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featherBuffy Sainte-Marie (Beverly)

Singer, songwriter and producer, activist, artist, educator

Birthplace: Piapot Reservation, Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada

Born: February 20, 1941

The daughter of a Cree mother, Buffy Sainte-Marie was born in Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada, orphaned and adopted by relatives in Maine, USA. She was educated at the University of Massachusetts, where she graduated in the top ten of her class in degrees of teaching and Oriental Philosophy. She later earned a PHD in Fine Arts.

She is a self taught piano and guitar player, who went on to become one of the most known message singers of the sixties. In 1963 Sainte-Marie witnessed wounded soldiers returning from Vietnam. During this period the U.S. government was denying involvement. From this she was inspired to write the protest song “Universal Soldier”.  This was part of her debut album “It’s My Way” in 1964. A gifted songwriter, many of her songs have been introduced by well known singers. Most anyone alive during the Vietnanam War knows her distinctive voice.

It is possible that many of her records, were “disappeared” by the Johnson Administration in attempt to control the antiwar movement. It also appears that efforts were made to keep her off the radio stations. The impact of this type of collective memory may be another reason why the media during the War on Terror(ism) has been closely managed. To this day the public does not see coffins of returning veterans.

Sainte-Marie is active in American Indian causes, especially American Indian education. She appeared on Sesame Street from 1976 to 1981. She is an art teacher and internationally exhibited artist.  She has also promoted the Bhá’í Faith. She founded the “Cradleboard Teaching Project” that runs across eleven states, and the indigenous communities of  MohawkCreeOjibweMenomineeCoeur D’AleneNavajoQuinaultHawaiian, and Apache.

Though she stated in 1999 that she had been put out of business in the United States during the Vietnam War, she has continued to receive awards in Canada and around the world for her artistic merits and her work with indigenous peoples.  Still an active artist, this year marks another CD release.

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Progressive Revelation

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Wikipedia: Buffy Sainte-Marie


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