Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Firekeeper’s Daughter can help.

Heather Nodin Character Analysis

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 of a tragic poster child for how per-cap payments can lead to abuse and manipulation, as for much of her childhood, her biological father, Joey Nodin, refused to acknowledge she was his daughter. But when per cap started, he set Heather’s mom up for a drug bust so he could take custody, enroll her in the Tribe, and then take her per-cap checks. Heather’s situation led to the Tribe changing enrollment rules to try to protect other kids, but it wasn’t enough to help Heather: Daunis explains that Heather has seemed lost and unaffected for years, and when Daunis speaks to Heather at a bonfire, it’s clear Heather is heavily using drugs and is selling drugs of various types.

Heather Nodin Quotes in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The Firekeeper’s Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Heather Nodin or refer to Heather Nodin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice Theme Icon
).
Chapter 22 Quotes

“She used to be Heather Swanson,” I say. “Everyone knew her dad was Joey Nodin, but he denied it. Supposedly he threatened Heather’s mom when she asked for child support. But once the casino opened and the Tribe started paying per cap, Joey claimed paternity and enrolled Heather in the Tribe. People say Joey paid her mom’s shady boyfriend to set her up for a drug bust so she would lose custody. The custodial parent gets the kid’s minor money.”

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Jamie Johnson, Heather Nodin, Grant Edwards
Page Number: 197
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 43 Quotes

Nibwaakaawin. Auntie told me the translation, breaking down each part of the word so it made perfect sense: To be wise is to live with an abundance of sight.

My whole life I’ve wanted to be like my aunt. The way a person dreams about being a ballerina, but not of broken toes and years of practice. I wanted to be a strong and wise Nish kwe, never considering how that abundance of sight would be earned.

I wanted to find out who was involved in the meth madness that took Lily and Uncle David. Robin and Heather, too. And the kids in Minnesota who got so sick from meth-X.

The person I was searching for this whole time was Levi.

Wisdom is not bestowed. In its raw state, it is the heartbreak of knowing things you wish you didn’t.

Page Number: 392-393
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Firekeeper’s Daughter LitChart as a printable PDF.
Firekeeper’s Daughter PDF

Heather Nodin Character Timeline in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The timeline below shows where the character Heather Nodin appears in Firekeeper’s Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 19
Family and Community Theme Icon
...by the fire. Macy slides into Jamie’s seat and mocks Daunis for “stealing Jamie,” but Heather, one of Stormy’s cousins, tells Macy to go away. (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Heather stinks of marijuana, and she’s dressed oddly for a bonfire in capri jeans that are... (full context)
Chapter 20
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Youth Tribal Council will come on Thursday to help Elders set up cell phones, and Heather Nodin is missing. By Friday, Daunis is taking only two classes and spending her afternoons... (full context)
Chapter 21
Family and Community Theme Icon
On Saturday, Daunis drives to Sugar Island. She passes a billboard with Heather’s senior picture and the Tribal Police phone number on her way there. When Daunis steps... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...was problem-solving. Daunis asks the raven how he’ll help her, and then she smells it. Heather Nodin’s body is just beyond a nearby boulder. (full context)
Chapter 22
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...911 operator; she only just got service. She shouts that she didn’t need to take Heather’s pulse because Heather was obviously dead. Auntie takes the phone from Daunis, tells the operator... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
There, as Jamie pets the cat, Herri, Daunis shares that Heather offered her marijuana and ecstasy laced with Viagra at the bonfire. Jamie says that Heather’s... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
...now, Jamie seems disinterested. He says that he doesn’t want to say bad things about Heather, but it seems in character for her to have had bags of marijuana and crystal... (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
...car turns onto Daunis’s street. Daunis didn’t pray for bravery this morning; she prayed for Heather to find love in the next life. Still, she hugs Jamie from behind and kisses... (full context)
Chapter 23
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Daunis thinks of Uncle David and Heather all week. Granny June thinks Daunis has afternoon classes, but really, Daunis spends every afternoon... (full context)
Chapter 28
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 29
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Ron slips Daunis a note listing all things the police found on Heather. It doesn’t mention undergarments or her flip-flops, and it lists different drugs than what Heather... (full context)
Chapter 51
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 55
Justice Theme Icon
...go to court, too, since Levi used her name for the wire transfers. They found Heather’s flip-flop in Levi’s closet. Daunis says it wasn’t there when she searched his closet; she’s... (full context)
Chapter 57
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...they’ve always adapted. Daunis studies her community and then dances and prays for Lily, Robin, Heather, herself, and all the girls who are seen as invisible and expendable. She introduces herself... (full context)