Academy Award winner, Buffy Sainte-Marie was an important figure in folk music circles when she was only 17 years old. All alone she toured North America’s colleges, reservations and concert halls, meeting both significant acclaim and huge misperception from audiences and record companies who expected Pocahontas in fringes, and instead were both entertained and educated with their initial dose of Native American reality in the first person.
By age 24, Buffy Sainte-Marie had appeared all over Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia, receiving honours, medals and awards, which continue to this day. Her song ‘Until It’s Time for You to Go’, was recorded by Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Barbara Streisand and Cher, and her ‘Universal Soldier’ became the anthem of the peace movement. For her very first album she was voted Billboard’s ‘Best New Artist’.
Buffy has made 18 albums of her music, three television specials, spent five years on “Sesame Street”, scored movies, helped found Canada’s Music of Aboriginal Canada Juno Award’s category, raised a son, earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts, taught Digital Music as adjunct professor at several colleges, and won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award Oscar for the song, ‘Up Where We Belong’.
Her concern for protecting indigenous intellectual property and her distaste for the exploitation of Native American artists and performers have kept her in the forefront of activism in the arts for forty years. Presently, she operates the Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education through which the Cradleboard Teaching Project serves children and teachers throughout North America.
2009 marked the release of Buffy’s eighteenth album, ‘Running for the Drum’ which won Buffy her third Juno Award for ‘Aboriginal Album of the Year’