Proudly Canadian: Buffy Sainte-Marie

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE

Buffy Sainte-Marie OC (Beverly Sainte-Marie) is a Canadian-American Cree singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist. Throughout her career in all of these areas, her work has focused on issues of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her singing and writing repertoire also includes subjects of love, war, religion, and mysticism.

In 1997 she founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to better understanding Native Americans. She has won recognition and many awards and honors for both her music and her work in education and social activism.

{josquote}"I gave a lot of support to Bahá'í people in the '80s and '90s … Bahá'í people, as people of all religions, is something I'm attracted to … I don't belong to any religion. … I have a huge religious faith or spiritual faith but I feel as though religion … is the first thing that racketeers exploit. … But that doesn't turn me against religion."{/josquote}

Buffy Sainte-Marie was born in 1941 on the Piapot Cree First Nations Reserve in the Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was later adopted, growing up in Massachusetts, with parents Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning degrees in teaching and Oriental philosophy and graduating in the top ten of her class. She went on to earn a Ph.D in Fine Art from the University of Massachusetts in 1983.

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