2024 Oscars: Lily Gladstone Breaks New Ground as First Native American Acting Nominee

In a historic move for the Academy Awards, Lily Gladstone has been nominated for Best Actress for her role in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’, marking her as the first Native American actor from the land currently known as the United States to receive such an honor. This milestone is not just a win for Gladstone but signifies a long-awaited recognition for Native American actors in Hollywood.

A Landmark Nomination

Lily Gladstone, with heritage from the Blackfeet and Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) tribes, has been a notable presence throughout the awards season, culminating in her nomination for her compelling performance in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’. Previous nominations for Indigenous actors include Keisha Castle-Hughes (Maori) in 2004 for ‘Whale Rider’, Yalitza Aparicio (Native Mexican) in 2019 for ‘Roma’, and Graham Greene (First Nations) in 1991 for ‘Dances With Wolves’. However, Gladstone’s nomination is the first for an actor indigenous to what is now the United States, making this a groundbreaking moment in Oscar history.

The Significance of Representation

The nomination of Lily Gladstone carries profound significance, offering a counter-narrative to the long history of Hollywood’s misrepresentation and underrepresentation of Native American people. Hollywood’s past is marred by the tradition of redface, with non-Native actors often portraying Native characters, a practice that has contributed to stereotypes and misconceptions about Native cultures. Gladstone’s nomination, therefore, is not just a personal achievement but a victory for authentic representation and a step toward rectifying historical oversights.

Gladstone’s Impact and Advocacy

Lily Gladstone’s journey to Oscar recognition is paved with critical acclaim and advocacy for Native representation in the media. From her breakout role in Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women’ to her acclaimed performance in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’, Gladstone has used her platform to highlight the importance of authentic Native voices and stories in Hollywood. Her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, where she addressed the harmful practice of inventing fake Native languages, underscored her commitment to advocacy and education.

Wrapping Up

Lily Gladstone’s Oscar nomination is a landmark achievement that transcends the individual success of an actor. It marks a significant moment in the ongoing effort to ensure diverse and authentic representation in Hollywood. As the film industry continues to evolve, Gladstone’s nomination serves as a reminder of the importance of recognizing and honoring the stories and voices of all people, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. For more insights into the world of film and groundbreaking moments like these, stay tuned to HITPLAY.


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