When director Taika Waititi stepped onto the Oscar stage on Sunday night to accept his Academy Award for best-adapted screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit,” he did more than just accept the honor.

The 44-year-old, who became the first indigenous New Zealander to win an Oscar, made sure to use his stage time to bring attention to indigenous communities that are often left out of mainstream awards.

"I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories," Waititi said. "We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well."

He ended his acceptance speech with the Māori phrase "kia ora," which means "be safe,” CNN reports.

Waititi, whose father is of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui iwi, has been using his power in Hollywood to bring awareness to indigenous groups for quite some time. In 2016, while Waititi was directing “Thor: Ragnarok,” he brought his cast and crew to a “land acknowledgment” ceremony in Australia. The ceremony was a way for the Bundjalung people to give their blessing for the movie being filmed on their land, Slate reported.

Waititi’s values transmitted to the Oscars for the second time on Sunday night by paying homage to the land the ceremony takes place on while on stage introducing the Academy’s honorary prizes.

“The Academy would like to acknowledge that tonight we have gathered on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, the Tataviam, and the Chumash. We acknowledge them as the first peoples of this land on which the motion pictures community lives and works,” he said.

Recognizing ceremonial land has become more popular in the film world in recent years. Both Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival have begun addressing the history of their land with each award ceremony.

Taika Waititi
Taika Waititi presents at the Academy Awards on Feb. 9, 2020, in Hollywood, California. ABC/Craig Sjodin