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  • Best Actress nominee Yalitza Aparicio at the 91st Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., Feb. 24, 2019.

    Best Actress nominee Yalitza Aparicio at the 91st Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., Feb. 24, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 March 2019

Mexicans are proud of the Indigenous woman who became the 2018 Best Actress Oscar nominee. 

Mexico’s National Indigenous Governorship (GIN) Tuesday invited actress Yalitza Aparicio to be an Indigenous Peoples’ Peace Ambassador because she represents “the victory of 68 native languages.”

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The Indigenous actress, who was born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, was nominated by the Hollywood Academy for Best Actress due to her performance in Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, a black-and-white film which won 3 of the 10 Oscars it was nominated for.

In addition to her outstanding performance, Aparicio became famous for being ridiculed for her humble Indigenous background. Nevertheless, she endured the grace, appearing on the covers of some of the world´s most well-known magazines and newspapers.

Just a few days ago, she attended a meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, where she she spoke about the situation of Mexican domestic workers.

"Yalitza Aparicio makes Mexico proud. How many of those who criticize her were nominated for the Oscar?"

"The domestic workers issue is something very important that we need to know about as a society," Aparicio said, adding that we should "acknowledge the work they do every day."

The GIN called her performace a milestone for Mexican Indigenous peoples' cultural history because it made the Mexican ethnic identity known  worldwide.

"Those born outside mainstream society, which has made violence against aboriginal cultures normal, experience everyday discrimination due to their ethnicity," GIN noted and added that "Yalitza even experienced this recently because there were people who insulted her and tried to degrade her performance in the high-quality movie Roma, just because of her Indigenous background."

Besides defeating her critics’ open or hidden discrimination, the young actress Aparicio showed that the shame many Mexicans feel about their ethnic origins can be overcome.

The National Indigenous Governorship, which is a social organization bringing together diverse native peoples, was founded in July 2014, when the National Multicultural Council of the Original Peoples of Mexico was created to fight for Indigenous’ cultural, social and political rights.​​​​​​​

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