Academy Acknowledges Oscars Ceremony Taking Place on Native American Tribal Lands

New Zealand director Taika Waititi poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Jojo Rabbit" during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences took the unprecedented step on Sunday of recognizing that the Oscars ceremony is taking place on tribal lands.

Jojo Rabbit director and presenter Taika Waititi made the announcement during Sunday’s telecast, saying that the annual ceremony is taking on lands once inhabited by the Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash people.

“The Academy would like to acknowledge that tonight we have gathered on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, the Tataviam and the Chumash,” he said. “We acknowledge them as the first peoples of this land on which the motion pictures community lives and works.”

Since 2002, the Oscars have taken place at the Dolby Theatre, formerly the Kodak Theatre, located in the Hollywood and Highland complex in Los Angeles.

This year, the Academy bestowed an honorary Oscar to actor Wes Studi, making him the first Native American actor to win an Oscar.

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