Lily Gladstone’s Golden Globes win for ‘every little Native kid out there’

Lily Gladstone became the first Indigenous person to win Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes Sunday night for their role in Killers of the Flower Moon.

In their acceptance speech, they dedicated their win to “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.” Gladstone uses she/they pronouns.

Gladstone’s win was huge for Indigenous people on screen and behind the scenes and they used the win as an opportunity to speak their language.

“It’s often how I introduce myself in a new group of people, especially when it’s significant,” they said after starting their acceptance speech in Blackfeet.

“I’m so thankful 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 then the sound mixers would run them backwards to accomplish Native languages on camera,” they said on stage. “This is a historic win, it doesn’t belong to just me.”

While Gladstone’s Golden Globes win made them the first Indigenous person to win best actress in a motion picture drama, many Indigenous people felt the win too.

Mohkinstsis (Calgary) Cree actress and director Michelle Thrush was teary-eyed watching Gladstone’s win.

“I was beyond thrilled for her and I knew in that moment that it would be history-making,” she said. “The win was bigger than all of us. I was so proud of her.”

Thrush sees Gladstone’s win as helping kick things into gear.

“I often talk about our veterans in the business; Tantoo (Cardinal), Graham Green and Gary Farmer — the first generation that came through those doors and then came my generation of the Podemskis and Adam Beach and we have tried for so long to get these doors opened,” she said.

“We’ve kicked down a few and now I feel like things are going to get a little easier for us to continue doing what we do and hands up, prayers down for Lily because she really kicked it.

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