Outstanding Native Women
Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin) 1876-1938
Last updated 6/15/2020 at 5:49pm
• Activist • Author • Musician • Educator • Reformer
*Co-composed the first Native American Opera*
"For untold ages the Indian race had not used
family names. A new-born child was given a brand-new name...for which she would not be required
to substitute another's upon her marriage,
as is the custom of civilized peoples."
- Zitkala-Sa, from American Indian Stories
Her Dakota/Sioux name (Zitkala-Sa, also spelled Zitkala-Sha) means "red bird," but she was renamed Gertrude Simmons by Euro-American missionaries-a common practice by missionaries of the...