Spotlight placed on indigenous peoples at Golden Globes

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has put the spotlight on the world's indigenous communities in his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes ceremony. His comments came in front of a star-studded line-up watched by a world-wide audience.

They were out in force last night for one of the American film industry's biggest awards night; names like Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence and Will Smith. 

But with these Hollywood heavyweights, there was a moment that captivated them all.

Accepting his Golden Globe award for best actor in a drama, The Revenant, Leonard DiCaprio dedicated it to the indigenous communities of the world and the First Nations people in his film.

It was a courageous move according to Māori actor, Te Kohe Tuhaka.  He says, "Leonardo emerges himself into that world, which is why he was so moved and said what he said. To protect their history, their land and their identity pretty much."

It's not the first time an awards night was used as a platform to voice concerns over indigenous rights. 

Back in 1973, a First Nations Apache woman, Sacheen Littlefeather, accepted the same award at the Oscars on behalf of Marlon Brando.

"They have been calling out for help for so long, and now they finally have someone as influential as him, it's their time now," says Tuhaka.

It's now hoped that DiCaprio's speech will help pave the way for indigenous equality all around the world.