Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Angeline lives in southwest Michigan, but her home will always be on Sugar Island. Firekeeper’s Daughter is her debut novel.
Event and Book
Virtual tickets are available through the National Writers Series website, while in-person tickets can be purchased through the City Opera House by clicking here.
We’re closing our fall season in a big way, with an appearance from perhaps the breakout Michigan author of the decade: Angeline Boulley.
Her stunning debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter —a book that took her a decade to write—was an instant bestseller when it was released in March of this year. NPR called the book “[an] absolute powerhouse of a debut” and Booklist calls it “an incredible thriller, not to be missed.” It’s also set to be adapted for Netflix by Higher Grounds, the production company run by Barack and Michelle Obama.
As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, 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?
Guest Host | Holly T. Bird
Holly T. Bird (San Felipe Pueblo/Apache/Yaqui/Perepucha/European) has a long history of community activism in both environmental and Indigenous issues. In 2008, Ms. Bird was appointed as an Acting Chief Judge / Associate Judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, where she served until 2011. In 2010, she was appointed to serve as an Associate Supreme Court Judge for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians and continues in that capacity today. In 2013, Ms. Bird was awarded the prestigious American Arbitration Association’s 2013 Higginbotham Fellowship and became the first Native American arbitrator in the US.
Ms. Bird served as Co-Executive Director for the Water Protectors Legal Collective, the leading legal service at the NoDAPL camp/protest in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She also founded and serves as the Executive Director for the MI Water Protectors Legal Task Force, a project of the National Lawyer’s Guild. Currently, Ms. Bird serves as Co-Executive Director for Title Track, a Michigan nonprofit dedicated to clean water, racial equity, and youth empowerment. On top of all of this, Ms. Bird maintains a private practice in Traverse City, concentrating in matters of Native American, cannabis, family, juvenile, criminal, civil, traffic, real estate, probate, employment, and business law.
This activity is supported in part by the MICHIGAN ARTS & CULTURE COUNCIL and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.