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'For every little rez kid': Indigenous voices across Montana praise Lily Gladstone's Golden Globe achievement

Lily Gladstone during her acceptance speech
Posted at 6:35 PM, Jan 09, 2024

BILLINGS — Lily Gladstone's historic Golden Globe win Sunday was celebrated this week across Montana's Indigenous community.

"This is a historic win," said Gladstone during her acceptance speech for Best Female Actress. "This is for every little rez kid out there."

Gladstone was born and raised in Kalispell and grew up on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. This win, she said, she shares with the Indigenous community.

Lily Gladstone
Lily Gladstone

"Just crying tears of joy when we saw," said Supaman, an Indigenous hip-hop artist living in Montana, on Tuesday.

Making history.

"To have Lily get the opportunity to speak some Blackfeet language was amazing,” said Mo Brings Plenty, a Lakota man and "Yellowstone" actor, on Tuesday.

Gladstone's win marked the first Golden Globe acting award received by an Indigenous person.

"She’s the first Native woman to win the Golden Globe for the Best Actress," said Sunny Day Real Bird, the American-Indian outreach coordinator at MSU-Billings, on Tuesday. "I mean it’s not just for her outstanding performance but it’s for the entire Native community. I think that just speaks volumes."

Sunny Day Real Bird
Sunny Day Real Bird

Gladstone is now center stage in Hollywood, being recognized for her performance in the 2023 Martin Scorsese film "Killers of the Flower Moon".

"It’s a win. It’s a win for the Piikani Nation, Blackfeet, for Native women of course, and Montana itself,” Supaman said.

But the win is about a lot more than the award.

"It was a historical move and I’m glad that the Golden Globes is starting to acknowledge the talent that comes out of Indian country,” Brings Plenty said.

Mo Brings Plenty
Mo Brings Plenty

Brings Plenty is best known for his role in Paramount’s hit TV show "Yellowstone", but he also travels the country speaking to groups about cultural preservation.

He spoke in Billings in December 2022 for 'Boys with Braids'.

"We dream of being astronauts and lawyers and doctors, which a lot of our trailblazers are succeeding at," Brings Plenty said. "They’re creating a path for us. I just simply want to rip the doors down and maintain my long braids."

Brings Plenty also made history last year at the Golden Globes, being the first American Indian presenter.

"To be a presenter, that was a first for me and a first for the Golden Globes in its 80-year history,” Brings Plenty said.

He was disappointed with the media's lack of coverage of the monumental moment.

"I watch a little bit of 'Good Morning America'. I was pretty bummed and sad by it. It’s like, man, ABC’s gotta wake up," Brings Plenty said. "If Golden Globes is taking these huge steps, GMA needs to also do the same. They should’ve acknowledged."

He hopes this win will serve as a reminder.

"It’s about bringing us up to date. Bringing Indian country up to date," Brings Plenty said. "Because when people think about American-Indian people, their minds jump to the past. But here we are, very much in the present, and we are very much coexisting with everyone."

Something other American Indian community members also spoke to.

"It’s a step towards visibility, understanding, and appreciation for Native narratives and a broader cultural conversation,” Real Bird said.

Supaman agrees.

Supaman
Supaman

"It was just a huge win. Not for just her but for all of us,” he said.

A proud moment that is hopefully just the start for Indian country talent.

"Two years in a row the Golden Globes have made history and given us the opportunity as Indian people, Native people to make history," Brings Plenty said. "We are walking side by side with you. We are trying to achieve the same things that you are trying to achieve as well."

To learn more about Gladstone's win, click here.