Lily Gladstone becomes first indigenous woman to win Best Actress at 2024 Golden Globes

Killers of the Flower Moon star begins her acceptance speech in Blackfeet language

Lily Gladstone, who is of Blackfeet and Nez Perce background, won Best Actress for her performance in Killers of the Flower Moon. AP
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In a historic moment, Native American actress Lily Gladstone, 37, has become the first indigenous person to win the Best Actress award at the Golden Globes.

The star of Killers of the Flower Moon took the stage at the 81st iteration of the revamped awards ceremony with the magnitude of the win clearly on her mind, speaking in Blackfeet language to open her acceptance speech, before switching to English.

“It’s a beautiful community and nation that raised me, that encouraged me to keep going, keep doing this,” said Gladstone.

“In this business, native actors used to speak their lines in English and the sound mixers would run them backwards to accomplish native languages on camera,” she lamented, thanking her mother for giving her a tutor in the Blackfeet language as a child.

Gladstone, who is of Blackfeet and Nez Perce background, also thanked her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese, while also giving a shout-out to indigenous Americans that also grew up in those communities, dedicating the award to “every little rez [reservation] kid” who has a dream.

“This is a historic one,” she reflected.

Gladstone may in fact be the first indigenous person to win a Golden Globe overall, though singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, who won a Globe in 1983 for her song Up Where We Belong has claimed indigenous heritage. That heritage has been called into question after an investigation by the CBC last October.

Indigenous performers have been nominated several times, including Mohawk and Cayuga musician Robbie Robertson, who was nominated this year for original score for Killers of the Flower Moon. Before that, Chief Dan George and Adam Beach were nominated for Little Big Man and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, respectively.

Killers of the Flower Moon lost out on Best Picture to the Christopher Nolan-directed Oppenheimer.

Updated: January 08, 2024, 11:48 AM