It’s with sadness that we share the news of activist Sacheen Littlefeather’s death. She was 75 years old.
Sacheen, who is revered by many Hollywood icons for making a political statement at the 45th Academy Awards against the negative portrayal of Native Americans in Hollywood, had her death announced, interestingly, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Sunday, October 2, 2022.
Fans and supporters of Sacheen have taken to social media to pay homage to the activist. What was Sacheen Littlefeather’s cause of death? Here’s everything that we know.
Sacheen Littlefeather passed away due to breast cancer.
The actress and activist first shared her diagnosis publicly in March 2018, per Variety.
Per the Mayo Clinic, metastasis breast cancer is a progressive form of the origin cancer that "spreads (metastasizes) to other organs and areas in the body including the bones, brain, liver, and lungs.”
The Academy took to Twitter on Sunday night to share the devastating news. This followed Sacheen’s caretaker reportedly sending out a statement to Variety in regards to the activist passing away at noon that day. Sacheen was reportedly surrounded by her family and loved ones as she passed.
Variety shares that Sacheen requested for any and all donations to be given to the American Indian Child Resource center in Oakland. As for her funeral arrangements, a service at the Catholic Requiem Mass at St. Rita Church in Fairfax, California, will be held later this month.
Additionally, the outlet shared that Sacheen will be buried in Red Rock, Oklahoma, next to her husband, Charles Koshiway (Otoe/Sac & Fox).
The Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences recently apologized to Sacheen Littlefeather due to her “experience at the 45th Academy Awards.”
For folks that have been out of the loop, Sacheen called out The Academy in 1973 for their negative portrayal of Native Americans in film.
Sacheen, who was supposed to accept the award of Best Actor on behalf of Marlon Brando, took the moment to share her sentiments to the crowd and The Academy. Unfortunately, her speech was met with boos from the audience.
In fact, Sacheen recalled the event to The Guardian and shared that she was nearly attacked by John Wayne, who had to be “restrained by six security men to prevent him from doing so.”
After Sacheen’s ordeal, she left the Hollywood world after being, in her words, blacklisted. She went on to provide guidance to other Native Americans through her work in the healthcare sector.
Interestingly, in August 2022, The Academy decided to give Sacheen a well-deserved apology.
“As you stood on the Oscars stage in 1973 to not accept the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, in recognition of the misrepresentation and mistreatment of Native American people by the film industry, you made a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the necessity of respect and the importance of human dignity,” John Rubin, the former president of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said in a statement via NBC News.
John went on to share The Academy’s “deepest apologies and sincere admiration.”
Since then, Variety reveals that Sacheen has accepted the apology and reminded fellow Native people in her last public appearance to "stand in their truth."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Sacheen Littlefeather.