Lily Gladstone is making history.
At the 81st Golden Globes on Sunday night, the actor became the first Indigenous person to win Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. Gladstone, who uses she/they pronouns, received a standing ovation as they made their way onstage at the Beverly Hilton to accept the award for their performance as Mollie Burkhart in Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed western crime drama Killers of the Flower Moon.
Gladstone began their speech with a few sentences in Siksiká, the language of the Blackfeet nation they belong to. They went on to express their appreciation for their nation and other Native cultures throughout the United States, and to note how far Indigenous representation in Hollywood has come.
“I’m so grateful that 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 and sound mixers would run them backwards to accomplish Native languages on camera,” Gladstone said. “This is a historic win that doesn’t belong to just me—I’m holding it all with all of my beautiful sisters and standing on all of your shoulders.”
The actor also thanked director Scorsese and costar Leonardo DiCaprio for making Killers of the Flower Moon and expanding the reach and understanding of Indigenous stories.
“Thank you, Marty. Thank you, Leo,” they said. “You are all changing things, and thank you for being allies.”
Bianca Betancourt is the culture editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com, where she covers all things film, TV, music, and more. When she’s not writing, she loves impulsively baking a batch of cookies, re-listening to the same early-2000s pop playlist, and stalking Mariah Carey’s Twitter feed.