Lily Gladstone has won best actress at the Golden Globes for her role as Mollie (Kyle) Burkhart in the Martin Scorsese film, Killers of the Flower Moon. Indigenous actress Lily Gladstone makes history at Golden Globes
Born and raised on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana with ties to the Nez Perce, Ms Gladstone, visibly moved, acknowledged the significance of her victory in an emotional manner during her acceptance speech, speaking in her native tongue.
“I just spoke a bit of Blackfeet language, a beautiful community and nation that raised me, that encouraged me to keep going, keep doing this,” she said.
“I feel so grateful to be speaking a little bit of my language that I am not fluent in.”
“Because in this business Native actors would speak their lines in English and then the sound producers would rewind them backwards to accomplish native language on camera.”
Killers of the flower moon sheds light on the historical exploitation of the infamous 20th-century Osage murders in Oaklahoma.
The acts were orchestrated by white men with their desire to seize the valuable “headrights” of the Indigenous people, who owned the oil-rich land.
The film has garnered acclaim for its truthful portrayal of how non-Indigenous settlers acquired greater authority over native lands to exploit the resources beneath.
“This is a historical win. It doesn’t belong to just me, I am holding it right now for all my beautiful sisters.” Gladstone said.
“This is for every little rez kid, this is for every little urban kid, every little native kid out there who has a dream.
“Who is seeing themselves represented and our stories being told by ourselves in our own words with tremendous allies and tremendous trust with each other.”
During an interview with The Guardian, Ms Gladstone said the story of Mollie and the Osage people was “long overdue”.
“The Osage community didn’t speak about it for such a long time – it’s such a fresh trauma,” she told The Guardian.
“When David Grann’s book was written, it opened a lot of old wounds. But sometimes you need to open wounds to begin a healing process.”
In the interview Ms Gladstone emphasised the significance of having a film that resonates with people and is acknowledged as a significant part of history.
This overdue moment of representation holds great importance.
37-year-old Gladstone received a standing ovation for her win and during her speech, where she paid tribute to Scorsese and her co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio as ‘allies’ who were working to change things in Hollywood.
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