Of all the stories I've uncovered while researching antique photographs in my collection, this one is the most heartbreaking. Starting with the Massacre at Wounded Knee on Dec. 29, 1890, "Lost Bird" suffered every kind of injury and abuse the White Man imposed on Native Americans. She died on Valentine's Day in 1920, aged 29, and was buried in a pauper's grave in California, but 71 years later, her people, the Lakota, found her grave and brought her remains back to Wounded Knee, the place where she was found as an infant beneath her mother's frozen body.
...She was named "Zintkala Nuni" -- "The Lost Bird" by the tribe's survivors, who tried to get custody of her, but she was adopted -also as a public relations move -- by Brigadier General Leonard W. Colby, whose men came to the killing field after the massacre was over.
Over the protests of the Lakotas, he adopted the child, claiming that he was a full-blooded Seneca Indian. He promised to bring food to the surviving tribe members if they'd give him this living souvenir of Wounded Knee.