Best-selling Indigenous author Angeline Boulley to speak at UNC Pembroke | Characteristics

Angeline Boulley, Indigenous educator and New York Times bestselling author, will speak at UNC Pembroke on Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in the Upchurch Auditorium located in James A. Thomas Hall. Boulley, author of “Firekeeper’s Daughter,” will be the final guest in the 2021-2022 Distinguished Speaker Series.

“We are delighted to wrap up this year’s series with Ms. Boulley,” said Abdul Ghaffar, Assistant Dean of Students. “She is one of the best authors in the United States. She excels in her craft and is an excellent role model. We are pleased that she concludes both the 2021-22 Distinguished Speaker Series and a strong month of women’s history programs at the UNCP.

Boulley, registered member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After high school, she graduated from Central Michigan University and had an impressive career in Indigenous education. She served as chief education officer and deputy at the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and most recently as Director of the Office of Indian Education at the United States Department of Education.

“Firekeeper’s Daughter” is her first novel and was instantly the New York Times #1 bestseller. It’s a groundbreaking thriller about an Indigenous teenage girl who must root out corruption in her community.

The book was named the 2022 Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, the Printz Prize, the William C. Morris Award for Early Literature for Young Adults, and a Native American Young Literature Award Honor Book .

President Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground Production, has acquired “Firekeeper’s Daughter” for a film adaptation. Mickey Fisher will adapt the book with Wenonah Wilms, also from the Ojibwe tribe.

“It is an honor to have Ms. Boulley come to the UNCP,” said Ashley McMillan, director of the American Indian Heritage Center and American Indian Liaison to the Chancellor.

“The ‘Daughter of the Fire Keeper’ is a wonderful book that many can relate to. It brings visibility to contemporary issues facing Indigenous peoples today, and I am thrilled that the UNCP community has the privilege of learning from such a wonderful storyteller,” McMillan continued.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is presented by the Office of Campus Engagement and Leadership and GPAC. Boulley’s visit is co-sponsored by the American Indian Heritage Center, American Indian Studies, the Pembroke Mellon REACH Program, the Native American Student Organization, and the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity.

Boulley’s lecture will conclude the 2021-2022 Distinguished Speaker Series, which also included Jesse Cole, Tommy Orange, Bakari Sellers and Dr. Megan Ranney.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and are free for UNCP faculty, staff, and students. For tickets, visit

Lola R. McClure