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.
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 for dressing all in black, including with black lipstick. She also attracts attention for her “creative” parking: rather than parallel park, she often parks her Jeep on the curb or the grass. Like Daunis, Lily is a descendant, rather than an enrolled member, of the Sugar Island Ojibwe Tribe. Due to her grandfather being from a tribe in Canada, she wasn’t able to meet the blood purity standards. She and Travis had been on-again, off-again for almost a year at the time of her death; she broke up with him when she discovered he was cooking meth and tried to break things off for good when he offered her “love medicine” on Valentine’s Day. As Daunis gradually recovers her memories of the night Lily died, she realizes that Lily had a firm grasp that real, healthy love means wanting what’s best for their partner, even if that means breaking up. Daunis also realizes that Lily died trying to protect Daunis. Following Lily’s death, Daunis discovers that Lily suffered sexual and physical abuse prior to coming to live with Granny June in sixth grade.

Lily Quotes in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The Firekeeper’s Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Lily or refer to Lily. 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 11 Quotes

Auntie overheard us talking and sat us down. She talked about the boarding school that Granny June’s daughters had been scooped up and taken to. Years spent marching like soldiers and training to be household domestics. They had the Anishinaabemowin and cultural teachings beaten out of them. When they came back to Sugar Island, one of the girls had scarred palms that looked like melted plastic, and she ran into the woods at the sound of a kettle whistle. Her sister was afraid of men and had to sleep with her back against the wall. Auntie had told us, When you criticize Maggie, just remember she was raised by one of those sisters, the one who didn’t kill herself.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Auntie Teddie (speaker), Maggie, Lily, Granny June
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

“Your kiden needed protection from bad dreams?” I raise an eyebrow.

She laughs while zipping her jeans. “Dream catchers are sexy.”

When Lily and I were on Tribal Youth Council, we all played a game called Bigotry Bingo. When we heard a comment that fed into stereotypes, we’d call it out. Dream catchers were the free space. Too easy. There were so many others, though.

You don’t look Native.

Must be nice to get free college.

Can you give me an Indian name for my dog?

Maybe-Megan’s tattoo would have been good for another square: Native Americans as a sexual fetish. The more she talks, the more squares I mark […].

“I’m honoring Indians,” she says in response to my lingering scowl.

“Plus, I’m part Indian, so it’s okay.”

“My great-grandma was an Indian princess.”

Lily, we have a winner!

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Megan (speaker), Lily, Mrs. Hammond
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Each tribe has the sovereign right to determine who is a member. My best friend couldn’t get enrolled because of the way the Sugar Island Ojibwe Tribe’s enrollment office calculated Indian blood quantum: fractions of Indian blood based on lineage. Granny June’s first husband was from a First Nations band in Canada, so Lily’s pedigree didn’t meet the standard. Too many ancestors from across the river, not the right kind of Indian blood. Granny filed an appeal with Tribal Council, telling them, No one told me I wasn’t supposed to snag on that side of the river. We were here before that border existed. Every one of yous got cousins over there. But Council rejected her appeal for Lily’s membership application.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Granny June (speaker), Lily, Grant Edwards
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

When Lily told Travis that she was done for good, he pulled out a gun. Love is not control. If he had truly loved Lily, he would have wanted her to have a good life. Even if it wasn’t with him. Instead, he did the opposite of love. Travis steadied the gun in his hand and thought only of himself.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Auntie Teddie, Lily, Travis Flint, Jamie Johnson
Page Number: 331
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 37 Quotes

Somehow, Travis had come across a love medicine. The kind of bad medicine that Auntie warned me against asking too much about.

When Lily refused to try the love medicine, Travis must have added it to a batch of meth […]. What he thought was a love medicine was actually the opposite of love. Real love honors your spirit. If you need a medicine to create or keep it, that’s possession and control. Not love.

A couple of weeks later, on a rez in Minnesota, a group of kids tried it […]. Every single one got sick. Not lovesick for some girl they’d never met, but infected with an insatiable desire for more meth.

I can do my part to protect our medicines, while trusting that there are those in the community who are doing their part to preserve and protect many different medicine teachings.

Page Number: 334-335
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 40 Quotes

“I’m not just some emotional entanglement,” I say. “Jamie and I can handle being part of the investigation and having something that’s not so neatly defined.”

Ron shakes his head. He’s frustrated, I think, but what else can he say about it?

“Daunis, you do get that there is no actual Jamie Johnson, right? There is just a rookie officer who will do anything it takes to redeem himself after his first UC assignment went to hell. Including using you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Jamie was the one who proposed that he get close to you.”

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Ron Johnson (speaker), Jamie Johnson, Lily, Travis Flint
Page Number: 366
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:
Chapter 52 Quotes

I thought I had no resources on the ferry, except for one lone Elder. But one led to another, and another. A resource I never anticipated during my time of dire need.

I’m reminded that our Elders are our greatest resource, embodying our culture and community. Their stories connect us to our language medicines, land, clans, songs, and traditions. They are a bridge between the Before and the Now, guiding those of us who will carry on in the Future.

We honor our heritage and our people, those who are alive and those who’ve passed on. That’s important because it keeps the ones we lose with us. My grandparents. Uncle David. Lily. Dad.

Page Number: 453
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 57 Quotes

As my aunt tells the story, a large basket is passed around the inner circle. I take a yellow pansy and pass the basket to Auntie. I watch as women approach the fire, each one offering a pansy.

As I release the pansy, I think about what Grant Edwards did to me and say my silent prayer. There is comfort in watching the smoke rise to the full moon.

When I return to my seat, Granny June holds my hand.

“Liliban was thankful each year that you weren’t here,” she says.

“Wait. She was here?” My heart breaks.

“Yes, my girl. Ever since she came to live with me.”

I cry for my best friend and the secrets she wanted to protect me from.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Granny June (speaker), Lily, Auntie Teddie, Grant Edwards
Page Number: 481
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Firekeeper’s Daughter LitChart as a printable PDF.
Firekeeper’s Daughter PDF

Lily Character Timeline in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The timeline below shows where the character Lily appears in Firekeeper’s Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Several hours later, Daunis’s best friend Lily pulls up in her Jeep, with tiny Granny June riding shotgun. Daunis and Lily have... (full context)
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...she’s not sure what kind of boat she is. She’s happy to attend classes with Lily at Lake State, but she’s also sad to not have the opportunity to escape the... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Passing a billboard for today’s Tribal Council election, Lily gripes that Daunis’s Auntie Teddie should’ve run for office. After the girls help Granny June... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
The arena is also a polling center, and one woman offers Lily and Daunis cookies—but pulls the plate back when another lady says that the girls aren’t... (full context)
Chapter 3
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...get up herself and scolds Jamie when he helps Pauline up. From across the ice, Lily makes a lewd gesture at Daunis—she, like everyone else, is enamored with mysterious, handsome Jamie.... (full context)
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
From the edge of the ring, Teddie motions for Daunis. Jamie and Lily follow. Teddie introduces herself to Jamie and asks what tribe he’s from. He says he’s... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Almost angrily, Lily says it’s a shame Daunis insists on keeping “Hockey World” and “Regular World” separate and... (full context)
Chapter 4
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
...okay if he comes to Daunis’s party. This wasn’t supposed to be a real party; Lily and Daunis were just going to celebrate Daunis’s Lake State decision at GrandMary’s empty house... (full context)
Chapter 5
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...But Auntie, clearly regretful, hugs Daunis when Daunis is ready to go. Later, Daunis tells Lily about the blanket party as they move valuables to safe spots at the big house.... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Levi drops the beer off around eight and then leaves to get his friends. Lily is clearly enraged; she says that this was supposed to be just a few friends,... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Two hours later, Lily scolds Levi for playing music too loudly, and Daunis offers Jamie her bottle of grappa.... (full context)
Chapter 6
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Daunis by asking how she is, but Daunis isn’t ready to share. Later, Daunis calls Lily, and they discuss where Jamie might’ve come from—and what the deal is with his girlfriend. (full context)
Chapter 7
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...up on Saturday excited: the powwow is later, and she tells GrandMary about her and Lily’s plans to go to the campus bookstore to price textbooks. After the bookstore outing, Daunis... (full context)
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
As Daunis ignores another raunchy text from Lily, Jamie asks what happened to Daunis’s dad. Daunis explains that Mom was 16 when she... (full context)
Chapter 8
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Auntie in their Jingle Dress regalia, and Auntie compliments Jamie’s work cleaning up Daunis’s knee. Lily approaches in her Fancy Shawl regalia, but the call for dancers to line up means... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
After the Grand Entry, Lily and Granny June meet up with Daunis and Jamie; they’d like to sit together to... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Travis suddenly appears beside Lily. Daunis puts herself between them and notices how rough Travis looks: he’s already experiencing tooth... (full context)
Chapter 9
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
...found meth thanks to his mom, who’s known as the Meth Queen. Over Christmas break, Lily caught Travis cooking meth and now, it seems like so many people are using—people you’d... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...texts Mom and assures her that she’ll be safe at Auntie’s tonight. She then texts Lily, whom she hasn’t heard from, asking what happened with Travis. Daunis warns Jamie to text... (full context)
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Daunis leaves the barn and vomits near Jamie’s truck. When she looks up, Travis and Lily are coming down the path—and Travis is grabbing at Lily, who’s clearly upset. He pulls... (full context)
Chapter 10
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Lily falls to her back. Travis says something to Daunis, but she can’t hear him—she can... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...over once so Daunis can vomit. He says there was nothing he could do for Lily. On her knees, Daunis remembers Uncle David telling her to piece together what she knows.... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...the ferry. Daunis checks her phone; she has texts from Mom, Levi, and one from Lily. She says she needs to call Granny June, but Jamie tells Daunis not to—she shouldn’t... (full context)
Chapter 11
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...if you stop. Daunis wakes in the sunlight, Mom asleep next to her, and remembers Lily dying. She’d like to take another pill and go back to sleep, but she knows... (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
At the funeral home, Daunis hugs Granny June and studies Lily’s body in the casket. Nothing feels real. She looks around for Auntie, but Auntie must... (full context)
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
On the second day, Lily’s mom, Maggie, arrives, insisting she had to buy her kids church clothes before she could... (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
When Daunis takes the ferry to Sugar Island later, she thinks about Lily’s journey today: Lily will atone for every living creature she harmed during her life. Noticing... (full context)
Chapter 12
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
On Lily’s third day, she learns about the next world. Daunis sits next to Lily’s casket and... (full context)
Chapter 13
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
...day, Daunis is still angry. She sits next to Granny June for the funeral. It’s Lily’s fourth day; today, Lily will say goodbye and then cross over. Her ceremonial fire will... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Only two Tribal Council leaders are at the funeral. This makes sense, since Lily was a descendant, not an enrolled member. The rest of the council is at Travis’s... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...might someday affect Pauline and Perry, Daunis stops. She takes off the black stilettos that Lily forced her to buy, says a prayer and offers some semaa, and then puts sprigs... (full context)
Chapter 14
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Mom is reading Jane Austen to GrandMary, as usual. Daunis never liked Jane Austen much; Lily always talked about books with the adults. Daunis tells Mom that she’s spoken to her... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...knows it’s not right to experiment with traditional medicines for the FBI. Thinking of what Lily, Auntie, and Gramma Pearl would do, Daunis realizes she’s the only one who can help.... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
...Levi’s hockey games, but now, she dreams about shopping for books and school supplies with Lily. Coming back to the present and noticing the signs for Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Daunis... (full context)
Chapter 16
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...and then holds out the keys. But Granny June says she knows Daunis paid for Lily’s funeral, so she’d like Daunis to keep the Jeep and drive it around. Jonsy interrupts... (full context)
Chapter 17
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Lily keeps blankets in the Jeep; Daunis uses them to swaddle the garbage bag. She heads... (full context)
Chapter 18
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Daunis falls asleep and dreams about the night Travis shot Lily. She watches Lily walk away from Travis and can smell the acetone and urine on... (full context)
Chapter 19
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
The drive home seems to take forever, and Daunis keeps hearing Lily’s voice in her head, telling her that she’s not allowing herself to experience new things.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...having sex with Jamie, and then Levi gently asks Daunis about Granny June gifting Daunis Lily’s Jeep. Daunis relaxes, suddenly realizing how tense she’s been. Then, Levi says he and the... (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...other of rolled joints, and offers some to Daunis. Daunis refuses and reminds Heather that Lily just died because of drugs. Heather storms away. Later that evening, Daunis refuses to tell... (full context)
Chapter 20
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...get ready. But as Daunis finally reaches her first class, she can’t help thinking that Lily should be here—so when the teacher tells students to leave if they’re not interested, Daunis... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Daunis played together for two years. Now, Robin suggests that Daunis take two classes, whatever Lily was most excited about (American Literature) and whatever she’s most excited about (Plant Morphology). She... (full context)
Chapter 22
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Once Jamie leaves, Daunis goes inside to deal with Mom, who’s crying. Both Daunis and Lily are (and were) good at reading people, but Lily always insisted that their abilities to... (full context)
Chapter 23
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...realizes she’s helping the investigation for Levi and the Supes, in addition to Uncle David, Lily, the Tribe, the Sault, and the kids in Minnesota. Daunis’s good mood evaporates after the... (full context)
Chapter 26
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...so much of Uncle David. She fears that eventually, she’ll stop thinking about David and Lily every day. She knows this is just because “memories are fickle” and can fade, but... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...decade. Ron pats Daunis’s arm, and she realizes she’s clenching her fists. Daunis thinks of Lily, who couldn’t enroll because her grandpa is from Canada—her blood wasn’t pure enough. (full context)
Chapter 28
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...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 locks herself in a bathroom stall and sinks... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
That night, Daunis dreams about the night Travis shot Lily. Lily tells Travis to leave her alone and focus on himself—Lily can’t stand on her... (full context)
Chapter 31
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
When Daunis falls asleep, she dreams again of Travis shooting Lily. Travis points the gun at Daunis’s face and asks if Daunis is real—the Little People... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
When Daunis jerks awake, she realizes she’s remembering more about the night Travis shot Lily. She also recalls that Leonard Manitou has spoken about the Little People; she decides to... (full context)
Chapter 33
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...death, Daunis agrees. Daunis has never been excited to go to Shagala before. She wishes Lily, Uncle David, and Dad were here—and suddenly, she remembers that Uncle David’s school desk has... (full context)
Chapter 36
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
...she knows that love honors both people’s spirits in a relationship. Privately, Daunis thinks of Lily’s final words to Travis, that they needed to be their own people and that she... (full context)
Chapter 37
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Daunis thinks back to when Lily broke up with Travis over Christmas break. He made lots of grand gestures that sometimes... (full context)
Chapter 39
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...says she’d like to just focus on them tonight. Jamie agrees. They fetch the condoms Lily kept in the Jeep’s glove box, and the sex is perfect until Jamie says he... (full context)
Chapter 42
Justice Theme Icon
...name again and again. When she falls asleep, she’s back in the night Travis shot Lily. Lily is dead, and Travis tells Daunis that “They” are so mad at him. Lily,... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Dad’s choker, Daunis thinks of everything that happened last night—and her dream about Travis and Lily. The gift is a framed photo of Levi, Dad, and Daunis. As she studies it,... (full context)
Chapter 44
Justice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Levi is mixed up in something bad, and it has to do with Travis and Lily. She talks about him going to Sugar Island to talk sense into Travis; Daunis knows... (full context)
Chapter 46
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...added psychedelic mushrooms, and then added more “wild stuff” while he was hung up on Lily. Annoyed, Mike says that Levi was bad at using meth—and at pitching the business plan... (full context)
Chapter 53
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
...in as the pansies start to dance. The flowers morph into dancing women—and then suddenly, Lily is behind Daunis. Lily is “more” now than she was in life. Everything begins to... (full context)
Chapter 56
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Jamie begins to cry. He apologizes for involving Daunis and for Lily and Uncle David’s deaths. Daunis doesn’t comfort him; he needs to know that investigations have... (full context)
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
...without her. Daunis knows she wants to be with Jamie—but she also remembers Travis telling Lily that he needed her and couldn’t do it without her. Granny June’s warning that “Things... (full context)
Chapter 57
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...her and prays. When she sits back next to Granny June, Granny June says that Lily was always thankful that Daunis never attended this ceremony—Lily started coming to this ceremony when... (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
On Sunday, Daunis prays for love. Today her mourning period for Lily ends, and she’ll dance for the first time since Uncle David died. Daunis asks to... (full context)
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Seeney said 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... (full context)