Kendra, a Native adoptee, is a thriving woman who grew up in a loving, upper middle-class white family, and feels no significant loss with the absence of Indigenous culture or family in her life. And yet, as a Blackfeet/Salish woman, director Brooke Swaney could not imagine that Kendra could be content or complete without understanding her heritage. Together, they embark on a seven year journey featured in the film.
During this journey, Kendra finds her biological mother April Kowalski after 34 years being apart. April, also an adoptee, is a survivor of abuse, addiction, homelessness, and sex trafficking. Kendra and April must navigate what it means to be native and to belong to a tribe from the outside looking in. Daughter of a Lost Bird documents the complex process of finding oneself in the context of a history filled with both trauma and resiliency.