Indigenous Peoples' Day Logo

Keeping the fire burning

Celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day 2022

We all have an origin story, the lifeline and energy that develops into the relationship between who we are now and who we may become. This evolving relationship nurtures the fire that rests deep in our souls, bringing with it the warmth of familiarity and life. The flame is a gift from the generations before us and passed forward to the generations to come.

In Daughter of a Lost Bird, Kendra shares her journey and the stories of finding her birth mother, who was also adopted, and the Lummi Nation, the tribal ancestry of their origin story.

As their collective stories unfold, they find their shared flame, the sacred centerpiece of intergenerational wisdom.

Daughter of a Lost Bird highlights the impacts of continued systemic colonization. As a community, we can better support Indigenous communities by amplifying Indigenous voices, educating ourselves, and using our votes to increase racial equity. To get started, go to Impact.

On October 10, 2022, 400 members of our community commemorated Indigenous Peoples’ Day by sharing a traditional Coast Salish dinner while listening to Kendra Mylnechuk Potter share her journey as she and producer Brooke Pepion Swaney presented a screening of Daughter of a Lost Bird. 

Please note that the film mentions some references to rape and alcohol abuse.

Kendra Mylnechuk Potter stands against a wooden fence, hair blowing in the wind.

Kendra Mylnechuk Potter

Kendra Mylnechuk Potter always knew she was adopted. Her parents spoke of the generosity of her birth mother and their gratitude to her and their love for her was never in question. It wasn’t until her mid-20s that she began to sense inner conflict around her identity as a Native adoptee. When she became pregnant, the need to know where she came from became a powerful desire to provide some answers for her children so they would never have to grapple with identity the way she did. She documented her journey back to her own Native origins on the Lummi Nation.

Brooke Pepion Swaney looks thoughtfully at the viewer.

Brooke Pepion Swaney

Brooke Pepion Swaney wanted to find out the truth. How was it that Kendra didn’t know what tribe she was from, especially being born the same year that the Indian Child Welfare Act came into effect? Why wouldn’t her birth mother, or her birth mother’s mother for that matter, put down this information on her birth certificate that is so important to Native people? She wanted to find out where she was from so that some of these questions would finally have answers. But mostly, that she wouldn’t feel shame from claiming such an unknown identity. She also wanted to educate Kendra so that she could not only have a deeper understanding about what it means to be Indigenous in the United States, but also join the ranks, so to speak, of the millions of Indigenous people in this country fighting to preserve their identity and by extension their tribal sovereignty.

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Supporting Partners

Northwest Indian College Logo
Pull Together Swinomish, Swinomish Education Logo
Whatcom Community College Logo
Bellingham Public Schools Logo
Bellingham Technical CollegeLogo
Western Washington University Logo
City of Bellingham Logo
Peace Health Logo
Skagit Valley College Logo
Children of the Setting Sun Productions  Logo

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