Indigenous actress Lily Gladstone wins Golden Globe

Actress Lily Gladstone won a Golden Globe for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” (Photo/GoldenGlobes.com)

Actress Lily Gladstone won a Golden Globe for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” (Photo/GoldenGlobes.com)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — When Lily Gladstone took the stage the night of Jan. 7 to accept her first Golden Globe, she spoke to the live TV audience in the Blackfeet language.

“This is a historic win,” she said, becoming the Globes’ first Indigenous winner of best actress in a drama. “This is for every little rez kid, every little urban kid, every little Native kid out there who has a dream, who is seeing themselves represented and our stories told — by ourselves, in our own words — with tremendous allies and tremendous trust from and with each other.”

Gladstone, 37, won for her role as Mollie Burkhart in Martin Scorsese’s epic “Killers of the Flower Moon.” In the film, her character’s family was murdered in a reign of terror in which the Osage were targeted for the headrights to their oil-rich land in Oklahoma.

In the audience, co-star Leonardo DiCaprio wore a pin in solidarity.

“I have my Osage pin on tonight because, you know, the Osage nation, we’re standing in unison with them for this movie,” he said before the show.

Gladstone and DiCaprio walked the red carpet with their respective mothers. After her win backstage, she paid homage to her parents for supporting her dreams.

The actor said her father watched from home, where they will have a “big ol’ feast.”

“Every time I’ve felt a level of guilt or it wasn’t really possible, my mom and my dad my whole life never once questioned that this is what I was meant to do,” said Gladstone, who is an only child. “They would always support me when it was the times of famine and the times of feast.”

It’s “a beautiful community, nation, that encouraged me to keep going, keep doing this,” Gladstone said of the Blackfeet Nation. “I’m here with my mom, who, even though she’s not Blackfeet, worked tirelessly to get our language into our classrooms so I had a Blackfeet-language teacher growing up.”

The actor, who grew up between Seattle and the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, was named one of 2023’s AP Breakthrough Entertainers.

Gladstone said she typically greets people in her Blackfeet language.

“It’s often how I introduce myself in a new group of people, especially when it’s significant,” she said. “It was one of the more natural things I could do in the moment.”

On the subject of a possible Oscar win, Gladstone told The Associated Press: “It would be an incredible moment in my life, but it would mean so much more than just me.”

“It is, of course, something I have to think about, insofar as I would just really love to speak some of my language — and teach myself a little bit more of my language — to have and to hold in that moment,” she continued.

Gladstone is the second Native actress to receive a nomination at the Globes after Irene Bedard, who received a nod for the 1995 television movie “Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee.”

“I don’t have words,” Gladstone said. “I’m so grateful that I can speak even a little bit of my language, which I’m not fluent in, up here, because in this business, Native actors used to speak their lines in English, and then the sound mixers would run them backwards to accomplish Native languages on camera.”

Speaking of the award, Gladstone said: “It doesn’t belong to just me. I’m holding it right now. I’m holding it with all my beautiful sisters in the film.”

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