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GRCC Students to Visit With Author of Firekeeper’s Daughter, Angeline Boulley, event on Feb. 22nd

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Photo Courtesy of Angeline Boulley's Official Website

By Rachel Beecher

Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author with debut book, “Firekeeper’s Daughter,” is scheduled for an event in Grand Rapids Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Set to be live, in-person and online, Boulley will be reading excerpts and signing books at this Native American Heritage Celebration event hosted by Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Kutsche Office of Local History, GVSU Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, GVSU Inclusion, and Equity Division, and GVSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, along with the Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) and its Native American Education Program (NAEP). 

“There simply are too few stories told by and about Indigenous girls and women especially from a contemporary viewpoint,” reads a quote on Boulley’s website. 

Many must agree as Boulley’s “Firekeeper’s Daughter” has won several awards including the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature (teen category) in 2022 and is scheduled to be adapted for television on Netflix thanks to Higher Ground, a production company owned by former President Mr. Barack Obama and wife, Mrs. Michelle Obama. 

Daunis Fontaine is the name of the main character in Firekeeper’s Daughter, she’s an 18-year-old, biracial, unenrolled tribal member and Boulley’s website book description page states that, “Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in–both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When her family is struck by tragedy, Daunis puts her dreams on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother’s hockey team. After Daunis witnesses a shocking murder that thrusts her into a criminal investigation, she agrees to go undercover. But the deceptions–and deaths–keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. How far will she go to protect her community if it means tearing apart the only world she’s ever known?”

As for this GVSU event, Winter is for storytelling and Boulley will be doing just that Tuesday night. Participants can expect her to discuss any of the following: Ojibwe community, medicine wheel teachings, Sugar Island, a.k.a. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and parts of Canada, along with her former work as the Director of the Office of Indian Education in the U.S. Department of Education, and, no doubt, a fair amount of Anishinaabemowin language, themes, and relevance pertaining to her “Firekeeper’s Daughter” novel. 

This free event Tuesday will be open to the Grand Rapids community. It is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at GVSU’s Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health (DCIH) room 104. You are encouraged to register for the GVSU event here. Please note that Boulley will be visiting with both Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College Native Student Organizations prior to the event, for more information and a personal invite contact to join NASO via GRCC’s Raider Connect. For online streaming capabilities join Facebook Live via Native News Online.

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