Daughter of a Lost Bird (2021)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 6m

US Digital Festival Premiere

Closed-captioning available in English. Please click the ‘CC’ button on the bottom right of the player to activate

Presented in partnership with: New York Women in Television and Film (NYWIFT), Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Kendra Mylenchuk Potter was adopted into a white family and raised with no knowledge of her Native parentage. Serving as both investigator and witness, this beautifully personal film documents Kendra on her journey as a new mother to discover her Native identity. Upon finding her birth mother April, who is also a Native adoptee, Kendra returns to her Lummi homelands in Washington State, and uncovers a wealth of emotional and spiritual beauty and pain. The film also serves an entry point into a more complicated national issue – intentional government actions to erase an entire culture, including the 1958 Indian Adoption Project, which removed Native children from their families and placed them in white homes in an effort to “kill the Indian and save the man.” This poignant story provides living proof that history is not only the past, but the present too.

“I identified as white. This strange confusion of white guilt, and native anger. Where does it sit in me? And how do I sit with both of those things?” - Kendra Mylenchuk Potter, film participant, Daughter of a Lost Bird

“This story we have been telling for seven years can’t be wrapped up in a neat bow, because it’s such a complex experience to be Native in this country. And sometimes painful, but also beautiful, and powerful, and a million other things.” - Brooke Pepion Swaney, director, Daughter of a Lost Bird

  • Official Selection, HotDocs 2021 

  • Thank you to everyone who joined our digital film festival screening + live Q&A on May 26. You can still watch the film at your own pace until May 27, and view the recording of the Q&A with filmmaker Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfee/Salish), film participant Kendra Mylenchuk Potter (Lummi) and Terry Cross (Seneca), National Indian Child Welfare Association Founder & Senior Advisor, and moderated by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish & Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee), hosts of podcast “All My Relations” here on our Vimeo page.

We do not want the cost of entry to be a barrier for participation in the festival. If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from participating, please email the following address (filmticket@hrw.org) + you will receive an auto-reply email with a free ticket code. We have set aside a set # of tickets per film on a first come first-served basis. Once the free tickets are no longer available, the code will no longer work. For anyone that purchases a ticket, we appreciate your support. Your ticket purchase enables us to make tickets free for those who might otherwise be unable to watch. This also allows the festival to support the filmmakers for sharing their work in our festival and for the festival to cover the cost of hosting the films online.

Language(s)

English

Subtitle(s)

English

Bonus Content

65 mins
'Daughter of a Lost Bird' Recorded Q&A

Wednesday, May 26: Live Q&A for Daughter of a Lost Bird’ by Brooke Pepion Swaney.

Conversation with filmmaker Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfee/Salish), film participant Kendra Mylenchuk Potter (Lummi) and Terry Cross (Seneca), National Indian Child Welfare Association Founder & Senior Advisor, and moderated by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish & Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee), hosts of podcast “All My Relations.”

Daughter of a Lost Bird Filmmaker Introduction

An introductory video from ‘Daughter of a Lost Bird’ filmmaker Brooke Pepion Swaney and producer / film participant Kendra Mylnechuk Potter