Lily Gladstone: there is a “genocide” of indigenous peoples in the United States that still “continues”

Lily Gladstone: there is a “genocide” of indigenous peoples in the United States that still “continues”
Lily Gladstone: there is a “genocide” of indigenous peoples in the United States that still “continues”

Lily Gladstone: there is a “genocide” of indigenous peoples in the United States that still “continues” (Photo Matt Licari/Invision/AP)

The “genocide” of indigenous peoples “continues” in the United States, denounces the star of indigenous origin Lily Gladstone, in a film about the disappearance of a tribal woman in Oklahoma. Launched to stardom in 2023 for her role in the film Killers of the Flower Moon (The Moon Killers) Martin Scorsesefor which she was nominated for an Oscar, Lily Gladstone is the protagonist of Fancy Dance, which came out this Friday in some theaters in the country, after being presented last year at the Sundance independent film festival. Starting June 28, it can be seen on the Apple TV+ platform.

Directed by Erica Tremblay, the film is also written, produced and performed almost exclusively by indigenous women, as is the director. The strength of this fiction, which looks more like a documentary, is “to make known our needs as indigenous women, particularly in the face of the epidemic of disappearances and murders of indigenous people,” Gladston told the AFP in a presentation to the press.

For the 37-year-old actress, originally from the Pies Negros (Blackfeet) reservation in Montana (northwest), these disappearances and homicides that are never clarified are nothing more than the “genocide” of the native peoples, started in the United States with the arrival of the first European settlers in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The actress in Martin Scorsese’s new film also acts in “Fancy Dance,” a film written, produced and performed almost exclusively by indigenous women (Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

In Fancy Dancewhich also produces, Lily Gladstone plays Jax, a lonely and poor woman, a member of the Seneca-Cayuga nation in Oklahoma (southern) – one of the tribes descended from the Iroquois that formed the Five Nations – and whose sister has disappeared. Faced with the indifference of the federal police (FBI) and the lack of resources that affect the investigation of her brother, a reserve police officer (played by Ryan Begay), Jax sets out to find his sister.

On her journey, she is helped by her young niece (Isabel Deroy-Olson), who hopes to find his missing mother for a large pow-wow, a traditional gathering of Native American nations and tribes. In the northwestern state of Oregon, the disappearances of Aboriginal women were raised to the category of “emergency” in an official report in 2019. But more than four years later, progress in investigations remains “limited,” according to the week. passed the American investigative magazine InvestigateWest.

In the last decade, federal and regional authorities in the United States have become aware of the disproportionate number of disappearances and murders of indigenous people, especially women, notes this investigative outlet based in Seattle, in the northwestern state of Washington. Based on official estimates, InvestigateWest says that across the country, “thousands” of cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal people remain unsolved. And for women between 1 and 45 years old, homicide is one of the main causes of death.

Lily Gladstone at the Cannes Film Festival, May 23 of this year (Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)

The documentary filmmaker Erica Tremblay44, a member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation and whose first feature-length fiction film is Fancy Dance, is also alarmed by this “epidemic of disappearances and murders of indigenous people.” “A genocide only stops if it achieves its objective or if we put an end to it,” she analyzes. Tremblay denounces that “there is no talk” about this “genocide that continues to take place today in the United States,” particularly due to the “jurisdictional” inability of Native American tribes and nations to “prosecute these crimes.”

For Lily Gladstone “The situation will not improve until these jurisdictional gaps are filled, sovereignty is reestablished and the indigenous people are in a position (…) to recover (their) lands.” The young actress Isabel Deroy-Olson is delighted with “what Fancy Dance does so well: tell such a true story.” “It’s a work of fiction, but it’s very real for our communities here in North America,” she says with a smile.

Source: AFP

 
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