Civil rights

13 Things About the Native American Civil Rights Activist, Actress and Model – CONAN Daily

biographical data

Sacheen Little Feather is a Native American civil rights activist, actress, and model born Marie Louise Cruz in Salinas, California, United States. his father Manuel Ybarra Cruz is White Mountain Apache and Yaqui while his mother Geraldine Marie Barnitz is French, German and Dutch.

Littlefeather studied primary education at Hartnell Junior College in Salinas and theater and speeches in California State College at Hayward in Hayward, California. The latter was renamed California State University, Hayward in 1972 and California State University, East Bay in 2005.


In 1975, Littlefeather fell very ill after her lungs collapsed as a result of childhood tuberculosis. After regaining her health, she earned a degree in holistic health and nutrition from Antioch University in California and became a health consultant to Native American communities across the United States.

On March 27, 1973, Littlefeather became the first Indigenous woman and the first woman of color to use the Oscar platform to make a political statement. Here are 13 other things about him.

  1. In 1950, her mother left her father and took her and her two younger sisters to live with their maternal grandparents. Gerold “Barney” Barnitz and Mary Barnitz.
  2. From 1960 to 1964, she attended North Salinas High School in Salins.
  3. In 1966, his father died at the age of 44. In 1969, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area of ​​California to pursue a modeling career and joined the United Bay Indian Council.
  4. In 1970, she participated in the occupation of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, California and adopted the name Sacheen Littlefeather. In 1972, she was one of the models photographed for Playboy the broadcast of 10 Little Indians magazine, which was canceled because the photos were not deemed to be erotic enough. The magazine released her photos as a standalone feature after she appeared on the 45th Academy Awards on March 27, 1973 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California to decline “The Godfather” actor Marlon Brando‘s Best Actor Award on his behalf to protest Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans and to bring attention to the standoff at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, USA, which began on February 27, 1973. She played Maggie in the Italian-Spanish crime film “The Consiglio“, released in Italy on August 30, 1973, and a small role in the neo-noir film “The Laughing Policemanreleased in the United States on December 20, 1973.
  5. In 1974, she took acting, yoga, fencing and dance classes at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She played Patsy Littlejohn in “Billy Jack’s Trial“, released on November 13, 1974, and a minor role in “Freebie and the bean», released on December 25, 1974. In 1975, he played Nenya in «Johnny Firecloud” and Pale Flower in “winter falcon“. In 1978, she played a Navajo in “Shoot the sunset“.
  6. She is one of the first teachers of St. Mary’s Traditional Indian Medicine program, which consisted of a series of lectures held between 1984 and 1990. In 1988, she served as secretary and community member on the interim board of the American Indian AIDS Institute from San Francisco.
  7. In 1991, she recovered from colon cancer surgery.
  8. In 2009, her mother died at the age of 86. In the same year, she appeared in the documentary “Coil Injun“.
  9. In 2012, she was reportedly in remission from breast cancer.
  10. She received an honorary Eagle Spirit Award at the Native American Film Festival 2013. She appeared in the short documentaries “The invisible peakin 2014 andSacheen” in 2019.
  11. In March 2018, a spokeswoman announced that she had developed stage 4 breast cancer. In November 2019, the Red Nation International Film Festival honored her with the Brando Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to American Indians.
  12. In June 2021, she told The Guardian that she was terminally ill because her breast cancer had metastasized to her right lung.
  13. She was 75 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officially apologized to her in June 2022 for the mistreatment she suffered during her speech at the 45th Academy Awards, which she will discuss during the Academy Film Museum in Los Angeles in September 2022.