Daughter of a Lost Bird

Daughter of a Lost Bird

USA | 2021 | 66 min | Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish)

April 14 - 24, 2022

An adult Indigenous adoptee and actress, Kendra Mylnechuk Potter, sets out to reconnect with her birth mother, her Lummi heritage, and the land of her people after 34 years of living in white suburbia.

Director Brooke Pepion Swaney, and Kendra Mylnechuk Potter scheduled to attend.


“In Daughter of a Lost Bird, Brooke Swaney sensitively documents an Indigenous woman reconnecting with her birth mother and coming to terms with how colonial violence has shaped her life.” – Orla Smith (Seventh Row)

In many ways, Native adoptee Kendra Mylnechuk Potter is a perfect example of cultural assimilation: She is a thriving woman who grew up in a loving, upper-middle-class white family and feels no significant loss with the absence of Native American culture or family in her life. But when Kendra starts a family of her own, her desire to connect to her Indigenous heritage leads her to her birth mother, April, a “lost bird” of the Lummi tribe of Washington state. Together, Kendra and April discover what it means to be Native, to confront inherited trauma, and to claim ancestral strengths. A poignant, timely documentary, Daughter of a Lost Bird follows a woman’s seven-year journey to her roots and unearths the cultural genocide inflicted by the 1958 Indian Adoption Project that stole Native children from their communities and placed them in white homes in an effort to “kill the Indian and save the man.”

Megan Garbayo-López

  • Director: Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish)
  • Principal Cast: Kendra Mylnechuk Potter, April Kowalski
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2021
  • Running Time: 66 min
  • Producer: Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish), Kendra Mylnechuk Potter (Lummi), Jeri Rafter
  • Screenplay: Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish)
  • Cinematographers: Zelmira Gainza
  • Editors: Kristen Swanbeck
  • Music: Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache)
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Woodstock Film Festival 2021 (Best Female Director, Special Mention for Emerging Filmmaker)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Women Make Movies
  • International Sales: Filmoption International Inc.