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It was the performance of a lifetime.

In 1973, Sacheen Littlefeather took to the stage at the Oscars on behalf of Marlon Brando to turn down his award for the Godfather.

Dressed in traditional woven clothes, the activist for Native American rights was the perfect messenger for Brando’s statement excoriating Hollywood – and America’s – treatment of indigenous people.

But just weeks after her death, Littlefeather’s sisters have come forward in a bombshell interview to say she was not Native American at all.

In fact, they told the San Francisco Chronicle, she was Hispanic.

“It’s a lie,” Trudy Orlandi told Jacqueline Keeler, herself a Native American activist. “My father was who he was. His family came from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard. California.”

“It is a fraud,” added sister Rosalind Cruz. “It’s disgusting to the heritage of the tribal people. And it’s just … insulting to my parents.”

Of course, being of Mexican inheritance doesn’t stop there being some Amerind influence. But it’s going to be Toltec, or Aztec, not Apache as claimed. But as one of the sisters pointed out:

Both women said they identified as Hispanic and insisted that the family had no Native American ancestry.

“I mean, you’re not gonna be a Mexican American princess,” Ms Orlandi added.

“You’re gonna be an American Indian princess. It was more prestigious to be an American Indian than it was to be Hispanic in her mind.”

Still, she identified, right, and that’s the important thing. Should have picked Cherokee thought, that way she could have become a law professor and Senator.

19 thoughts on “Ahahahaha”

  1. Well, the Aztecs moved down from what is now South West USA into Mexico (doing a fair bit of plunder and pillage, natch) and not that long ago either.

    So the whole question is moot.

  2. When we lived in Queensland a local Abo shit-stirrer was revealed to have not a drop of Abo blood; he was just an ordinary mulatto. When we lived in NZ a Maori shit-stirrer was revealed to be entirely Irish.

    Isn’t this sort of thing bound to happen when you extend race privilege to any group? In the early days of jazz some light-skinned blacks would choose to “pass” as white. In one case the fraud was so obvious that the explanation was offered that he was from Hawaii. Later, in the bop era, a white trumpeter passed himself off as black, being referred to as “Albino Red”.

  3. Our school houses were based on indian tribes. I was an apache, which i was rather proud of. Found out later they tilted more to the vicious side than the noble.

  4. For some reason, race is inmate and immutable – you’re not allowed to identify as another race.

    Another sex is ok. Another *species* is fucking ok. But not a other race.

  5. @dearieme “When we lived in NZ a Maori shit-stirrer was revealed to be entirely Irish”

    Even if he was full Maori, he’d have no particular claim. They turned up in New Zealand not so very long ago, and annihilated the indigenous Moriori. The Maoris are as much colonialist land-grabbers as any European.

  6. @Snag
    No, the Moriori were descendants of Maori people who sailed from NZ to the Chatham Islands. Once there they formed a pacifist society.
    They were followed a few centuries later by other Maori who were not so pacifist, so massacred and ate them.
    As for whether there were other people in NZ before the Maori, that’s a question the Maori don’t like anyone asking. I believe they did have legends of red-haired people who lived in the forests or mountains. Similarly, the Hawaiians had legends of little people who were skilled at working with stone. The Hawaiians and Maori have common ancestry in island South East Asia. Perhaps it was folk-memory of Homo floresiensis or negrito people.

  7. With the advent of Indian casinos tribes have become pretty rigorous about who can be enrolled as a member. There was a case of where the former chief of the Pomos in northern California was kicked out of the tribe for not being Pomo enough. When he was chief no one cared, but then a casino was built and suddenly there were cash flows to divvy up.

  8. For some reason, race is inmate and immutable – you’re not allowed to identify as another race.
    Another sex is ok. Another *species* is fucking ok. But not a other race.

    But, but, but “there’s no such thing as race”. Oh wait, todays’ an even-numbered day? As you were, then.

  9. The whole “there were people in NZ before the Maori” is a deliberately racist invention. The idea is to discredit Maori claims on the land.

    Quite apart from a lack of proof, it is ridiculous on the face of it. How did they get there? NZ was separated by considerable ocean well before any pre-Polynesian could possibly sail it.

    The Polynesians crossed the Pacific in one of the world’s warmest times, and made it to NZ. But then it got cold again and even they didn’t sail across any more. No different “Moriori” could have made it either. Where would they have come from?

  10. So, let’s go with this racist shite then. The UK really belongs to the pre-Celts, because they did occupy terra nullius. So we get to shaft the Scots, Irish and Welsh. Sounds good to me. Of course, we also then have to shaft the Anglo Saxons and the Normans. OK. And the 14% of the population today that is foreign born? We, the indigenes, get special rights that they don’t.

    Hmm, what, that’s not how it works? Then it don’t work that way for the Maori either.

    The indigenes gain special rights or they don’t. But no, it doesn’t change dependent upon who those indigenes, or the new arrivals, are. One decision, one time, for all.

  11. Brilliant by Tim for standing up for ‘a tolerable administration of justice’ and against other kinds of that schit.

  12. The implementation of UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights is interesting, one local Municipality has declared as part of conforming to UNDRIP its going to give local indigenous a share of property taxes and waive any fee as they have to pay for services

  13. ‘And the 14% of the population today that is foreign born? We, the indigenes, get special rights that they don’t’

    But Tim, this’d mean that the convention on Refugee Rights’d be null and void, because it’d be nullifying the rights of the indigenes.

    What does international law say about this? That it depends on the colour of the various parties skins??

  14. Whether Sacheen Littlefeather is Native American or not is purely a matter for Native Americans to decide. Just as whether someone is American is a matter for the constitution and legislature, or how whether someone is British is a matter for Parliament to decide.

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