Ojibwe-focused novel ‘Firekeepers Daughter’ selected as Great Michigan Read
BARAGA, Mich. (WLUC) - A U.P. author’s novel has been chosen for the 2023-2024 Great Michigan Read.
The Great Michigan Read is a community reading program for the state, focusing yearly on a single Michigan-focused work. This is to encourage reading and start conversations on the book.
The story, ‘Firekeepers Daughter,’ is written by Angeline Boulley, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians.
The story follows 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine as she unravels a murder mystery in her community and grows as an Ojibwe woman.
At the Ojibwa Community Library in Baraga, one librarian said the book is frequently checked out from shelves.
“When the book was first published, we got it in right away,” said Ojibwa Community Library Librarian Dawn Browning. “And despite us being a very small library with no large number of circulations, it went off the shelf constantly, and it has been off the shelf ever since we got it. We ended up getting new copies of it.”
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Member Sierra Ayres said it’s important that people read this story.
She added that it will help non-native people better understand the issues faced by indigenous communities.
“I think it’s important to highlight that story as told and written by an indigenous person,” said Ayres. “Because we know what we need, and we know what the issues are in our communities, and it’s important for native people to see themselves in those stories, but also for non-native people to understand that perspective and what these issues look like coming up in our communities.”
In addition, Ayres said it’s full of commentary on Ojibwe practices and traditions, family, and tribal enrollment.
“And because it’s a story told by somebody from our communities, it’s told accurately,” continued Ayres. “I feel like oftentimes, historically, native people are miss-portrayed in literature especially, and there have been very little instances, in the past especially, of people in our communities’ stories being highlighted and told in a factual way that actually represents who we are, the way that we view things and how we do things.”
For more information on the Great Michigan Read and ‘Firekeepers Daughter’, click here.
Copyright 2023 WLUC. All rights reserved.