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.
Semaa is tobacco, which is given as an offering to elders, Creator, and other deities.

Semaa Quotes in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The Firekeeper’s Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Semaa or refer to Semaa. 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 42 Quotes

What if I ask for something I shouldn’t? I could be a bird asking Creator for love, only to be so enamored of my new mate that I fly into a clean window and break my neck.

Everything has strings attached. Unintended consequences. The shove from behind that you never saw coming.

Flakes of semaa flutter from my trembling hand.

My prayer ends with a confession: I’m scared.

Related Characters: Daunis Fontaine (speaker), Auntie Teddie
Page Number: 382-383
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Firekeeper’s Daughter LitChart as a printable PDF.
Firekeeper’s Daughter PDF

Semaa Term Timeline in Firekeeper’s Daughter

The timeline below shows where the term Semaa appears in Firekeeper’s Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
The narrator (Daunis) dresses in running clothes before sunrise and leaves a pinch of semaa (tobacco) on the eastern side of a tree. She prays to Creator and asks for... (full context)
Chapter 6
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
...shows up in Daunis’s driveway two days later for a morning run. Daunis leaves her semaa and prays, and she then studies Jamie: he’s her height, but so lean that she... (full context)
Chapter 11
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...has a different purpose; today, Lily will mourn her family and friends. So, Daunis leaves semaa under the prayer tree, rejects Mom’s offer of a bath, and says she needs to... (full context)
Chapter 13
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...the black stilettos that Lily forced her to buy, says a prayer and offers some semaa, and then puts sprigs of giizhik (cedar) in her shoes. She’s going to be an... (full context)
Chapter 15
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...at the Elder Center; she’ll bring the Jeep. On the ferry, she offers Daunis her semaa pouch to offer to the river; since the river flows constantly, it’s a new river... (full context)
Chapter 18
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...needs to run by herself today. Since Daunis is on her Moon, she doesn’t offer semaa during her prayer—women are powerful when they’re menstruating. Auntie says they carry power and medicine... (full context)
Chapter 30
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Stormy makes an offering of semaa when he and Daunis are on the ferry, which surprises Daunis—but she reasons that when... (full context)
Chapter 32
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Skipping the funeral lunch, Daunis drives Granny June to the Elder Center and picks up semaa for Leonard Manitou on the way. Leonard isn’t there. (full context)
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Daunis yelled back. Focusing on her task, Daunis sits next to Leonard, passes him the semaa, and asks to hear about the Little People. She follows Auntie’s rules for asking for... (full context)
Chapter 33
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...can Auntie think Daunis is being foolish? TJ is so out of line. Daunis offers semaa to the river and asks for help, and then she waits in the lobby at... (full context)
Chapter 36
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Daunis drives the Jeep to Sugar Island and offers semaa to the river on the ferry—she needs help, as she has to put the clues... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...medicine: “Know and understand your brother but do not seek him.” After they both offer semaa to the fire, Auntie tells Daunis to trust herself to listen to the things she... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...mushroom, they’ll leave other traditional medicines alone. Daunis burns the five torn-out pages and offers semaa as the ferry crosses the river. She thanks Creator for trusting her with information and... (full context)
Chapter 38
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...off to play hockey at a Michigan school. They’ll live together at college and offer semaa each morning. A tear falls down Daunis’s cheek: Jamie is 22 and a federal agent.... (full context)
Chapter 42
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...what to pray for. Asking for something could have unintended consequences, so Daunis drops the semaa and confesses that she’s afraid. She runs to the place where she and Jamie had... (full context)
Chapter 57
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...over the ferry, Daunis realizes with relief that Macy wasn’t at the ceremony. She offers semaa to the river and prays thankfully for all the Nish women and girls who didn’t... (full context)