Portrait of Zitkala-Sa by Gertrude Kasebier, about 1898. Zitkala-Sa was the pen name of writer and activist Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (1876-1938). She exposed the hardships faced by students at Native American boarding schools by writing about her own experiences as a student and as a teacher. Zitkala-Sa also published a book of tribal folklore called Old Indian Legends. She also founded the National Council of American Indians, which was trans-tribal, to lobby for better treatment for all.