Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter


Angeline Boulley

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Nish Kwewag/Nish Kwe Term Analysis

Nish kwe is a shortened translation of “Anishinaabe woman.” Daunis prays daily to be a strong Nish kwe, like Auntie Teddie.

Nish Kwewag/Nish Kwe Quotes in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The Firekeeper’s Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Nish Kwewag/Nish Kwe or refer to Nish Kwewag/Nish Kwe. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice Theme Icon
Chapter 36 Quotes

I am overcome with deep gratitude as I sit here next to Auntie before the fire. Auntie has shown me how to be a strong Nish kwe—full of love, anger, humor, sorrow, and joy. Not as something perfect: She is a woman who is complex and sometimes exhausted, but mostly brave. She loves imperfect people fiercely.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Auntie Teddie, Mom, GrandMary, Levi Firekeeper
Page Number: 328
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 55 Quotes

I am so tired. The weight of my expendability is crushing.

Not everyone gets justice. Least of all Nish kwewag.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Ron Johnson, Jamie Johnson, Grant Edwards
Page Number: 473
Explanation and Analysis:
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Nish Kwewag/Nish Kwe Term Timeline in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The timeline below shows where the term Nish Kwewag/Nish Kwe appears in Firekeeper’s Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 36
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Daunis by taking her blueberry picking. At the end of the year, all of Daunis’s Nish kwe relatives came to celebrate her passage into womanhood. Now, Daunis is grateful to Auntie, who’s... (full context)
Chapter 43
Justice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...knows now that she didn’t realize how hard it would be to be a strong Nish kwe . She’s been searching for Levi this whole time. He’s hurt so many people, and... (full context)
Chapter 57
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...on one per day for a year as Auntie taught her about being a strong Nish kwe . She puts on a leather belt from Gramma Pearl, a beaded bag from Auntie,... (full context)