Sacheen Littlefeather, a commendable activist of Native American descent has her legitimacy questioned amidst these recent times.
The activist had graciously denied to take the Oscar on Marlon Brando’s behalf back in 1973 at the Academy Awards. The actress died recently due to breast cancer. Her sisters now ask the question of her legitimacy of being a tribal member.
Sacheen Littlefeather’s Tribal Legitimacy Questioned
Sacheen Littlefeather was an avid activist during the 1970s till the end of her life. She fought for Hollywood’s depiction of Native Americans and declined the Oscar that she had to take on behalf of Marlon Brando for his role in The Godfather (1972).
The American actress recently deceased on October 2 while fighting breast cancer and was revered by the people for her fight. A recent column suggests that although she claimed that she was of American Native heritage, her sisters Rosalind Cruz and Trudy Orlandi beg to differ. In a column by the San Francisco Chronicle, the alleged statements of her sister have been recorded that disagreed and claimed that Sacheen Littlefeather was actually of Mexican heritage.
“It’s a lie. My father was who he was. His family came from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard” claimed Trudy Orlandi while Rosalind Cruz stated, “It is a fraud. It’s disgusting to the heritage of the tribal people. And it’s just… insulting to my parents.”
The sisters also claimed that Sacheen Littlefeather’s impoverished background and mentally ill parents were also made up! Rosalind Cruz and Trudy Orlandi learned of their sister’s death through the internet and neither were invited to her funeral.
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Sacheen Littlefeather’s Tribal Story
Sacheen Littlefeather was born to Manuel Ybarra Cruz and Gertrude Barnitz with her real name revealed to be Maria Louise Cruz. She declared herself of the White Mountain Heritage (a tribe in Arizona) and later declared herself to be of Yaqui descent. The Yaqui was a tribe with heritage from Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacheen Littlefeather’s heritage has no official record from the tribal people. Many people stood against the column and claimed that Jacqueline Keeler, has had conflicts with Sacheen Littlefeather in the past also. There have yet to be official statements and comments released by Jacqueline Keeler and the Academy Awards regarding the alleged recent developments. Sacheen Littlefeather is revered as an activist for the tribal people and has had several notable roles during the 1970s Hollywood.