Monday, April 15, 2024

Lily Gladstone, who might get an Oscar nod, is on a mission to stop violence against Native American women and girls. Julia Chan from CNN wrote about it

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Leading up to the most significant event in Hollywood, Lily Gladstone, known for her role in the Martin Scorsese-directed film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” is shining a light on an issue that holds personal significance for her as she creates a piece of history.

Gladstone stands as the initial Native American woman to be considered for a top actress Academy Award. Portraying Mollie Burkhart, a real Osage woman who survived a series of targeted killings in the wealthy Osage community during 1920s Oklahoma, Gladstone’s roots trace back to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, with tribal connections to Kainai, Amskapi Piikani, and Nimi’ipuu First Nations.

Since 2011, Gladstone has collaborated with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), a Native-led organization dedicated to ending violence against Native women and children. This issue disproportionately affects the community, with more than 80% of American Indian and Alaska Native women experiencing violence in their lifetimes, predominantly perpetrated by non-Native individuals. On certain reservations, the rate of Native women’s murders exceeds the national average by over tenfold.

Due to limited tribal authority to prosecute non-Native suspects, achieving justice and accountability proves challenging—a fact underscored by Gladstone during her poignant speech at the Variety Power of Women event.

“There are 574 federally recognized tribes in this nation, and we all experience this epidemic,” Gladstone emphasized. “This epidemic of hundreds, thousands of missing, murdered Indigenous women (MMIW), children, Two-Spirit relatives – the only people who have any authority to do anything do nothing. And the people who are left to do anything about it are these women here,” she added, gesturing toward NIWRC members present.

The NIWRC expressed appreciation for the attention garnered by a prominent awards season contender.

“As Lily reminds us, art is a powerful catalyst for social awareness and change,” stated NIWRC. “We are so grateful to Lily for not merely raising awareness of NIWRC, but also the MMIW crisis, the connection between land and body violence, the value of our Native women and children, and the ongoing need to not only improve the response to violence against Native women but also to center prevention work.”

Earlier this year, Gladstone achieved a milestone by becoming the first performer identifying as Indigenous to win both a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for her breakthrough performance.

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