"Firekeeper's Daughter" ignites book community

·2 min read

Sault Michigan’s own Angeline Boulley has her debut novel, “Firekeeper’s Daughter” coming out March 16, 2021. She is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Boulley is a storyteller who writes based on her own experiences as a biracial woman coming of age in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Spending her summers on Sugar Island with the tribal community, her father is a firekeeper. He strikes and tends the ceremonial fires for special activities and cultural ceremonies in their community.

The Young Adult thriller follows the adventures of Daunis Fontaine, a Native 18-year-old living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, who, in an attempt to expose corruption in the community, goes undercover in an FBI investigation and uncovers more than she expected.

The novel is described as the “Indigenous Nancy Drew.”

“They might buy the book for the gorgeous cover, they might buy it for the thriller, for the tagline ‘Indigenous Nancy Drew’, but what I hope stays with them is learning about my community, what it’s like to come of age as an Ojibway girl, biracial, and when you feel like you’re not enough Indian, or too much for some people,” said Boulley.

Boulley has been working on the book for over 10 years. The idea for the novel came about when she was a teenager, and her friend told her about a new guy in town at another school who she might be interested in. Later that year, it came out that the new guy was actually an undercover narcotics officer.

There is already a Netflix series set for production. She shares in an interview that Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company “Higher Ground Productions” is exploring adapting the novel for a Netflix series.

"Just saying it out loud, I am still like in disbelief. It's better than any dream I ever could have dreamed for myself," said Boulley.

She is already working on her next novel, describing it as “Indigenous Laura Croft”, where the main character is stealing back ancestral remains from museums and private collectors to return them home, when things don’t go as planned.

For more information on the book and author, visit the website.Editor's note: This story was originally published on March 5 2021.

Josie Fiegehen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SaultOnline.com