Zitkala-sa was born on the Yankton Indian Reservation and raised by her mother after her European father abandoned the family. Aged eight, she was taken by missionaries to the White's Manual Labor Institute in Wabash, Indiana. Here she learned to read, write and play the violin. Although appreciative of her education she wrote later of her unhappiness due to the denial of her culture.
Having returned for a short time to the reservation she went back to White's for further study, eventually becoming teacher of music.
After attending college she played violin with the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, later joining the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. She performed with the School's Indian Band at the Paris Exposition in 1900.
In 1901 she was dismissed, having written an article about forced assimilation. Her later life was spent writing, promoting Native culture and campaigning for citizenship rights. In 1926 she founded the National Council of American Indians. She also collaborated with William Hanson on the opera, The Sun Dance.
Read more: Wikipedia
Her books online: