Sashen Littlefeather, who received an apology earlier this year from the Academy for giving Marlon Brando’s nomination speech, has died at the age of 75.
She died Sunday at noon in Novato, Calif., near the Bay Area, surrounded by her loved ones, according to a statement sent to the press by her caretaker.
The Academy of Arts and Sciences announced her obituary on its social media accounts, along with her words and photos.
“When I am gone, always remember that whenever you stand up for your truth, you will keep alive my voice and that of my country and our people.”I am Sachen Lightfeather. Thank you very much.”
The Indigenous civil rights activist took the stage in 1973 and released part of an eight-page statement he wanted Hollywood to hear after Brando won the Best Actor Award for his role in “The Godfather.” I did exactly that when I read it.
The actor “very regrets not being able to receive this very generous award,” said Littlefeather. “And the reason this exists is the way the film industry treats Native Americans today.”
Her point may have been proven by the reaction her words received and the ensuing consequences. Little Feather, then 26, in a buckskin dress and moccasins was applauded but soon booed. John Wayne was reportedly so furious that he had to restrain himself from rushing to her stage and confronting her. In the years that followed, she was harassed and discriminated against.
This year’s apology surprised her.
“I was stunned. I never thought the day would come when I would hear this and experience this,” Littlefeather told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. was standing alone.”
“The abuse you suffered because of this statement was unjust and unjustified,” Academy President David Rubin wrote in his June apology letter. The burden and cost to your own career in our industry is irreparable.The courage you have shown has gone unrecognized for far too long.We deeply apologize for this. , with all my heart.”
The Academy honored her with a special celebration in September.