The story was I believe true, hence the curiosity. It was about a girl from a Pacific Island who's island was discovered by whites. I don't know if it was the 1800s. For reasons I can't recall all her people were gathered up into the white ships, she had been possibly sick or had run off during the day and so when she went to the beach, everyone was gone. She had to try to survive alone on the island, difficult since she was young I believe. Eventually she was found, possibly because she fashioned a raft and tried to find another island. In the end of the story she ended up I think in California, and no one was able to ever figure out who her people were. Her native language didn't match anything anyone there had encountered.
If this story is true, I wonder how much of the language was written down and investigated. If the story is fiction, I'd like to know so I can not dwell on the curiosity.