Oscars - Yalitza Aparicio first Latina indigenous best actress nominee

updated By Kelvin McDonald

Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio in Netflix film 'Roma'.  Photo/Roma

Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio has become the first Latina indigenous woman to receive an Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category.  She is nominated for her lead role in the Netflix original, Roma.

The 25-year-old actress has Mixtec and Triqui heritage.

Aparicio shared her joy with friends, who woke her early to watch a live stream of the nominations.

On Instagram, she told her 443,000 followers that she was "extremely happy, when I woke up today so early ... I didn't expect this news."

Last week, Aparicio told the New York Times that her possible nomination would help break ground for indigenous people.   

“I’d be breaking the stereotype that because we’re Indigenous we can’t do certain things because of our skin color (sic). Receiving that nomination would be a break from so many ideas.  It would open doors to other people- to everyone- and deepen our conviction that we can do these things now."

Aparicio stars as a young, indigenous housekeeper named Cleo in the Alfonso Cuaron-directed film, based on his childhood in Mexico City,

Before she was cast in the life-changing role, Aparicio had aspired to be a pre-school teacher.

The role required her to deliver some of her lines in Mixtec, although she's not a fluent speaker of the language.

Aparicio is the second indigenous woman to receive a Best Actress nomination. The first was Māori actress Keisha Castle-Hughes who was an Oscar nominee in 2004 for her portrayal of Paikea Apirana in the film Whale Rider. 

In addition to Castle-Hughes, Aparicio joins several Native Americans who have been nominated for Oscars in the past.

Roma has received 10 nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture. 

The 91st Academy Awards will take place on 25 February (NZT).