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HomeCelebrity GossipReport claiming Sacheen Littlefeather faked Indigenous ancestry met with backlash - Nationwide

Report claiming Sacheen Littlefeather faked Indigenous ancestry met with backlash – Nationwide


Three weeks after the dying of Sacheen Littlefeather, a report has emerged claiming that the activist and actor lied about her Indigenous ancestry, sparking controversy amongst Indigenous critics who say the report’s writer is instigating a “witch hunt” and sullying Littlefeather’s legacy.

The report additionally comes 4 months after the Academy of Movement Image Arts & Sciences despatched Littlefeather an apology for the way in which she was handled on the 1973 Oscars, when she famously declined the Greatest Actor award on Marlon Brando’s behalf as an act of protest towards Hollywood’s racist portrayal of Indigenous folks.

Littlefeather, who was simply 26 on the time, confronted threats of violence and was blacklisted from Hollywood following the stunt, she mentioned.

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However an opinion piece revealed on Saturday within the San Fransisco Chronicle contends that Littlefeather is an “ethnic fraud” that posed as Indigenous regardless of having no connection to an Indigenous nation.

Littlefeather’s sister Trudy Orlandi instructed the Chronicle, “It’s a lie. My father was who he was. His household got here from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard [California].”

Rosalind Cruz, one other of Littlefeather’s sisters, mentioned, “It’s a fraud. It’s disgusting to the heritage of the tribal folks. And it’s simply… insulting to my dad and mom.”

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Littlefeather was born in Arizona to Manuel Ybarra Cruz and Gertrude Barnitz. Her beginning title was Maria Louise Cruz.

The writer of the article, Jacqueline Keeler, who can be Indigenous, reviewed Littlefeather’s father’s ancestry, the place Littlefeather claimed Indigenous heritage, and located no formal ties to Indigenous nations within the U.S. Keeler says she went by way of immigration paperwork that confirmed Littlefeather’s household recognized as Caucasian and Mexican once they crossed the Mexican border into the U.S.

Because of assimilation insurance policies in Canada and the U.S., not each Indigenous individual is listed as a First Nation member or has concrete documentation to point out their affiliation with a particular group.

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There are sometimes strict necessities that folks should meet so as to acquire citizenship to an Indigenous nation — necessities that will not precisely mirror the realities of Indigenous id. As an illustration, within the U.S. the “blood quantum” measurement system is used to find out if somebody has sufficient Indigenous “blood” to say standing, and has been criticized as a approach to management and erase Indigenous peoples.

Keeler’s article has drawn important backlash from Indigenous critics who accuse her of harassment and policing Native id with colonial techniques. Keeler herself is a controversial author in Indigenous circles for creating and sustaining an inventory of Indigenous figures she deems “Pretendians” — individuals who declare heritage with no actual Indigenous ancestry.

“I hate that Native folks need to spend a single breath speaking about Jacqueline Keeler,” Anishinaabe author Ashley Fairbanks mentioned on Twitter. “There’s so many issues hurting our communities, and there’s so many stunning issues to have fun, and her witch hunt sucks up all of the oxygen.”

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She added: “It’s as much as folks’s residence group, or the one they declare, to talk out in the event that they really feel they’re being harmed. Utilizing tribal enrolment as the one measure of Native id is so colonial.”

Laura Clark, a deputy editor at Yahoo who’s Cherokee, wrote for Selection that “some Natives have had their tribes almost erased to the purpose that organized citizenship information merely don’t exist.”

Littlefeather, who died on Oct. 2 of breast most cancers, claimed heritage from the White Mountain Apache, a tribe in Arizona, and the Yaqui, whose folks may be present in Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonara.

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“It’s a multitude, this Native life,” Clark provides. “And for a reporter to go after a deceased lady who was simply honoured for her contributions to Native American existence, who claimed the Yaqui Nation — a tribe that has fought extinction, partly by shifting from its origins in Mexico to Arizona — has understandably riled up a group that feels continually threatened by erasure and genocide.”

Twitter person CarlyMButton, who recognized herself as Yaqui, wrote that “The difficulty with Yaqui historical past is that we have been so almost worn out by colonization, we don’t have clear data of our ancestry/tradition. Any crumbs we get are just like the pearls our ancestors dove for & we’re usually invalidated by Natives who’re fortunate sufficient to have a complete necklace.”

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Littlefeather’s sister additionally disputed the actor’s claims of coming from an impoverished, abusive household. Each her sisters discovered about Littlefeather’s dying by way of the web and neither have been invited to her funeral.

Littlefeather was a longtime activist who organized for the civil rights of Indigenous folks in America. Her protest on the Oscars drew consideration to the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee.

She participated within the occupation of Alcatraz in 1970, and she or he is credited with co-founding the American Indian Registry for Performing Arts and the Pink Earth Indian Theatre Firm.

&copy 2022 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.



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