After a stellar, groundbreaking career as a musician and advocate for Indigenous people and causes, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s stated connections to any tribe in Canada or the U.S. appear to be completely made up. The revelations in an investigation by the CBC’s The Fifth Estate are a heartbreaking disappointment to her fans who saw her as a trailblazer in an industry with so little positive Native representation. At least one Indigenous group is calling for a recent Juno Award for best album to be rescinded. Others like the Piapot First Nation, the Cree tribe Sainte-Marie identified with for more than a half century, stand behind her. Does she deserve complete outrage? Or can we, as Cree author Michelle Good asks, “remember the power that was there regardless of her deception?”
Michelle Good (Red Pheasant Cree Nation), author, retired lawyer, and activist
Break 1 Music: Intertribal (song) Cree Confederation (artist) Pakosiyimitan (album)
Break 2 Music: Crossroad Blues (song) Lakota John (artist) Lakota John and Kin (album)
Watch Sainte-Marie address the investigation here:
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In a 2022 interview with Native America Calling, Buffy Sainte-Marie talked about her personal history, including her adoption by the family who raised her.
@nativevoiceoneEXCLUSIVE: Watch Native America Calling host Shawn Spruce asks Buffy Sainte-Marie some poignant questions about her personal history, as part of a never-released pre-show conversation conducted in November 2022. This Tuesday, Shawn hosts a special edition of Native America Calling. https://www.nativeamericacalling.com/tuesday-november-7-2023-buffy-sainte-marie-the-weight-of-the-truth♬ original sound – Native Voice One