Letters, Speeches, and Unpublished Writings, 1898–1929


Zitkala-Ša: Letters, Speeches, and Unpublished Writings, 1898–1929, edited by Tadeusz Lewandowski, offers a fascinating, intimate portrait of the Yankton Sioux writer and activist Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (1876–1938).

Gertrude Bonnin, better known by her Lakota name, Zitkala-Ša, was one of the most prominent American Indians of the early 20th century. A talented writer, orator, and musician, she devoted much of her life to the protection of Native peoples. As such, Bonnin corresponded with many other distinguished persons within the early Native rights movement, including Carlos Montezuma, Richard Henry Pratt, and Arthur C. Parker, as well as Fathers Martin Kenel and William H. Ketcham of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. This volume gathers together Bonnin’s letters, lesser-known writings and speeches, illuminating her private and public struggles.

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Tadeusz Lewandowski, Ph.D. (2009), University of Opole, is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of American Literature and Culture at the University of Opole, Poland. He is the author of Red Bird, Red Power: The Life and Legacy of Zitkala-Ša (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016).
"La publication de ces sources primaires inédites apporte un éclairage nouveau sur une intellectuelle de caractère, indépendante, qui a travaillé sans relâche pour les droits des peuples autochtones aux États-Unis et qui a su influencer la politique indienne des États-Unis en sachant s’allier à ses opposants idéologiques [...]. Le livre s’adresse ainsi non seulement aux indianistes et aux spécialistes de la période, mais à toute personne intéressée par une facette peu connue de la naissance des mouvements sociaux minoritaires, militants et pacifistes. Ce recueil offre un panorama de la « question indienne » au tournant du xxe siècle, analysée par une autochtone lettrée et fidèle à ses racines, militante du pan-indianisme." - Marine Le Puloch, Université de Paris, in: Sociétés Plurielles 3 (2019) [Full review]

"This collection is the most important by such a major figure in the early-20th-century pan-Indian movement and includes Zitkala-Ša's letters to Carlos Montezuma and Arthur C. Parker. [...] A must for researchers!" - R. Welburn, University of Massachusetts Amherst, in: CHOICE 55/12 (2018)
Acknowledgements List of Figures List of Archive Abbreviations Notes on the Archival Material Notes on the Editorial Policy Chronology Zitkala-Ša/Gertrude Simmons Bonnin: A Biographical Sketch


From Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and the Dakotas (1898–1902) From Uintah and Los Angeles (1908–17) From Washington, D.C. (1917–19)

Speeches and Unpublished Writings

“The Sioux Claims” (1923) “Our Sioux People” (1923) “How the National Council of American Indians Came into Being and What of the Things It is Trying to Do through Organization.” (ca. 1926) “The Petition of the National Council of American Indians” (1926) “American Indian Problem” (1928) “The Indian Side of the Question” (1929) Selected Bibliography Index
All interested in the life of the Yankton Sioux writer and activist Zitkala-Ša/Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, and all interested in the history of American Indians.
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