Native American Activist Sacheen Littlefeather Dead at 75.


Frederick M. Brown

Sacheen Littlefeather, photographed 2010

Joshua Perea-Diaz, Staff Writer

On October 2nd 2022, the world lost a large prominent figure in civil rights, and a beautiful soul. Sacheen Littlefeather has died at age 75 due to complications related to breast cancer, surrounded by her loved ones. Only weeks following the Academy awards formally apologized to her for her treatment at the 1973 Oscars, in which she declined the Oscar on behalf of Marlin Brando.

Although her speech was short it is indisputable that its message left a profound impact. Opening by stating that Brando “Very Regretfully cannot accept this generous award.” To which the crowd began to erupt in boo’s before a brief applause. Allegedly one actor attending the award ceremony John Wayne, was furious to this demonstration and tried to rush Little Feather while on stage but was reportedly restrained by six security officers.

Although this would be controversial,and ultimately make Littlefeather a polarizing figure, both loathed and adored. Littlefeather would continue who activism for the betterment of the native American community even working in hospice care, much later in life producing a film on the Native American released in June of 2022.

While Sacheen Littlefeather may have passed on, her legacy and influence to similar activists will linger on for eternity. Her body may no longer be with us but her tender soul, can never be lost.