Zitkala-Sa Google Doodle
Zitkala-Sa was a Yankton Dakota Sioux writer, translator, musician, educator and political activist. She was also known by the name Gertrude Simmons Bonnin.
Google said the Doodle, “celebrates the 145th birthday of Zitkala-Ša, a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. A woman who lived resiliently during a time when the Indigenous people of the United States were not considered real people by the American government, let alone citizens, Zitkala-Ša devoted her life to the protection and celebration of her Indigenous heritage through the arts and activism.”
Zitkala-Sa Google Age
Born on February 22, 1876, Zitkala-Sa is being celebrated with a Google Doodle on her 145th birthday.
Zitkala-Sa Cause of Death
Zitkála-Šá died on January 26, 1938, in Washington, D.C., at the age of sixty-one. She is buried under the name of Gertrude Simmons Bonnin in Arlington National Cemetery. In the late 20th century, the University of Nebraska reissued many of her writings on Native American culture.
Her cause of death is not yet revealed to the public. She might have died due to any illness.
Who was Zitkala-Sa? Parents, Family Background
She is born on the Yankton Indiana Reservation in South Dakota, according to the National Park Service. According to her biography on the NPS website, Zitkala-Sa translates to “Red Bird” in the Lakota/Lakȟótiyapi, which was spoken by her tribe, the Yankton Dakota Sioux.
She was raised by a single mother after her father left the family, according to the biography. Little is known about her family.
In her work, Zitkala-Sa. Impressions of an Indian Childhood, she wrote about her childhood on the reservation and with her mother. In one story, she wrote about watching her mother to learn beadwork and how to make moccasins and other items and imitating her by trading the items with her friends.
“I remember well how we used to exchange our necklaces, beaded belts, and sometimes even our moccasins. We pretended to offer them as gifts to one another. We delighted in impersonating our own mothers,” she wrote in the chapter titled The Beadwork.”
“We talked of things we had heard them say in their conversations. We imitated their various manners, even to the inflection of their voices. In the lap of the prairie we seated ourselves upon our feet; and leaning our painted cheeks in the palms of our hands, we rested our elbows on our knees…”
Zitkala-Sa Education, Early Life
According to the New York Museum of History, Zitkala-Sa was sent to a boarding school in Indiana when she was 8 after Quaker missionaries visited her reservation. It was there that she was given the name Gertrude Simmons. “She attended the Institute until 1887.
In The Schooldays of an Indian Girl, she wrote she was “neither a wild Indian nor a tame one.” According to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, “the estrangement from her mother and the old ways of the reservation had grown, as had her resentment over the treatment of American Indians by the state.
Zitkala-Sa briefly returned to the reservation before she returned to Indiana, where she attended Earlham College in Richmond. She would go on to teach at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania and studied and performed at the Boston Conservatory of Music. Ziktala-Sa was a talented violinist and also wrote music.
Zitkala-Sa Husband, Children
Zitkala-Sa was married to Raymond Talesfase Bonnin, according to the New-York Historical Society. They had one son named Raymon, born in 1902. She and her family spent time living in Utah, where she taught at a school on the Ute reservation, before relocating to Washington.
Books: Zitkala-Sa Known For
Google wrote in its description of the Zitkala-Sa Doodle, “Returning back home to her reservation, Zitkala-Ša chronicled an anthology of oral Dakota stories published as Old Indian Legends in 1901. The book was among the first works to bring traditional Indigenous American stories to a wider audience.
The New York Historical Society wrote, “Zitkala-Sa channeled her frustration into a love for writing. She wrote about her personal experiences and the customs and values she had learned from her mother.”
Zitkala-Sa Services, Works
Zitkala-Sa also in 1926, according to PBS’ American Masters, “to lobby for increased political power for American Indians.
According to American Masters, “Zitkála-Šá became increasingly involved in the struggle for American Indian rights, lobbying for U.S. citizenship, voting, and sovereignty rights. She was appointed the secretary of the Society of American Indians, run by American Indians.
According to Google, “In addition to her creative achievements, Zitkala-Ša was a lifelong spokesperson for Indigenous and women’s rights. … Zitkala-Ša’s work was instrumental in the passage of historic legislation, such as the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924—granting citizenship to Indigenous peoples born in the USA”.
In 1920, she spoke about the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, telling Alice Paul’s National Women’s Party to remember their Native sisters, who were not given suffrage. According to The New York Times, she said in a speech, “The Indian woman rejoices with you.”
The Times wrote in a January 2020 article, she, “and other Native suffragists would continue to remind audiences that federal assimilation policy had attacked their communities and cultures. Despite treaty promises, the U.S. dismantled tribal governments, privatized tribally-held land and removed Native children to boarding schools. Those devastating policies resulted in the massive land loss, poverty and poor health that reverberate through these communities today.”