Saturday, November 11, 2023

About Buffy Sainte-Marie

On October 27, 2023 CBC News published Who is the real Buffy Sainte-Marie? and The Fifth Estate did a segment, Investigating Buffy Sainte-Marie's claims to Indigenous ancestry. In Native networks, people were asking questions in the days leading to the broadcast. 

Since then, many Native people have written about her and the investigation. Below is a set of links to the items I read. It is a curated list. I do not include articles that repeat the information shared in the CBC and Fifth Estate broadcast. I selected articles primarily by Native people, or that include interviews with Native people. These are being shared in Native circles. Based on all I've read, I've decided to withdraw my recommendation of her picture book, Still This Love Goes On, published by Greystone Books in 2022. I will insert a note to the page where I recommended that book. The articles are arranged chronologically. The date on which I added an item is provided in brackets. The list is a work-in-progress. 

October 25, 2023
Canadian documentary focuses on 'icon' who based career on Native identity by Acee Agoyo at [Date added: November 11, 2023]

October 27, 2023
Who is the real Buffy Sainte-Marie? by Geoff Leo, Roxanna Woloshyn and Linda Guerriero at CBC News. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

Investigating Buffy Sainte Marie's claims to Indigenous ancestry at The Fifth Estate. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

Buffy Sainte Marie is an icon of mythic proportions. There's nothing simple about questioning her origins by Drew Hayden Taylor at The Globe and Mail. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

October 29, 2023
I loved Buffy Sainte-Marie. Now, like many Indigenous people, I feel betrayed by Darrel Mcleod at Toronto Star. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

October 30, 2023
An advocacy group devoted to amplifying the voices of Indigenous women says Buffy Sainte-Marie, a musician known for decades of Indigenous activism, appears to have engaged in a great deception regarding her origins as an Indigenous Sixties Scoop Survivor.

Two Indigenous artists react to questions raised about Buffy Sainte-Marie's ancestry at CBC Arts. The artists are ShoShona Kish and Michelle Good. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

Those who pretend to be Indigenous distract from the things that really matter by Tanya Talaga at The Globe and Mail. [Date added: November 12, 2023]

October 31, 2023
Unmaking an Icon Named Buffy Sainte Marie.  by Kevin Ward at The Tyee. [Date added: November 11, 2023]
As much as anyone, I want the allegations of her deception and dishonourable conduct to be untrue. I want her to stay firmly on the pedestal I and many others have put her on. But the evidence against her, as hard as it is to say, does not look good. And now I'm reeling, as are all Buffy fans, especially Indigenous ones like me. 

November 2, 2023
The supposed unmasking of Buffy Sainte-Marie doesn't bring vindication--only more hurt by Eden Fineday at IndigiNews. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

November 5, 2023

Unraveling the Buffy Sainte-Marie controversy with journalist Tanya Talaga at Global News. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

November 7, 2023
'Duped': Indigenous musicians upset over Buffy Sainte-Marie ancestry story, at North Delta Reporter. [Date added: November 11, 2023]

November 8, 2023
What's the Point of "Pretendian" Investigations? by Michelle Cyca at The Walrus. [Date added: November 11, 2023]
Whether we like it or not, at least part of the truth has been revealed. It is up to Indigenous people to make sense of it, to reconcile our pain and disbelief, and to figure out how to move forward with care and respect for one another's responses to these revelations. That's our burden, one that the CBC, or any major news outlet, does not have to carry. They can move on to the next story.

November 9, 2023

Tim Johnson, an Ohsweken resident and the artistic producer for Celebration of Nations held annually at the Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, said Sainte-Marie's deception about her Indigenous identity has caused incalculable reputational and financial damage to authentic Indigenous musicians. 

"When you are a Juno Award-winning artist, opportunities open for you both in terms of notoriety, income and prestige," said Johnson, a Mohawk, Wolf Clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River.