Activist Sacheen Littlefeather denounced by sisters for fraudulent Native American identity: « A lie »
In a bombshell new interview, the sisters of Sacheen Littlefeather have claimed the late activist was a liar and an impostor – and not at all indigenous.
Speaking separately to the San Francisco Chronicle, Trudy Orlandi and Rosalind Cruz said they were not ethnically Native American and identified as « Spanish ». Littlefeather, the sisters said, was born Marie Louise Cruz but changed her name after rediscovering what she believed to be her Native American heritage and becoming active in the protests as a young woman.
Orlandi said, « It’s a lie… My dad was who he was. His family was from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard. »
Littlefeather, famous for rejecting Marlon Brando’s best actor award for ‘The Godfather’ at the 1973 Oscars, died earlier this month. She died aged 75 when breast cancer metastasized to her lung.
ACADEMY APOLOGIZES SACHEEN LITTLEFEATHER NEARLY 50 YEARS AFTER REJECTING AN OSCAR IN NAME OF MARLON BRANDO
Littlefeather has come under intense scrutiny for her actions on Brando’s behalf and has shared in the past that the incident resulted in her being « blacklisted » by Hollywood.
Cruz said of her sister’s actions, « It’s a fraud, » before adding, « It’s disgusting to the heritage of tribal people. And it’s just…insulting to my parents. «
Both women say they weren’t invited to the funeral. Their predominant problem with Littlefeather’s stories, they recalled, was her memory of an abusive childhood.
The sisters say it was hard to see her « revered as a saint » after her death, as they say their father, who Littlefeather says was a violent alcoholic, neither drank nor hurt them.
They allege that Littlefeather’s story of an abusive father was actually a tale inspired by their paternal grandfather.
“My dad was deaf and he lost his hearing at age 9 due to meningitis,” Cruz explained. « He was born into poverty. His father, George Cruz, was an alcoholic who was violent and used to beat him. And he was placed in foster homes and his family. But my sister Sacheen take what happened to him. »
« You’re not going to be a Mexican American princess, » Orlandi remarked. « You’re going to be a Native American princess. It was more prestigious to be Native American than to be Hispanic in her mind. »
Her younger sister said: « Sacheen didn’t like herself. She didn’t like being Mexican. So, yeah, it was better for her that way to play someone else… The best way I could think to sum up my sister is that she created a fantasy… She lived in a fantasy and she died in a fantasy. »
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The veracity of the interview is questioned due to the interview conducted with Native American journalist and activist Jacqueline Keeler. Keeler is « known for co-creating the #NotYourMascot hashtag in 2013, » according to Deadline, which prompted the former NFL team known as the Washington Redskins to change their name.
Keeler also compiled « a public list » of « non-Native people whom I or other Native Americans suspect or have proven to have fabricated their Native identity for personal gain. » She calls this list « Suiters ».
A representative for the Oscars did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News Digital’s Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.