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Angeline Boulley's young adult thriller has a brilliant, determined young Ojibwe woman at its core

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Up until about a year ago, Angeline Boulley had spent her entire career working to improve education for indigenous children at the tribal level and in the U.S. Department of Education. Then, at the age of 55, she published her first novel and it became an instant bestseller: Firekeeper’s Daughter. Boulley is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and this novel takes place in an Ojibwe community in Michigan’s upper peninsula that is near and dear to her heart.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Boulley about her novel. Boulley is one of the headliners at the Des Moines Book Festival and she’ll be speaking at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2022.

Later in the podcast, the art exhibit Our Town: Reclaiming the Narrative has been traveling the state for nearly three years. With each showing the exhibit grows, changes and evolves. It tells the stories of Black Iowans and their contributions to their communities, the country and the state. In each town, more stories are collected. Most recently the exhibit has been on display at the Hearst Center in Cedar Falls. The person behind this exhibit, Lenore Metrick- Chen, joins the program to talk about the exhibit and the emotional reaction it evokes in its audience.


  • Angeline Boulley, author
  • Lenore Metrick-Chen, art and cultural historian, curator, associate professor of art and design, Drake University
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Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa