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Lily Gladstone arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The University of Montana Board of Regents voted on Thursday to award Academy Award-nominated actor Lily Gladstone an honorary doctorate.

Gladstone, a native of Browning, Montana, affiliated with the Kainai, Amskapi Piikani and Nimi’ipuu First Nations, was the first Native American to be nominated for an Academy Award, as best actress for her role in Killers of the Flower Moon, a crime drama directed by Martin Scorcese and based on the true story of the 1920s murders of members of Oklahoma’s Osage Nation. Gladstone portrayed Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman who survived the murders. 

She’ll receive  an honorary doctorate of fine arts at UM commencement ceremonies on May 11, along with Blackfeet Nation educator Carol Tatsey-Murray, who will receive an honorary doctorate of education.

“Lily and Carol serve as shining examples to Montana students of how a UM education can propel you toward future success,” UM President Seth Bodnar said in a news release. “These two women are making real change in the world, and we are extremely proud to present both of them with one of UM’s highest honors, an honorary doctorate.”

Gladstone, 37, was born in Kalispell, Montana, and was raised in Browning on the Blackfeet Nation reservation until she was 11. 

She later attended UM, graduating in 2008 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater and a minor in Native American studies. 

“My whole career was launched in Montana,” Gladstone said in the university’s news release. “It’s going to be something that I’m endlessly proud of.”

Gladstone has appeared in a number of movies and television shows, but it was her role in Killers of the Flower Moon that earned her numerous awards and nominations. 

Gladstone won the Golden Globe for best female actor in a dramatic film in January for her role in Scorcese’s film, the first Indigenous woman to receive a Golden Globe 
“This is for every little rez kid, every little urban kid, every little Native kid out there who has a dream, who is seeing themselves represented and our stories told, by ourselves, in our own words, with tremendous allies and tremendous trust from and with each other,” Gladstone said in her Golden Globes acceptance speech.

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