Buffy Sainte-Marie, CC, known initially as Beverly Jean Santamaria, was born on February 20, 1941. She is a multifaceted American talent with diverse roles as a singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist.
Her extensive body of work consistently addresses critical issues affecting Indigenous communities in the Americas. However, a 2023 investigation by CBC News unveiled that Sainte-Marie, who previously asserted her Indigenous Canadian heritage from the Piapot Cree Nation, was born in the United States and had European ancestry.
In addition to her advocacy for Indigenous causes, Sainte-Marie’s creative repertoire delves into many themes, encompassing love, war, religion, and mysticism. Her contributions to music have earned her widespread recognition, awards, and honors. In 1983, Buffy Sainte-Marie achieved a significant milestone in the music industry.
At the 55th Academy Awards, the song “Up Where We Belong,” which she helped write for the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” received the Academy Award for Best Original Song. This notable accomplishment was further highlighted as the song secured the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in the same year.
Furthermore, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s commitment to education and social activism led her to establish the Cradleboard Teaching Project in 1997. This pioneering educational initiative fosters a deeper understanding of Native American culture and history.
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Buffy Sainte’s Personal Life
According to her official website biography, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s purported birthplace in 1941 was the Piapot 75 reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada.
She claimed Cree heritage, was born to Cree parents, and endured the traumatic experience of being removed from her biological family at the tender age of two or three.
This removal was a consequence of the notorious Sixties Scoop. This government policy forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families, communities, and cultural roots, placing them with non-First Nations families.
However, an investigative report by CBC News in 2023 brought to light a different narrative. According to their investigation, Sainte-Marie’s place of birth was determined to be the New England Sanitarium and Hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts.
Her biological parents were identified as Albert Santamaria and Winifred Irene Santamaria, née Kendrick—both of whom were American, hailing from Wakefield, Massachusetts. Albert’s heritage is traced back to Italy, while Winifred had English ancestry.
The family had altered their surname from Santamaria to Sainte-Marie due to the prevalent “anti-Italian sentiment” following World War II.
Notably, Sainte-Marie’s mother, Winifred, though “visibly white,” self-identified as being partly of Mi’kmaq heritage.
Sainte-Marie pursued higher education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned degrees in teaching and Oriental philosophy. She distinguished herself by graduating as one of the top ten students in her class.
In 1964, while attending a powwow on the Piapot Cree reserve in Canada. She was warmly welcomed into the family according to Cree Nation customs by the youngest son of Chief Piapot, Clara Starblanket Piapot, and Emile Piapot, his wife.
This adoption significantly enriched Sainte-Marie’s cultural connections and place within Indigenous culture. Sainte-Marie’s personal life has witnessed several significant relationships. She married Dewain Bugbee, a Hawaiian surfing instructor, in 1968, but their marriage divorced in 1971.
In 1975, she married Sheldon Wolfchild from Minnesota, and they welcomed a son named Dakota “Cody” Starblanket Wolfchild, though their marriage eventually ended in divorce as well.
On March 19, 1982, she wed Jack Nitzsche, her collaborator on “Up Where We Belong.” Their marriage endured for seven years, but Sainte-Marie has described it as an abusive and controlling relationship, culminating in her leaving their Los Angeles home out of concern for her safety and her son’s well-being.
She also attributes the stagnation of her career during this period to Nitzsche’s influence. While not a Baháʼí herself, Sainte-Marie became an active friend of the Baháʼí faith and participated in concerts, conferences, and conventions of the religion.
In 1992, she was involved in the musical event as a prelude to the Baháʼí World Congress—a double concert titled “Live Unity: The Sound of the World.”
This event included video broadcasts and a documentary. In the documentary, Sainte-Marie appeared on the Dini Petty Show to explain the Baháʼí teaching of progressive revelation.
She also appeared in the 1985 video “Mona With The Children” by Douglas John Cameron. Despite supporting a universal sense of spirituality, Sainte-Marie did not adhere to any specific religious faith.
She shared her view on religion, stating, “I provided significant support to Baháʼí people in the ’80s and ’90s… I’m drawn to people of all religious backgrounds. I don’t adhere to any particular religion.
I possess profound spiritual faith, but I perceive religion as the first thing exploited by profiteers. However, this does not deter my respect for religion.”
Buffy Sainte’s Career
Buffy Sainte-Marie was a self-taught musician during her formative years, mastering the piano and guitar.
Even in her college years, her musical repertoire already encompassed some of her earliest compositions, among them “Ananias,” the heartfelt Indigenous lament “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone,”
And “Mayoo Sto Hoon,” which was her take on the Hindi Bollywood song “Mayus To Hoon Waade Se Tere,” originally performed by the Indian singer Mohammed Rafi for the 1960 film “Barsaat Ki Raat.”
Buffy Sainte’s 1960s
During her early twenties, Buffy Sainte-Marie embarked on a solo tour, honing her musical skills and gracing concert halls, folk music festivals, and First Nations communities throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond.
She spent significant time performing in the coffeehouses of Toronto’s historic Yorkville district and New York City’s Greenwich Village, immersing herself in the burgeoning folk scene of the early to mid-1960s.
During this period, she often shared stages with fellow emerging Canadian artists such as Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell, even facilitating an introduction between Joni Mitchell and Elliot Roberts, who would go on to manage Mitchell.
In 1963, Sainte-Marie faced a personal battle with codeine addiction following a throat infection, an experience that would later inspire her song “Cod’ine.”
This song would find itself covered by notable artists, including Donovan, Janis Joplin, the Charlatans, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Man, the Litter, the Leaves, Jimmy Gilmer, Gram Parsons, Charles Brutus McClay, the Barracudas (spelled “Codeine”), the Golden Horde, Nicole Atkins, and Courtney Love.
Furthermore, in that very year, she observed the arrival of wounded soldiers returning from the Vietnam War during a period when the U.S. government was vehemently denying its participation in the conflict.
This experience fueled her protest anthem “Universal Soldier,” which debuted on her inaugural album “It’s My Way” by Vanguard Records in 1964 and later became a hit for Donovan and Glen Campbell.
Sainte-Marie’s talents were swiftly recognized, earning her the title of Billboard magazine’s Best New Artist.
Her music bravely addressed the injustices faced by Native Americans, particularly in songs like “My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying” (1964) and “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” (1964), causing considerable controversy during that time.
In 1967, she unveiled “Fire & Fleet & Candlelight,” where she presented her distinctive interpretation of the traditional Yorkshire dialect song “Lyke Wake Dirge.”
Additionally, in 1968, her song “Take My Hand for a While” was recorded by Glen Campbell and a minimum of 13 other artists.
Sainte-Marie’s extensive catalog includes other widely recognized songs such as “Mister Can’t You See,” which achieved a spot in the U.S. Top 40 in 1972, as well as “He’s an Indian Cowboy in the Rodeo,” and her contribution as the composer of the theme song for the movie “Soldier Blue.”
Buffy Sainte-Marie made significant television appearances, including on Pete Seeger’s “Rainbow Quest.” She was also featured on popular shows like American Bandstand and Soul Train.
Her presence extended to The Johnny Cash Show, where she showcased her talent. Additionally, she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, further solidifying her presence in the television industry.
She also sang the opening song “The Circle Game,” written by Joni Mitchell, in Stuart Hagmann’s film “The Strawberry Statement” (1970) and appeared in “Then Came Bronson” in the episode “Mating Dance for Tender Grass” (1970), where she both sang and acted.
In the late 1960s, Sainte-Marie utilized a Buchla synthesizer to craft her album “Illuminations,” an innovative quadraphonic electronic vocal album that, regrettably, did not garner much attention.
Her on-screen presence extended to “The Virginian” in the episode “The Heritage,” which first aired on October 30, 1968. In this episode, she portrayed a Shoshone woman who had been sent to receive an education.
Buffy Sainte’s 1970s
In the latter part of 1975, Buffy Sainte-Marie received an unexpected phone call from Dulcy Singer, a producer of Sesame Street, inviting her to make a one-time guest appearance on the beloved children’s television show.
Initially hesitant, Sainte-Marie voiced her lack of interest in participating in a children’s program.
However, she reconsidered her decision after asking, “Have you done any Native American programming?” Sainte-Marie aimed to use her platform on the show to educate its young audience about the continued existence and culture of Indigenous peoples, a mission close to her heart.
From 1976 to 1981, she became a regular presence on Sesame Street, actively engaging with the show’s viewers over five years.
Notably, in a groundbreaking moment during a 1977 episode, Sainte-Marie breastfed her first son, Dakota “Cody” Starblanket Wolfchild, marking what she has suggested could be the first-ever representation of breastfeeding on television.
Additionally, in January 1978, Sesame Street dedicated a week of programming to Sainte-Marie, featuring episodes shot at her home in Hawaii.
In 1979, the film “Spirit of the Wind” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, featuring an original musical score composed by Buffy Sainte-Marie.
The movie, featuring the song “Spirit of the Wind,” was one of three films in competition at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
“Spirit of the Wind” is a docudrama chronicling the life of George Attla, regarded as the most successful dog musher in history. Notably, the film showcased an entirely Indigenous cast, with all roles played by Native Americans except for one portrayed by Slim Pickens.
Buffy Sainte’s 1980s
In 1981, Buffy Sainte-Marie was an early adopter of Apple II and Macintosh computers, utilizing them for music recording and visual art.
The renowned song “Up Where We Belong” was co-authored by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Will Jennings, and musician Jack Nitzsche.
This song achieved widespread acclaim when it was prominently showcased in the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” with the rendition by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes playing a significant role in its popularity.
“Up Where We Belong” secured the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1982. On January 29, 1983, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Will Jennings, and Jack Nitzsche achieved the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. They received this honor for their song “Up Where We Belong,” which garnered widespread acclaim. This iconic song had previously secured the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1982.
The trio also clinched the BAFTA Film Award for Best Original Song in 1984. Remarkably, in 2001, the Recording Industry Association of America included “Up Where We Belong” on its Songs of the Century list, positioning it at number 323.
Furthermore, in 2020, Billboard magazine recognized the song as one of the “25 Greatest Love Song Duets.” In the early 1980s, one of her Indigenous songs became the theme for CBC’s native series “Spirit Bay.”
Sainte-Marie’s involvement extended to the 1993 TNT telefilm “The Broken Chain,” filmed entirely in Virginia. In 1989, she composed and performed the music for “Where the Spirit Lives,” a film addressing the abduction and forced enrollment of Native children into residential schools.
Buffy Sainte’s 1990s
Moving into the 1990s, Sainte-Marie lent her voice to the character Kate Bighead in the 1991 made-for-TV movie “Son of the Morning Star.”
The film presented a perspective from Indigenous communities regarding the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where Sioux Chief Sitting Bull achieved victory over Lt. Col. George Custer.
Following a recording break of sixteen years, Buffy Sainte-Marie made a musical comeback in 1992 with her album “Coincidence and Likely Stories.”
This album, recorded in 1990 at her Hawaii residence and sent to producer Chris Birkett in London via the Internet, featured politically charged tracks like “The Big Ones Get Away” and “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” addressing the ongoing challenges faced by Native Americans.
In 1992, she played in the television film “The Broken Chain” with Wes Studi and Pierce Brosnan, featuring First Nations Baháʼí Phil Lucas.
Her next album, “Up Where We Belong,” followed in 1996, offering a collection of her greatest hits reimagined in unplugged and acoustic versions, including a re-release of “Universal Soldier.”
Buffy Sainte-Marie’s artistic works were exhibited at several prestigious institutions. These exhibitions occurred at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the Emily Carr Gallery in Vancouver, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 1995, Buffy Sainte-Marie lent her distinctive voice to the character of the spirit residing within an enchanted mirror in HBO’s “Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child.”
This animated series provided fresh interpretations of classic fairy tales, including a reimagining of the Snow White story from a Native American perspective. Sainte-Marie’s contribution added a unique and culturally rich dimension to the character she portrayed.
Her involvement in this project showcased her versatility and talent beyond music. The series aimed to diversify and enrich traditional fairy tales by incorporating cultural diversity and unique perspectives.
Additionally, in 1995, the Indigo Girls included two renditions of Sainte-Marie’s protest song “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” in their live album “1200 Curfews.”
The song was included towards the conclusion of Disc One, captured in a live performance during a recording at the Atwood Concert Hall. This event took place at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, situated in Anchorage, Alaska.
In the introduction, Emily noted, “Every word is true.” The second version, found at the end of Disc Two, was a studio recording.
In 1996, Sainte-Marie embarked on a philanthropic endeavor by establishing the Nihewan Foundation for American Indian Education, dedicated to enhancing Native American students’ educational engagement. “Nihewan” originates from the Cree language, signifying “talk Cree” and encouraging cultural preservation.
Furthermore, in October 1996, she founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project with funding from her Nihewan Foundation and a two-year grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.
This project encompassed many Indigenous communities, including Mohawk, Menominee, Quinault, Cree, Ojibwe, Coeur d’Alene, Hawaiian, Navajo, and Apache, spanning eleven states and collaborating with non-native classes of the same grade level in Elementary, Middle, and High School.
The project explored Geography, History, Social Studies, Music, and Science. It also produced a comprehensive multimedia curriculum CD titled “Science: Through Native American Eyes.”
Buffy Sainte’s 2000s
In 2000, Buffy Sainte-Marie delivered the commencement address at Haskell Indian Nations University, a significant honor. In 2002, she graced the Kennedy Space Center with her performance, singing in tribute to Commander John Herrington, USN, who held the distinction of being a Chickasaw and the first Native American astronaut.
In 2003, Buffy Sainte-Marie took on the role of a spokesperson for the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network in Canada. Her part involved advocating for education and encouraging cultural exchange among schools.
In 2002, her track “Lazarus” was sampled by Hip Hop producer Kanye West. Cam’Ron later performed the song and Jim Jones of The Diplomats, “Dead or Alive.” In June 2007, Buffy Sainte-Marie made a rare U.S. appearance at the Clearwater Festival in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
A notable musical release in 2008 was the unveiling of a remarkable two-CD set titled “Buffy/Changing Woman/Sweet America: The Mid-1970s Recordings.”
This compilation brought together her three studio albums recorded for MCA Records and ABC Records between 1974 and 1976, marking her transition from her longtime label, Vanguard Records. It was the first release of this valuable material to the public.
Furthermore, in September 2008, Buffy Sainte-Marie marked her comeback to the Canadian music scene with her studio album, “Running for the Drum.”
This album was produced by Chris Birkett, the same producer behind her 1992 and 1996 best-of albums, and the recording sessions spanned from 2006 in Sainte-Marie’s home studio in Hawaii to locations in France, concluding in spring 2007.
This album was expertly produced by Chris Birkett, who had also overseen her best-of albums in 1992 and 1996. The recording sessions for this project commenced in 2006, conducted at Sainte-Marie’s home studio in Hawaii and, in part, in France, persisting until spring 2007.
Buffy Sainte’s 2010s
In 2015, Buffy Sainte-Marie unveiled her album “Power in the Blood,” released through True North Records. To discuss this record and reflect on her extensive musical and activist career, she made a television appearance on May 22, 2015, on Democracy Now!
A remarkable achievement followed as “Power in the Blood” was honored with the 2015 Polaris Music Prize on September 21, 2015.
In 2015, A Tribe Called Red, an electronic music group, released a remix of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s song “Working for the Government.” This remix introduced a contemporary electronic sound to Sainte-Marie’s original composition.
A Tribe Called Red’s reinterpretation added a modern twist to the song, blending electronic elements with Sainte-Marie’s music. The remix of “Working for the Government” by A Tribe Called Red contributed to the ongoing appreciation and reinterpretation of Sainte-Marie’s music.
It showcased the versatility of Sainte-Marie’s work, as her song was adapted to fit different musical genres and styles. In 2016, Sainte-Marie embarked on a North American tour, joined by a talented ensemble that included Mark Olexson on bass, Anthony King on guitar, Michel Bruyere on drums, and Kibwe Thomas on keyboards.
In 2017, she continued to contribute to the musical landscape by releasing the single “You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind).” This track was a collaboration with another Polaris Music Prize laureate, Tanya Tagaq. It was inspired by the remarkable story of George Attla, a renowned dog sled racer from Alaska, adding a unique cultural dimension to their music.
On November 29, 2019, a special 50th-anniversary edition of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s 1969 album, “Illuminations,” was reintroduced to the world in vinyl format, thanks to Concord Records. This company acquired Vanguard Records, the original publisher of the album.
Buffy Sainte’s 2020s
In 2022, a documentary film called “Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On” by Madison Thomas was made about Sainte-Marie.
During that year, the National Arts Centre organized a tribute concert called “Buffy Sainte-Marie: Starwalker,” where musicians performed her songs.
Then, on August 3, 2023, Buffy Sainte-Marie released a statement saying she was retiring from live performances because of her health.
Buffy Sainte’s Controversies
In a candid 2008 interview held at the National Museum of the American Indian, Buffy Sainte-Marie disclosed a distressing chapter in her career.
Buffy Sainte-Marie disclosed her experience being blocklisted by American radio stations in a 2008 interview.
She detailed how she, as well as Native Americans and other Indigenous individuals engaged in the Red Power movements, faced marginalization and exclusion from the music industry in the 1970s.
Sainte-Marie attributed this blocklisting to various influential figures and agencies, including Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and Nashville disc jockey Ralph Emery.
A shocking revelation came in a 1999 interview conducted at Diné College by a staff writer from Indian Country Today. Sainte-Marie shared that, a decade later, during the 1980s, she had discovered that President Lyndon B. Johnson had been personally sending letters on White House stationery to commend radio stations for suppressing her music.
Additionally, she highlighted that in the 1970s, not only was the protest movement effectively silenced, but the Native American movement itself faced severe challenges and attacks.
The actions taken against Buffy Sainte-Marie, which she believes were planned by influential individuals like Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, FBI Director Nashville disc jockey Ralph Emery, and J. Edgar Hoover (after she released her album “I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl Again”), had severe adverse effects. She declared, “I was effectively forced out of the music business in the United States.”
In October 2023, Buffy Sainte-Marie addressed ongoing questions about her Indigenous identity amid allegations of misrepresentation. According to her 2018 authorized biography, it suggests that she was “probably born” on the Piapot First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan.
Buffy Sainte-Marie contends that she was adopted and, as a result, has limited information regarding her actual place of birth and her biological parents. This ambiguity surrounding her birthplace and biological heritage is a topic of ongoing discussion and investigation.
Various sources have previously referred to her as Algonquin, full-blooded Algonquin, Mi’kmaq, and half-Mi’kmaq, contributing to the uncertainty. The documentary and additional research seek to clarify the details of her birth and heritage, shedding light on her indigenous identity.
Notably, no official records documenting her adoption have been identified. Early in her career, several newspapers called her Algonquin, full-blooded Algonquin, Mi’kmaq, and half-Mi’kmaq.
The earliest reference to Sainte-Marie being Cree, according to CBC News investigation, dates back to December 1963 when the Vancouver Sun described her as a “Cree Indian folk singer, Buffy St. Marie.
“Sainte-Marie reaffirmed her community ties with the Piapot First Nation, emphasizing that she was “adopted” by Chief Emile Piapot and Clara Starblanket under traditional Cree customs, a process spanning “days and months and years,” as confirmed by Emile’s great-granddaughter Ntawnis Piapot.
Descendants of Piapot and Starblanket released a statement defending Sainte-Marie’s connection to the Piapot First Nation, emphasizing that they consider her a member of their family, with their shared heritage from the Piapot First Nation holding more significance than any colonial documentation or record-keeping.
They strongly condemned the accusations against Sainte-Marie, describing them as “painful, uninformed, rooted in colonialism, and racist.”
On October 27, 2023, CBC News published Buffy Sainte-Marie’s official birth certificate, which indicated her birth in Stoneham, Massachusetts, to her white adoptive parents, Albert and Winifred Santamaria. Her son, born to Dakota activist Sheldon Wolfchild, has asserted that she acquired her claims to Native identity through “naturalization” rather than by birth.
To substantiate Sainte-Marie’s earlier Mi’kmaq identity claims, her younger sister underwent a DNA test, which revealed “almost no” Native American ancestry and suggested a genetic relation with Sainte-Marie’s son, which would be impossible if Buffy were adopted as she had claimed.
The CBC documentary presented proof that Sainte-Marie’s family had tried to explain her European heritage during the 1960s and 1970s but faced threats of legal consequences. In December 1964, Arthur Santamaria, who is Sainte-Marie’s paternal uncle, sent a letter to the Wakefield Daily Item, where he publicly stated that Sainte-Marie “has no Indian blood in her” and had “not a bit” of Cree heritage.
Her brother, Alan Sainte-Marie, wrote to newspapers, including the Denver Post in 1972, to correct the misinformation about his sister’s ancestry and her connection to Indigenous heritage.
Alan’s daughter, Heidi Sainte-Marie, recounted an incident in 1975 when a PBS producer questioned her father about his Indigenous heritage, to which he clarified their European ancestry.
On November 7, 1975, he received a letter from a legal firm representing Buffy Sainte-Marie, accusing him of unjustly criticizing and expressing negative views about her without valid cause.
The letter went on to express an intention to pursue legal remedies to safeguard and protect her reputation from any disparaging remarks.
This legal action was prompted by the individual’s comments regarding Buffy Sainte-Marie, which led to the involvement of legal representatives.
It marked a point of contention and legal action related to statements about Buffy Sainte-Marie’s identity and heritage.
The letter claimed that no expense would be spared in pursuing legal remedies for the alleged harm to her image. Along with the law firm’s letter was a handwritten note from Buffy Sainte-Marie, where she mentioned that she would expose her brother for alleged sexual abuse if he continued discussing her ancestry.
In response to these legal and personal pressures, he discontinued his writing campaign about her ancestry. This incident occurred a month before Buffy Sainte-Marie debuted on Sesame Street on December 9, 1975.
The letter also contained a handwritten note from Buffy Sainte-Marie, alleging sexual abuse by her brother during her childhood if he continued to discuss her ancestry. Alan subsequently refrained from further engagement on the topic, and on December 9, 1975, Buffy made her first appearance on Sesame Street.
Current Piapot Chief Ira Lavallee responded to CBC News’ findings, acknowledging Sainte-Marie’s false claims regarding her Indigenous background but underscoring that despite her ancestry.
She remained accepted and respected within their community, according to Chief Lavallee, one of their families adopted her, emphasizing that the act of adoption in their culture was legitimate and meaningful.
Buffy Sainte’s Honours and awards
Throughout her illustrious career, Buffy Sainte-Marie has earned many prestigious recognitions and honors, spanning a range of fields. Here is a list of her notable achievements:
- In 1983, Buffy Sainte-Marie won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Up Where We Belong.”
- 1997: Officer of the Order of Canada.
- 2007: Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.
- 2008: Honorary Doctor of Laws from Carleton University.
- 2010: Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design.
- 2010: Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
- In 2018, Buffy Sainte-Marie received the Juno Award for Indigenous Music Album of the Year.
- Indigenous Music Awards for Best Folk Album 2018 for “Medicine Songs.”
- Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Toronto in 2019.
- Polaris Heritage Prize for “It’s My Way!” in 2020.
- In recognition of her remarkable contributions, a new stamp honoring the renowned singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie was issued on November 18, 2021.
These accolades underscore her outstanding impact on music, activism, and the cultural landscape.
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