Now that awards season has come to an end and the dust has settled, it’s time to reflect on the past 10 or so months. There can only be a select group of actors who walk away with an Academy Award each year. For those who may be disappointed that Lily Gladstone failed to take home the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” fear not. While she may not have won the biggest prize, she still wound up winning awards season.

Gladstone, who has shared the fact they are nonbinary and uses both she/they pronouns, has clearly had a massive breakout year. Let us count the ways here:

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–Gladstone has already made history. Over the past few months, she has become the first Native American performer nominated in lead actress at the Academy Awards, the first indigenous person to win the Golden Globe for drama actress and the first indigenous person to win the SAG Award for Best Lead Actress. This isn’t to mention that Gladstone has won over 40 different acting awards by critics groups for her portrayal of Mollie Burkhart.

–Gladstone has brought indigenous designers to the awards scene. Anyone who has been keeping an eye on the fashion of this awards campaign would have seen that not only did Lily bring her A-Game, but they consistently highlighted indigenous designers. One example includes Jamie Okuma, a Luiseno, Shoshone-Bannock, Wailaki and Okinawan woman, who designed the earrings Gladstone wore in Cannes as well as numerous outfits at events including the Independent Spirit Awards. This all culminated in her gorgeous appearance at the Academy Awards this past Sunday, wearing a custom-made gown by Gucci who partnered with Joe Big Mountain of Ironhorse Quillwork. He created the beautiful beading and quillwork that can be seen on Gladstone’s dress. The looks were a showcase for Native American designers and the craftmanship that goes into their work.

SEEOscars Best Actress odds: What’s the state of the race after Lily Gladstone’s stunning SAG win?

–Gladstone is booked and busy, thanks to her high-profile ‘Killers’ role. Securing an Oscar nomination can go an awfully long way in raising the profile of an actor and helping to put them on the radar. Gladstone has been working for many years, turning out critically acclaimed work in the past (such as 2016’s “Certain Women”). One big role tends to turn you into an overnight sensation. However, Gladstone has shared the struggles of being an actor, particularly a Native American one, and the ebbs and flows of work we well as not being unemployed. There is no shortage of work for her coming off this Oscar run. Her upcoming projects include

  • “Under the Bridge” co-starring Riley Keough on Hulu, premiering April 17.

  • “Fancy Dance” directed by Erica Tremblay, which premiered at Sundance last year and despite strong reviews struggled to get distribution. After a year of perseverance by Gladstone and Tremblay, they have finally found it. Apple has bought the film and will be giving it a theatrical release later this year.

  • Gladstone is set to star in “The Memory Police,” a film based on the novel by Yoko Ogawa and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, with Reed Morano set to direct from a script by Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman.

  • Gladstone is also involved in “Jazzy,”  a follow up to “The Unknown Country” and directed by Morrisa Maltz.

  • She’s also rumored to be attached to star in an upcoming film about jazz singer Mildred Bailey.

SEEOscars 2024: How closely did Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics Choice and SAG Awards match the academy?

Throughout this awards run, Gladstone has not only become a familiar name to many people who may not have been aware of her work prior to “Killers of the Flower Moon,” but she has consistently used her platform to highlight the importance of sharing Native American stories and perspectives. Whether it was a red carpet interview, a Gold Derby chat on Zoom or a Q&A after a screening of the film, Gladstone has consistently brought awareness and knowledge about the indigenous experience to a much wider audience.

PREDICT the 2024 Emmy nominees through July 17

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