Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Seeney Nimkee Character Analysis

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 people were being disrespectful to the Elders. However, Seeney emerges over the course of the novel as an unexpectedly committed supporter of Daunis: she provides an affidavit to support Daunis’s application for tribal membership, helps Daunis escape from Levi on the ferry, and eventually asks Daunis to be her apprentice and study traditional medicines under her. She fully supports Daunis attending college at the University of Hawaii and studying ethnobotany, since as she sees it, Native Americans have always had to adapt and learn new ways of studying.

Seeney Nimkee Quotes in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The Firekeeper’s Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Seeney Nimkee or refer to Seeney Nimkee. 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 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:
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Seeney Nimkee Character Timeline in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The timeline below shows where the character Seeney Nimkee appears in Firekeeper’s Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Daunis also plans to spend the night. On the ferry, Daunis hunches down to avoid Seeney Nimkee, an Elder who once made Daunis cry. Daunis spends the next few hours playing... (full context)
Chapter 26
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...agrees to enroll. Auntie notes that Daunis needs three affidavits from non-related Elders. Just then, Seeney Nimkee hands Daunis an affidavit, followed by Granny June, Minnie, and 23 other elders. (full context)
Chapter 49
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...cap, and Daunis thinks about what Uncle David would tell her to do. She notices Seeney Nimkee in the car next to them, and Daunis gives Seeney a pleading look. When... (full context)
Chapter 50
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Daunis leaps out of Levi’s truck and into Seeney’s car, and Seeney moves her car to block Levi from following Daunis. With Seeney’s flip... (full context)
Chapter 52
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Hearing another scream, Daunis sees Auntie running for her. Auntie says she’s here because Seeney called and said Daunis was on the ferry with Levi and looked scared. Mom had... (full context)
Chapter 57
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...to study ethnobotany. Ethnobotany “look[s] at things with Indigenous eyes,” and she’ll also apprentice with Seeney Nimkee so she can eventually be a traditional medicine practitioner and a scientist. Pauline and... (full context)
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...those that can go anywhere “because they always know the way home.” She recalls telling Seeney about the ethnobotany program after Seeney invited Daunis to be her apprentice. Daunis asked if... (full context)