Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter


Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter Themes

Themes and Colors
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Firekeeper’s Daughter, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.


In Firekeeper’s Daughter, Daunis, an 18-year-old Ojibwe teen, finds herself caught up in an undercover FBI investigation into a suspected meth cell whose product has been decimating her community for a year or more. The investigation is emotionally difficult for Daunis, as she realizes that she and FBI agents Ron and Jamie are working toward very different goals. Ron and Jamie want to root out the meth cell members and prosecute them in…

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Generational Trauma and Bigotry

When federal FBI agents Ron and Jamie ask 18-year-old Daunis to help them in an undercover investigation into a suspected meth cell, Daunis is suspicious and conflicted. This is because she’s well aware that the federal government has an awful track record when it comes to its dealings with tribal communities. So, while Daunis understands the need to figure out who’s making and selling the meth that’s decimating her community, she’s less convinced that federal…

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Ceremony, Pride, and Healing

As Daunis’s Sugar Island Ojibwe community weathers various painful incidents, including drug-related deaths, murder, and sexual assault, Daunis becomes increasingly disillusioned with the formal and legal options that ostensibly seek to offer justice and healing. Instead, Daunis discovers time and again that her cultural traditions and ceremonies, though they’re not usually legally meaningful (in the federal government’s eyes), offer her and her peers catharsis, comfort, and ways to feel pride in their identities and…

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Love, Honesty, and Respect

As undercover FBI agents Ron and Jamie investigate a suspected meth cell in Daunis’s tribal community, Daunis considers what makes love real, healthy, and valuable—and what makes it dangerous and not love at all. Ultimately, with the help of her Elders’ teachings and her own experiences, Daunis decides that love is only love if it’s respectful and honest, and if a person in a relationship genuinely wants what’s best for their partner—even if that means…

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Coming of Age

Firekeeper’s Daughter is, at its heart, 18-year-old Daunis’s coming-of-age story. Over the course of the novel, she matures from a naïve (though also quick and incisive) teenager into a young woman who knows what she wants—as well as her limitations. The novel ties Daunis’s coming of age to the experience she gains throughout the few months that federal agents Ron and Jamie spend in the Sault conducting an undercover operation into a suspected meth…

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Family and Community

Though 18-year-old Daunis’s dad has been deceased for more than a decade, she nevertheless comes from two close-knit and supportive families. On Mom’s side, the Fontaine side, Daunis grew up with her mom’s support as well as that of her grandmother GrandMary and her Uncle David. On the Firekeeper side, Daunis is extremely close with her Auntie Teddie and Auntie’s family, which connects her to her Ojibwe heritage and community. Much of…

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