty rights and differing hunting laws for Native and non-Native people… read analysis of Ryan
Gramma Pearl is deceased; she was Daunis’s Anishinaabe nokomis. Daunis adored Gramma Pearl and has internalized many of Gramma Pearl’s teachings and bits of advice, such as that bad things come in threes and that it’s possible to cure an earache by pouring one’s urine into the infected ear.
Jonsy is TJ’s grandfather and one of the Elders. Daunis goes bottle hunting at the local landfill with him, and though they don’t spend a ton of time together, she often hears his advice in her head. He helps her get away from Levi on the ferry.
Leonard is Macy’s grandfather and an elder who frequents the lunches at the Elder Center. Daunis approaches him to ask him about the Little People, as when he was a small child, he got lost in the snow and the Little People protected him for two days.
Shawna Nodin is Stormy’s mom. She and her husband, Stormy’s dad, experience good periods when they’re heavily involved in Tribal affairs, ceremonies, and Stormy’s life—but they also regularly go on “benders,” when they heavily use drugs.
Perry is one of Auntie and Art’s five-year-old twin daughters. She’s more physical and active than Pauline.
Pauline is one of Auntie and Art’s five-year-old twin daughters. She’s obsessed with princesses.
Chief Manitou is Macy’s dad and the chief of the Sugar Island Ojibwe Tribe.
Dr. Bonasera is Daunis’s doctor at the local Sault hospital. He’s been caring for her since she injured her shoulder several years ago, and he cautions Daunis to not play hockey anymore so she doesn’t risk further nerve damage.
Dr. Roulain is the doctor in Ann Arbor who cares for Daunis after her liver laceration.
Jen is Jamie’s made-up girlfriend; she does not actually exist.
Mrs. Bonasera, or Mrs. B, is the head nurse at EverCare.
Mrs. Bailey is Robin’s mom.