Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone’s mission to end violence against Native American women and girls

In the run-up to Hollywood’s biggest night, Lily Gladstone, breakout star of the Martin Scorsese-directed epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” is spotlighting a cause close to her heart as she makes history.

Gladstone is the first Native American woman to be nominated for a lead actress Academy Award. In the film, she plays Mollie Burkhart, a real Osage woman who survived a series of murders targeting the oil-wealthy Osage community in 1920’s Oklahoma. Gladstone grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and has tribal affiliations with Kainai, Amskapi Piikani and Nimi’ipuu First Nations.

Since 2011, Gladstone has worked with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), a Native-led non-profit focused on ending violence against Native women and children. Gender-based violence disproportionately affects the community: more than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women experience violence in their lifetimes, mostly by non-Native perpetrators, according to the non-profit. On some reservations, the murder rate of Native women is more than 10 times the national average.

Since tribes have limited authority to prosecute non-Native suspects, justice and accountability are hard to come by – a point Gladstone underscored in her moving Variety Power of Women speech.

“There are 574 federally recognized tribes in this nation, and we all experience this epidemic,” Gladstone said. “This epidemic of hundreds, thousands of missing, murdered Indigenous women (MMIW), children, Two-Spirit relatives – the only people who have any authority to do anything do nothing. And the people who are left to do anything about it are these women here,” she added, pointing to NIWRC members in attendance.

Working with grassroots advocates across the country, NIWRC offers culturally specific resources, assistance, and policy development to help American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women and girls.

The organization said the visibility associated with a major awards season contender has been meaningful.

“As Lily reminds us, art is a powerful catalyst for social awareness and change,” an NIWRC statement said. “We are so grateful to Lily for not merely raising awareness of NIWRC, but also the MMIW crisis, the connection between land and body violence, the value of our Native women and children, and the ongoing need to not only improve the response to violence against Native women but also to center prevention work.”

Earlier this year, Gladstone became the first performer who identifies as Indigenous to win a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for her breakout role.

CNN’s Alli Rosenbloom contributed to this report.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com