Lily Gladstone becomes first female actor who identifies as indigenous

January 9, 2024 5:36 pm

[Source: CNN Entertainment]

Lily Gladstone made history at the Golden Globes on Sunday when she became the first person who identifies as indigenous to win the best performance by a female actor in a dramatic motion picture during Sunday’s ceremony.

Gladstone won for her performance in the Martin Scorsese-directed drama “Killers of the Flower Moon,” in which she stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

“This is an historic one. It doesn’t belong to just me. I’m holding it right now, holding it with all my beautiful sisters,” she said during her speech.

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Initially speaking in the Blackfeet language, Gladstone went on to say the Blackfeet Nation is the “beautiful community, nation that raised me and encouraged me to keep going, keep doing this.”

She also honored her mom, who accompanied her to the ceremony on Sunday, saying, “my mom, even though she’s not Blackfeet, worked tirelessly to get our language into our classrooms so I had a Blackfeet language teacher growing up.”

Gladstone expressed her gratitude for being able to speak “a little bit” of her language “because in this business, native actors used to speak their lines in English and then the sound mixers would run them backwards to accomplish native languages on camera.”

Going on to mention the Osage Nation, which “Flower Moon” centers on, Gladstone ended her speech by saying this award is for the kids who have “seen themselves represented in our stories told by ourselves in our own words, with tremendous allies and tremendous trust.”

Gladstone grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana, according to The Guardian, telling the publication in 2017 that she lived on reservation land until the age of 11. She has tribal affiliations that include Kainai, Amskapi Piikani and Nimi’ipuu First Nations.

In “Killers of the Flower Moon,” she plays Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman who is the wife of DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart.

This marks Gladstone’s first Globe nomination and win.