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Kendra Mylnechuk Potter was adopted into a white family and raised with no knowledge of her Native American parentage.


This beautifully personal film documents her journey as she discovers her Native identity—finding her birth mother, April, also a Native adoptee, and returning to her Lummi homelands in Washington State. In Daughter of a Lost Bird, Kendra and April’s stories show the impact of 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 shows, as James Baldwin rightfully put it: "History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us.”

“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 Mylnechuk 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 


Brooke Pepion Swaney


This film is Brooke's first feature documentary. Most recently and notably she made the Blacklist's Inaugural Indigenous List with TINDER ON THE REZ along with her co-writer Angela Tucker. She also produced BELLA VISTA (Rotterdam), SIXTY FOUR FLOOD (PBS & PBS Digital) and the podcast ALL MY RELATIONS with Matika Wilbur and Dr. Adrienne Keene. In 2019, she was selected to participate as a NATIVe Fellow at the European Film Market/Berlinale. She holds an MFA in Film from NYU. Brooke is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation and a descendent of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Kendra Mylnechuk Potter


Jeri Rafter