In the 1973 Academy Awards, Marie Louise Cruz, better known as Sacheen Littlefeather, delivered a 60-second speech demonstrating equality and fairness for indigenous people. Littlefeather’s speech was intended to shed light on the way indigenous people were regarded by society at that time. In response, she was booed onstage and mocked with ululations offstage. To add to that, Littlefeather was boycotted professionally, harassed, threatened with arrest, and discriminated against. Now, nearly 50 years later, Littlefeather receives an apology letter signed by former Academy President David Rubin.

The industry is seemingly making strides forward, especially with the rise of indigenous film festivals. However, in general, by nearly every social, cultural, physical, and economic measure, contemporary Native American communities and families continue to struggle. Thus, Real Research launched a survey on Academy apologizing to Sacheen Littlefeather.


  • 34.5% are “extremely satisfied” with Former Academy President David Rubin’s apology letter issued on the Academy website.
  • 33.21% suggest the most pressing challenge Native Americans face is impoverishment and unemployment.
  • 35.55% feel the most effective way to improve discrimination in a multicultural society is by establishing public service policies for multicultural families.

Academy Apologizing to Sacheen Littlefeather

The survey on the Academy apologizing to Sacheen Littlefeather over 1973 Oscars incident starts by asking about respondents’ awareness of the Academy apologizing to Sacheen Littlefeather. In response, 70.56% say yes, while 29.44% say no.

Fig 1: Respondents’ awareness of Academy apologizing to Littlefeather

The apology sent in the form of a letter was published in full on the Academy Awards website. Accordingly, the survey on Academy apologizing to Sacheen Littlefeather asks if respondents are satisfied with the way the apology was presented. 34.5%, in response, are extremely satisfied, and another 14.79% are somewhat satisfied, while 31.76% remain neutral. However, 9.51% are unsatisfied, whereas 9.45% are highly unsatisfied with the Oscars’ apology to Sacheen Littlefeather.

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Significance of Littlefeather’s Speech to the Native Americans in the ‘70s

In the 1970s, many Native Americans sought to preserve or recover lost cultural elements. Thus, the survey asks respondents about the significance of Littlefeather’s speech for Native Americans at that time. To this, 45.54% say it is very important as it can influence how American Indians are regarded in general. Furthermore, 14.43% say it is significant as it can influence how the media portrays Native Americans. Additionally, 10.4% suggest it is significant as it can influence how films portray Native Americans.

Fig 2: Respondents on Littlefeather’s speech significance

In contrast, 8.88% say it is unimportant because Hollywood is unlikely to improve its portrayal of Native Americans. 8.18% also add that it is unimportant since it is unlikely to change public perception of American Indians.

Native Americans also face and endure several challenges in society. Accordingly, the survey asks what respondents feel are the most pressing concerns Native Americans face. A majority of 33.21% suggest impoverishment and unemployment, while 19.31% suggest the aftereffects of Covid-19. A distinct 9.16% add violence against women and children.

A further 6.79% also say fewer educational opportunities. Meanwhile, 6.53% say inadequate health care, and 6.08% suggest habitat loss.

Underlying Causes for Racial Discrimination

Racism is believed to be another major factor in the differential treatment of Native Americans. The survey then asks what respondents feel are the major underlying causes of Racism. In response, 50.21% say self-interest, 12.06% say maintaining the status quo, and another 11.47% of respondents suggest discriminatory policies.

Fig 3: Racism as a major factor in discrimination against Native Americans

Additionally, 10% also feel media representation is an underlying cause, but some (9%) suggest that people who do not challenge racism contribute largely to the existence of racial discrimination.

Discriminations are seemingly inevitable in society. However, there are also other forms of societal discrimination. Accordingly, the survey asks what forms of prejudice respondents see in their society. The responses implied discrimination on sexual orientation (34.02%), religion (15.58%), age (14.14%), color (11.8%), and gender (9.62%).

Also Read: 58% Say Racism Is the Biggest Cause for Hate Crimes in the US

When asked about effective ways to improve such discrimination, a majority of 35.55% suggest establishing public service policies for multicultural families. Moreover, 16.48% also suggest developing a society that respects diversity.

A further 13.76% suggest reinforcing and managing regulations for gender discrimination and human rights violation. While some (12.43%) suggest guaranteeing an equal opportunity for all, others (10.53%) suggest conducting a campaign to improve awareness of diversities.


Survey TitleSurvey on Academy Awards Apologizing to Sacheen Littlefeather for Oscars Speech
DurationAugust 19- August 26, 2022
Number of Participants30,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.