Sacheen Littlefeather, an actress and Native American activist, contributed to one of many greatest Oscar moments in historical past, however now, weeks after her dying, her sisters are calling her a fraud.
Littlefeather’s two sisters, Trudy Orlandi and Rosalind Cruz, spoke with Native American journalist and activist Jacqueline Keeler for a bit featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. Keeler is finest identified for co-creating the #NotYourMascot hashtag in 2013 and operating an inventory referred to as “Pretendians,” which exposes those that falsely declare to be of American Indian heritage.
Throughout the interview, Cruz and Orlandi alleged that Littlefeather’s claims to Apache and Yaqui ancestry via her father are false.
“It’s a lie. My father was who he was. His household got here from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard California,” stated Orlandi earlier than Cruz added, “It’s a fraud. It’s disgusting to the heritage of the tribal individuals. And it’s simply … insulting to my dad and mom.”
“I imply, you’re not gonna be a Mexican American princess,” Orlandi famous concerning her sister’s false claims, including, “You’re gonna be an American Indian princess. It was extra prestigious to be an American Indian than it was to be Hispanic in her thoughts.”
The article additionally traces Littlefeather’s household tree, with Keeler noting there isn’t a proof pointing to American Indian roots.
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Littlefeather had beforehand made extra claims that she skilled poverty and abuse as a baby from her father, which was additionally shut down by her sisters, who stated they’re talking out to revive their father’s identify.
“My father was deaf and he had misplaced his listening to at 9 years previous via meningitis. He was born into poverty. His father, George Cruz, was an alcoholic who was violent and used to beat him. And he was handed to foster houses and household. However my sister Sacheen took what occurred to him,” stated Cruz, including, “The easiest way that I may consider summing up my sister is that she created a fantasy. She lived in a fantasy, and she or he died in a fantasy.”
Littlefeather made a press release throughout the 1973 Oscars with a speech refusing one of the best actor award on behalf of The Godfather‘s Marlon Brando, which confronted swift and intense pushback and cticizism.
She handed away on Oct. 2 on the age of 75 on account of breast most cancers.
Previous to her dying, the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, formally apologized to the activist for the best way she was handled throughout the ceremony. Littlefeather responded stating, “Relating to the Academy’s apology to me, we Indians are very affected person individuals – it’s solely been 50 years! We have to preserve our sense of humour about this always. It’s our technique of survival.”
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