Who is Zitkála-Šá?
Zitkála-Šá (“Red Bird”), also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was a writer, editor, translator, musician, educator, and political activist. She was a Sioux Indian who went with Quaker missionaries to attend White’s Indiana Manual Labor Institute at the age of 8. Upon receiving her diploma in 1895, Zitkála-Šá gave a speech advocating for women’s rights. She later lectured across the country arguing for Native American cultural preservation and citizenship. Zitkála-Šá, alongside her husband, founded the National Council of American Indians in 1926 that focused on uniting the tribes across the U.S. and gaining suffrage for all American Indians.