Activist Jacqueline Keeler Claims Sacheen Littlefeather Wasn’t Native, But a “Pretendian”

Sacheen LittlefeatherHer image was tarnished after she took the stage at the 1973 Academy Awards to talk about the mistreatment of Native Americans in the film industry. Now, part of San Francisco Chronicles argue Littlefeather, who died earlier this month, just a scam. Writer Jacqueline Keeler, who rose to infamy after publishing a list of people where she claims to be “The Impersonator” in 2021, claiming Littlefeather was not native, supported by some of the actress and activist’s estranged sisters.

Littlefeather’s actions in 1973, turning down the Oscar for Best Actor by Marlon Brando Godfather on his behalf, has brought about a backlash in the industry. The Academy apologized to Littlefeather in a letter report in April. Former Academy President David Rubin said: “The abuse you have suffered because of this claim is baseless and unreasonable.

Keeler tracks her pieces with Substack articleasks the question: “Does the Academy apologize for cheating?”

“It was a lie,” Trudy Orlando, Littlefeather’s older sister, told Keeler. “My father is who he is. His family is from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard. “

Sacheen Littlefeather on stage at AMPAS Presents An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on September 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Image of Frazer Harrison / Getty

Another sister, Rosalind Cruz, was Twitter called Littlefeather “mentally ill” and insisted neither she nor her sister were native. Cruz also tweeted that she learned her “real legacy” from Keeler’s research.

Joseph M. Pierce, associate professor of Latin American and Indigenous Studies at Stony Brook University, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Keeler’s claims were true. At the same time, he said the work had a “gotcha character” that could be harmful.

“I’m a bit disappointed that people can enjoy this,” he said. “[The piece] try to make black and white things really nuanced. “

Keeler has faced backlash for his listing, is supposed to include LinkedIn profile and workplace with name. Several people on the list have also denied Keeler’s allegations of fraud. Nadema Agard, a New York City visual artist who claims Lakota, Cherokee, and Powhatan ancestry, has been listed. She called Keeler’s allegations a “witch hunt” and provided evidence of her ancestry, New York Post report in January.

Saturday’s article in Annals prompted a backlash from many Native Americans. Ashley Fairbanks, an Anishinaabe writer and digital strategist took to Twitter to Speak “I hate that native speakers have to take a breath to talk about Jacqueline Keeler.” “There is so much that hurts our community, and so much beauty to celebrate, and her witch hunt sucks up oxygen,” she added.

Pierce added that the section “pays more attention to people’s insecurities than suggests a fix.”

“It’s like putting your finger in a wound, you know? Rather than trying to heal the wound.”


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