Today I learned about an adoptee, who was a Native American massacre infant survivor, named “Lost Bird”

Daniel Harrison

Today while researching yet another adoption case to locate an adoptee whose birth name was Daniel Harrison, when I googled that name, an article talking about "forced adoptions" popped up.  Just the term "Forced Adoption" had me wondering, what on earth is this about? So I click on the keyword which redirected to a Facebook account in which the first post was titled, "The latest from Daniel Harrison".   I learn quickly that Mr. Harrison was an adoptee, just not the one I'm looking for. However, I continue on reading through this Facebook page because now that I'm here, I am very intrigued to learn more about the Forced Adoptions of Australia.


Continuing down the posts, I stop at on a hyperlink post,, which is described as Birthmother/First Mother forum. Because the term Birth Mother grabs my immediate attention due to my profession, I become curious of why this post is on this Facebook page, and so my curiosity follows the link.  I don't see anything about "forced adoptions" at first, but I continue slowly scrolling this site, which is rich with interesting stories.  Finally I come to a headlined titled, “Canada to pay millions to victims of forced adoption in 'scoop' era".  WHAT?! I stop promptly due to every word I see in this sentence that has more than two letters, now has my COMPLETE ATTENTION. (Go ahead, I know you want to go back and re-read the sentence without the two letter words).  Now that you see what I see, let’s go learn what this is all about!

Click here and read the article and get a little history lesson like I just did, and learn about how white people of power made a decision thought to be of "good intentions" for Native American children,  because they believed they would have a better life if raised by white families.  Sadly, this was NOT THE CASE for most of them!  Many of these children were confused, afraid, longing for their families, their culture and way of life, but suddenly and without warning, were now "Force to be Adopted" by white families. They were forbidden to talk in their own language or practice any of their "Indian lifestyle ways", not allowed to dress “Native” and was to learn the “white way” of life, not necessarily the right way.


This is the era when Indian Schools came into play back in the day! Now I can understand if they were taking children who were orphaned, or desperately poor and starving, but this was far from the truth for many, as described by an Adult Native American man, name St. John in the next article I was led to when I reached the ”sources" for the previous article.  St. John reports that he was “snatched” at 4 years old, along with 3 brothers. He had more siblings, but they “escaped”.



While reading St. John’s story, I come to learn of the term “Split Feather Syndrome” described in a paper by Carol Locust,” as the damage caused by loss of tribal identity and growing up “different” in an inhospitable world,  also referred to as “Lost Bird.  Lost Bird derives from one of the earliest Indian adoptees, a Lakota infant who survived the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. She was found crying (a very weak cry) 4 days after the massacre, under the frozen corpse of her mother!  She was claimed as a war trophy by a general who later adopted her (more of a political gesture it is believed)  and named her Lost Bird, according to her biographer, Renée Sansome Flood in her book titled, “Lost Bird of Wounded Knee”.


This article was simply not enough for me. I needed to know more about this young lady. What became of her after adoption? Did she return to her people? Did she go on to have children? How long did she live? So I googled it.

The first link I clicked on was from the blog of author, Joan Gage. Her title description is why I chose it, because she added one captivating word, “BETRAYED”.

Lost Bird, Survivor of Wounded Knee, Betrayed By the White Man


Gen. Leonard Colby and infant Lost Bird    Picture above is property of Joan Gage, originally posted at the above link to her article.


Still, after reading her article, I needed more about Lost Bird!  I opted to find a documentary about her and even more so, I need to share it with all of you! Her story is one that the world SHOULD know about.




What are your thoughts on this....