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Daughter of a Lost Bird

Documentary 1h 6m 2021

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

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

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Bonus Content

'Daughter of a Lost Bird' Recorded Q&A

1h 5m

Q&A recorded May 26, 2021 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