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Taika Waititi and the academy salute L.A.'s ancestral lands at the Oscars

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Taika Waititi, winner of the adapted screenplay Oscar for “Jojo Rabbit,” honored ancestral lands.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Taika Waititi saluted last year’s Governors Awards recipients, but he made sure to pay tribute to Los Angeles’ predecessors.

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would like to acknowledge that tonight we have gathered on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, Tataviam and the Chumash,” he said onstage at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday.

“We acknowledge them as the first peoples of this land on which our motion picture community lives and works,” he said.

The “Jojo Rabbit” writer, director and actor took home an Oscar for adapted screenplay, becoming the first person of Maori descent to win an Academy Award for writing and the first indigenous person to be nominated in the category.

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During his acceptance speech, he dedicated his honor to indigenous children around the world: “We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well.”


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