Sacheen Littlefeather's Family And Parents
Sacheen Littlefeather was born to her Native American father, Manuel Ybarra Cruz, and a white mother, Geroldine Marie Barnitz.
Her real name was Marie Louise Cruz.
Her father was from Oxnard, California, and was of White Mountain Apache and Yaqui descent. Her mother was a leather stamper of Germany, French, and Dutch. Barnitz was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California.
Both of her parents were saddlemakers. They then moved to Salinas and opened their own " Cruz Saddlery" business in 1949.
In 1966, her father died, and her mother continued to operate the business herself.
Littleeather had a difficult childhood. She said her mother left her father and took her to her grandparents when she was just 4.
She said that her parents lived next door to her grandparents, and she and her younger sisters lived with her grandparents.
In a television interview, she defined her father as abusive and stated that her mother and two sisters were subject to her father's beating and rage in 1976.
She adopted the name Sacheen Littlefeather in 1970. She chose the name Sacheen because that was the name her father had called her before he died, and Littlefeather came from the feather she always wore in her hair.