Reading Zitkala-Sa

Check this link out for a concise biography of Zitkala-Sa by Roseanne Hoefel at Bucknell College.

Here’s a great list of resources about Zitkala-Sa (she was born Gertrude Simmons Bonnin and later adopted the name of Zitkala Sa).

For historical context and background about what the United States did to native peoples, here’s information about the Indian Removal Act (which President Andrew Jackson signed into law in 1830):

“It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation. Two important tribes have accepted the provision made for their removal at the last session of Congress, and it is believed that their example will induce the remaining tribes also to seek the same obvious advantages.”

This law lead to the Cherokee Nation’s “Trail of Tears.”

Here is a video that combines biographical information about Zitkala Sa with archival footage:


Native American studies scholar Gerald Vizenor’s term “survivance” from his book Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance: “Survivance is an active sense of presence, the continuance of native stories, not a mere reaction, or a survivable name. Native survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, tragedy and victimry.”



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