Sacheen Littlefeather, who recently accepted an apology from the Oscars after the bitter reception she received while accepting an award in 1973 for legend Marlon Brando, has sadly died.
Littlefeather was the first Native American woman to stand on the stage of the 45 Academy Awards.
Brando – who won an award Best Actor for an epic performance in The Godfather – had boycotted the awards show for their depiction of Native Americans.
Littlefeather told the Awards audience:
“He very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry… and on television in movie re-runs, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.”
Her acceptance speech was allegedly met with cheers as well as boos. The Academy recently held a special event titled ‘An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather’.
The activist had said:
“I am here accepting this apology. Not only for me alone, but as acknowledgement, knowing that it was not only for me but for all of our nations that also need to hear and deserve this apology tonight.
“Now, I would like all the Indian people in this audience to stand. Look at our people, look at each other and be proud that we stand as survivors, all of us.
“Please, when I’m gone, always be reminded that whenever you stand for your truth, you will be keeping my voice and the voices of our nations and our people alive. I remain Sacheen Littlefeather. Thank you.”
The Academy of Motion Pictures confirmed the sad news that Littlefeather has died aged 75.
Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American civil rights activist who famously declined Marlon Brando’s 1973 Best Actor Academy Award, dies at 75. pic.twitter.com/OlpsoItlCw
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) October 3, 2022