Bestselling author Angeline Boulley to speak at UNC Pembroke

Angeline Boulley

Indigenous educator and New York Times bestselling author Angeline Boulley will speak at UNC Pembroke on March 28.

Boulley, author of Firekeeper's Daughter, will be the final guest in the 2021-2022 Distinguished Speaker Series. The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Upchurch Auditorium located in James A. Thomas Hall.

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

“We are excited to wrap up this year’s series with Ms. Boulley,” said Abdul Ghaffar, assistant Dean of Students.

“She is one of the top authors in the United States. She is tremendous at her craft and serves as a great role model. We are happy to have her conclude both the 2021-22 Distinguished Speaker series and a robust month of Women’s History Programs at UNCP.”  

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. After high school, she earned her degree from Central Michigan University and led an impressive career in Indigenous education. She served as the education and assistant executive director for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and most recently as director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. 

Firekeeper's Daughter is her debut novel and was an instant No. 1 New York Times Bestseller. Firekeeper's Daughter is a groundbreaking thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community.

The book has been named the 2022 Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature, the Printz Award, the William C. Morris Award for Young Adult debut literature and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book.

President Barack and Michelle Obama's production company Higher Ground Production acquired Firekeeper's Daughter for cinematic adaptation. Mickey Fisher will adapt the book with Wenonah Wilms, also from the Ojibwe tribe.

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

“The Firekeeper's Daughter is a wonderful book that many can relate to. It brings visibility to the contemporary issues that Indigenous people face today, and I'm excited that the UNCP community will have 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, Pembroke Mellon REACH Program, Native American Student Organization and the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity.

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