The statements made about their ancestry by Sacheen Littlefeather’s younger sisters are rejected.
For reference, Littlefeather was a late Native American actress and civil rights advocate who rose to accept Marlon Brando’s Oscar but then declined it on stage at the 1973 Academy Awards.
Littlefeather isn’t Native American, according to her sisters Trudy Orlandi and Rosalind Cruz.
They made the details public on Saturday in a fresh investigative piece that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Cruz described Littlefeather, who had just passed away, as “a phoney.”
Additionally, it is abhorrent to the tribal people’s heritage, Orlandi added. My parents are being insulted by it, too. This is false.
Littlefeather claimed that she had Yaqui ancestry throughout his life and was a White Mountain Apache. Her sisters, however, admitted to being of Spanish descent to Native American writer Jacqueline Keeler. They also had no ties to a particular tribe in their family.
Littlefeather’s statements were corroborated by Keeler’s investigation into her family history.
In 1946, in Salinas, California, to parents Manuel Ibarra Cruz and Gertrude Bernitz, the actress was reportedly born Maria Louise Cruz.
According to Keeler’s study, there are no known connections between any of the American Indian tribes that are still in existence and her father’s side of the family tree, where she claimed to be Native American ancestry.
The urge to defend their parents’ identities, according to Orlandi and Cruz, was the driving force behind their decision to reject their sister’s accusations. (Deb) is Littlefeather’s alias. The actress acknowledged growing up in poverty in an interview she gave to The Berkeley Gazette in 1974. According to the Chronicle, she was “dwelling in a shanty in Salinas.” She added that her father was violent.
The deafness of my father. In addition, meningitis at age nine had caused him to lose his hearing, Cruz added.
His upbringing was indigent. George Cruz, his angry, violent father, beat him frequently. George Cruz was an alcoholic. After that, he was given to families and foster homes. My sister, Sacheen, however, took what happened to him.
They also denied Littlfeather’s assertions regarding how she acquired her last name.
The sisters alleged: “That she performed a dance for my father and that she wore a feather in her hair or on her head constantly. And at that point was she referred to as “Littlefeather” by my father? One more fantasy, there.
She also left no note about her passing or invitation for her sisters to attend her funeral.
As a result of seeing their sister “being revered as a saint,” the sisters also expressed their concern.
The Academy sent her a formal apology letter in August apologising for the “abuse” and “emotional strain” she experienced after her presence at the ceremony.
Sacheen didn’t like who she was. She disliked being Mexican,” stated Orlandi. So playing a different character was better for her in that way.
The greatest way I can think of to describe my sister is that she built a fantasy, Cruz continued.