Sacheen Littlefeather: American Activist dies at 75

Sacheen Littlefeather passed away on October 2. She was 75 years old. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed her departure on October 2. Sacheen Littlefeather is A Native American actress, model, and Activist.

In addition, she is well known for acting. She was Marlon Brando’s representative at the 1973 Academy Awards. Marlon receives the Best Actor award for his performance in The Godfather at the year’s ceremony. Littlefeather was 26 at that time. And she made a speech on his behalf, renouncing the honor.

Sacheen Speech Raise Awareness

The speech Sacheen delivered was to raise awareness of the degrading treatment of Native Americans in the film industry, as well as the standoff between Native American activists and the federal government that was taking place. 

Further, it was at the time at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the scene of a massacre of about 300 Lakota people by the U.S. Army in 1890. The audience’s response to Sacheen divides, drawing boos, cheers, and horrified expressions.

Remarks by Sacheen

At the moment, Littlefeather remarked, she prayed that she had not intruded upon this evening. Then our hearts and our understandings will meet with love and kindness in the future. Further, she never delivered the entire speech. According to one of the ceremony’s organizers, actor John Wayne had to be restrained by security personnel to prevent him from storming the stage.

Blacklisted in Hollywood 

Although Sacheen’s performance at the 1973 Oscars raised awareness in the media, she received scathing criticism for it and was afterward virtually blacklisted in Hollywood. 

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finally apologized to Littlefeather last month. They did this by hosting An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather, a sad event in her honor.

Sacheen said, “She never imagined that she would live long enough to hear and experience this. In 1973, she was by myself at the podium.” 

Littlefeather changed Hollywood forever in just 60 seconds on the Oscar stage. But her history also includes more valorous deeds and victories for activism.

Awards Won by Sacheen

Sacheen received an Emmy award in 1984 for her advisory work on a PBS special. Also, Sacheen was a member of the American Indian Center (AIC) staff. Additionally, she co-founded the American Indian Registry for Performing Arts. 

And she was the co-founder of the American Indian AIDS Institute of San Francisco. She was one of the first protesters to occupy Alcatraz Island to protest broken treaties.

Sacheen paid homage to the Activist by saying, “Always be aware while she is not here. Whenever you stand up for what you believe in, you will preserve her voice and the voices of our nations and people.” Moreover, the Academy reported that Sacheen died at her Novato, California, residence.

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