Wes Studi set to become first Native American actor to get honorary Oscar
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Wes Studi is poised to become the first Native American actor to receive an Academy Award.

The performer — who’s starred in films including 1990's “Dances With Wolves” and 1992's “The Last of the Mohicans” — was announced as one of the recipients of an honorary Oscar this week.


Studi, a 71-year-old Cherokee American, said he was “deeply honored and humbled” to receive the Governors Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “I finally get to say ‘I’d like to thank the Academy,’” he tweeted Tuesday.

The awards — which were also given to directors David Lynch and Lina Wertmuller and include a humanitarian honor for Geena Davis — come three years after Cheryl Boone Isaacs, then the academy's president, responded to the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and other calls for diversity among Oscar nominees when no black actors were nominated in the four acting categories for the second straight year.

Boone called for “big changes” in the makeup of members who vote for the Oscars.

In 1973, “The Godfather” actor Marlon Brando famously declined his Oscar for the film and had Sacheen Littlefeather represent him at the awards ceremony. Littlefeather said the reason Brando rejected the honor was “the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television, in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.”

The honorary Oscars will be presented at a ceremony in Los Angeles in October.