Tag Archives: Sacheen Littlefeather

LUMINARIES GATHER FOR AN EVENING WITH SACHEEN LITTLEFEATHER AT THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES MUSEUM.  LITTLEFEATHER’S FOUR-HOUR VISUAL HISTORY NOW AVAILABLE ON THE MUSEUM’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

Los Angeles, Calif. – On September 17, 2022, luminaries from the Native American, Indigenous, and entertainment communities came together at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles for An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather—a public program focused on celebration, healing, and reflection. The event was followed by an intimate private reception. 

The museum livestreamed An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather on its YouTube channel. The video will be available online until Friday, September 23; a trimmed version of the event will then be shared to the museum’s channel.

In addition, as part of the Academy’s Oral History Projects, the museum has published a nearly four-hour visual history with Littlefeather, interviewed by Academy Museum Director and President Jacqueline Stewart. The mission of the Academy Oral History Projects is to collect, record, preserve, and provide access to personal spoken accounts that provide insight into the history and evolution of the art, science, and craft of motion pictures. The recording arm of the program—the Visual History Program—has been operating since 2012 and has so far filmed 234 filmmaker interviews (about 940 hours of original content) and preserved another 1,200 historical interviews from other sources.


The event commenced with a Tongva land acknowledgement facilitated by Virginia Carmelo (Tongva/S. CA) before emcees Earl Neconie (Kiowa/OK) and Academy Museum Director and President Jacqueline Stewart took the stage. Their words were followed by an Honoring Song performed by Steve Bohay and the Sooner Nation Singers and Michael Bellanger and the All Nation Singers. The audience was then treated to a lively intertribal powwow dance featuring women’s northern traditional buckskin dancer Teresa Littlebird (Northern Cheyenne/CA), grass dancer Wesley Bellanger (Ojibiway/MN and Kickapoo/OK), grass dancer Randy Pico Jr. (Navajo & Luiseño, CA), southern straight men’s traditional dancer James Gregory (Osage/OK), southern women’s cloth dancer Michele Gregory (Pit River/No. CA), fancy shoal dancer Olivia Gone (Southern Cheyenne/OK), jingledress dancer Sophia Seaboy (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Sisseton/SD), and chicken dancer Ahshkii Keediniihii (Diné Navajo/AZ), plus a moving rendition of Song in Lushootseed and Don’t Count Me Out by vocalist Calina Lawrence (Suquamish/WA).

Following these powerful performances, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Bill Kramer took the stage to underscore the Academy and Academy Museum’s prioritization of representation, belonging, inclusion, and access. Visitors then watched a 60-second clip of Littlefeather’s speech from the 1973 Academy Awards® during which—at Marlon Brando’s request—she respectfully declined his Best Actor award in protest of the treatment of Native Americans in the entertainment industry. This clip is currently on view in the museum’s Academy Awards History gallery. 

Academy member, producer, and co-chair of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache/NM) then took the stage with Sacheen Littlefeather (Apachi/Yaqui/AZ) for a 20-minute conversation that reflected on Littlefeather’s experiences the last fifty years.

Later in the evening, former Academy President David Rubin, with current Academy President Janet Yang, read the Academy’s apology letter—originally presented to Littlefeather on June 18, 2022—after which Littlefeather offered a moving response.

The White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers from Arizona with Joe Tohonnie got everyone on their feet with a dynamic dance to close out the program.

Immediately following the public program, the museum hosted a private reception for 300 guests in its Tea Room and Wilshire Terrace with food provided by guest chef Crystal Wahpepah (Kickapoo/OK), owner and operator of Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland, CA. Wahpepah mindfully chooses Indigenous food sources for her cuisine, with ingredients originating from the people and lands to which she is connected and has a relationship.  In addition to Sacheen, the evening’s presenters and performers, and Academy and Academy Museum leadership, notable guests included: costume designer Ruth E. Carter, Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO and museum trustee Ray Halbritter (Oneida Indian Nation/NY), musical artist Taboo, actor Devery Jacobs, actor and filmmaker Riley Keough, actor Zahn McClarnon, and Academy member, producer, co-chair of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance Heather Rae.   

About the Academy Museum
The Academy Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, and beautiful public spaces that are free and open to the public. These include: The Walt Disney Company Piazza and the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby, which houses the Spielberg Family Gallery, Academy Museum Store, and Fanny’s restaurant and café. The Academy Museum exhibition galleries are open seven days a week, with hours Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.

About the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers, and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars®, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the arts and sciences of the movies, including public programming, screenings, publications, educational outreach, exhibitions, and more.

ACADEMY MUSEUM WILL OFFER LIVESTREAM OF AN EVENING WITH SACHEEN LITTLEFEATHERON SEPTEMBER 17, 2022.

FOLLOWING THE PROGRAM, MUSEUM WILL PUBLISH 
LITTLEFEATHER’S FOUR-HOUR VISUAL HISTORY.

 

Los Angeles, Calif. – On September 17, 2022, the Academy Museum will host An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather, a special program of conversation, healing, and celebration that will reflect on the historic 1973 Academy Awards® ceremony during which Sacheen Littlefeather (Apache/Yaqui/AZ) declined Marlon Brando’s Academy Award at his request.

The event, programmed by Littlefeather and produced by Academy Museum Vice President of Education and Public Engagement Amy Homma, is part of the museum’s ongoing dedication to create programs and exhibitions in partnership with film artists and communities that illuminate the entertainment industry’s past and pave the way for meaningful change in its future.

As An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather is at capacity, the museum will livestream the program on its YouTube channel. The program will be available until Friday September 23. A standby line will also be available at the museum starting at 2pm PDT on Saturday, September 17.

In addition, the museum will publish a nearly four-hour visual history of Littlefeather, interviewed by Academy Museum Director and President Jacqueline Stewart, following An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather at 7 pm PDT. Details will be shared following the event.

The evening’s program will include a land acknowledgement courtesy of Virginia Carmelo (Tongva/So. CA), a reading of the Academy’s letter of apology to Littlefeather, Native American performances, and a conversation between Littlefeather and Academy Member, producer, and co-chair of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache/NM). Additional performers and speakers will include Academy CEO Bill Kramer, traditional vocalist and singer Calina Lawrence (Suquamish/WA), former Academy President David Rubin, incoming Academy President Janet Yang, emcee Earl Neconie (Kiowa/OK), emcee Jacqueline Stewart, Michael Bellanger (Ojibiway/MN & Kickapoo/OK) and the All Nation Singers and Dancers, and Steve Bohay (Kiowa/OK) and the Sooner Nation Singers and Dancers, and the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers with Joe Tohonnie (Apache/AZ).

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
6067 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036

Saturday, September 17, 2022. 5 pm PDT.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY MUSEUM
The Academy Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, and beautiful public spaces that are free and open to the public. These include: The Walt Disney Company Piazza and the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby, which houses the Spielberg Family Gallery, Academy Museum Store, and Fanny’s restaurant and café. The Academy Museum exhibition galleries are open seven days a week, with hours Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm. 

About the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
The Academy Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, and beautiful public spaces that are free and open to the public. These include: The Walt Disney Company Piazza and the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby, which houses the Spielberg Family Gallery, Academy Museum Store, and Fanny’s restaurant and café. The Academy Museum exhibition galleries are open seven days a week, with hours Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.

About the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the arts and sciences of the movies, including public programming, screenings, publications, educational outreach, exhibitions, and more.

THE ACADEMY MUSEUM WELCOMES SACHEEN LITTLEFEATHER FOR AN EVENING OF CONVERSATION, HEALING, AND CELEBRATION ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2022.

Los Angeles, August 15, 2022—The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced today An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather, a very special program of conversation, reflection, healing, and celebration with Sacheen Littlefeather (Apache/Yaqui/AZ) on September 17, 2022. 

In 1973, Sacheen Littlefeather, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, became the first Native woman to stand onstage at the Academy Awards® ceremony, on behalf of Marlon Brando. At his request, Littlefeather did not accept Brando’s Best Actor award for The Godfather and gave a passionate 60-second speech regarding the stereotypes of Native Americans in the entertainment industry. She also brought attention to the 1973 Wounded Knee protest in South Dakota. This moment resulted in her being professionally boycotted, personally attacked and harassed, and discriminated against for the last 50 years.

Littlefeather’s speech is highlighted in the museum’s Academy Awards History gallery, and she was interviewed this spring by Jacqueline Stewart, Director and President of the Academy Museum, for the Academy Museum Podcast episode “Marlon Brando Cannot Accept this Very Generous Award” about the 1973 Oscars®, the Academy’s A.frame article , and a Visual History as part of the Academy’s Oral History Projects (to be released in September 2022). In June, Littlefeather was presented with a statement of apology, signed by former Academy President David Rubin. The apology is available in full below.

“Regarding the Academy’s apology to me, we Indians are very patient people—it’s only been 50 years! We need to keep our sense of humor about this at all times. It’s our method of survival,” said Littlefeather. “I never thought I’d live to see the day for this program to take place, featuring such wonderful Native performers and Bird Runningwater, a television and film producer who also guided the Sundance Institute’s commitment to Indigenous filmmakers for twenty years through the Institute’s Labs and Sundance Film Festival. This is a dream come true. It is profoundly heartening to see how much has changed since I did not accept the Academy Award 50 years ago. I am so proud of each and every person who will appear on stage.”

Jacqueline Stewart, Director and President of the Academy Museum, said, “We are delighted and humbled that Sacheen has so generously chosen to engage with the museum and Academy to reflect upon her trying experience at the 1973 Academy Awards. Our thanks go out to Bird Runningwater and Heather Rae for helping us foster our cherished relationship with Sacheen. We hope our event on September 17 offers Sacheen and our audiences a moment of collective healing and a new path forward.”

An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather will encourage reflection on the historic evening in 1973 and focus on a future founded on healing and celebration. The event, programmed by Sacheen Littlefeather and produced by Academy Museum Vice President of Education and Public Engagement Amy Homma, is part of the museum’s ongoing dedication to creating programs and exhibitions in partnership with film artists and communities that illuminate the entertainment industry’s past and can pave the way for meaningful change in its future.

The evening’s program will include a land acknowledgement courtesy of Virginia Carmelo (Tongva/So. CA), a reading of the Academy’s letter of apology, Native American Indian performances, and a conversation between Littlefeather and Academy Member, producer, and co-chair of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache/NM). Additional performers and speakers will include Academy CEO Bill Kramer, traditional vocalist and singer Calina Lawrence (Suquamish/WA), former Academy President David Rubin and incoming Academy President Janet Yang, emcee Earl Neconie (Kiowa/OK), emcee Jacqueline Stewart, Assemblymember James Ramos (Serrano/Cahuilla/So. CA), The San Manuel Bird Singers (San Manuel/CA), Michael Bellanger (Ojibiway/MN & Kickapoo/OK) and the All Nation Singers and Dancers, and Steve Bohay (Kiowa/OK) and the Sooner Nation Singers and Dancers.

Tickets are free to the public and available on the Academy Museum website. Reservations are required.


STATEMENT OF RECONCILIATION

June 18, 2022

Dear Sacheen Littlefeather,

I write to you today a letter that has been a long time coming on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with humble acknowledgment of your experience at the 45th Academy Awards.

As you stood on the Oscars stage in 1973 to not accept the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, in recognition of the misrepresentation and mistreatment of Native American people by the film industry, you made a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the necessity of respect and the importance of human dignity.

The abuse you endured because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified. The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.

We cannot realize the Academy’s mission to “inspire imagination and connect the world through cinema” without a commitment to facilitating the broadest representation and inclusion reflective of our diverse global population.
 
Today, nearly 50 years later, and with the guidance of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance, we are firm in our commitment to ensuring indigenous voices—the original storytellers—are visible, respected contributors to the global film community. We are dedicated to fostering a more inclusive, respectful industry that leverages a balance of art and activism to be a driving force for progress.

We hope you receive this letter in the spirit of reconciliation and as recognition of your essential role in our journey as an organization. You are forever respectfully engrained in our history.

With warmest regards,

David Rubin
President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 


Image: Sacheen Littlefeather, 1973, © Globe Photos/ZUMA Press
 

About the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
The Academy Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, and beautiful public spaces that are free and open to the public. These include: The Walt Disney Company Piazza and the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby, which houses the Spielberg Family Gallery, Academy Museum Store, and Fanny’s restaurant and café. The Academy Museum exhibition galleries are open seven days a week, with hours Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.

About the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

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