It’s time to confess that we are not ready for the truth: Interview with Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s words of wisdom have the power to time travel to any decade and still be relevant. Her name alone is the introduction, and her drive for great activism is the byline.

Buffy’s Canadian roots are simply too unique for you to have heard elsewhere. She doesn’t see the maple leaf as a predominant influence in her music; However, she recognizes the privilege of knowing where her motherland is even though she is not too sure what her astrology sign may be. For many Indigenous peoples around the world, a birth certificate is like receiving chocolate in a flower basket if you are lucky. Australia, which developed a longstanding connection to Canada since 1939, has not kept a very good secret in terms of the way the country treats its Indigenous Australians. One in five Aboriginal births has been found to not be registered due to legal and financial obstacles. Buffy is convinced that the general public doesn’t realize the full story when it comes to Indigenous peoples as well as Indigenous artists, principally how they got into poverty and marginalization today. She also wanted to make it apparent that Indigenous peoples don’t have a ‘music industry’ to lean on, to begin with, because quite frankly there isn’t one and in the end, it’s all just about business. “We are around 4% of the population, mostly from marginalized rural communities. We don’t know where the door is, no uncle in the music business, never met a lawyer, and have no Rolodex. Thus, we’re lucky even to be a token,” Sainte Marie explained with a pit in her voice.

How could you expect children in tough situations feel like they have someone to relate to when society is not giving that chance? This comes with the great need for education that is not sugar-coated and appraising representation.

In 2014, Sainte-Marie was one of opening ceremony performers for The Canadian Museum for Human Rights. She also had her academy award conducted for around a year in a half until she took it down. Buffy stated the reason behind this is because of the countless times she went to try to get the museum to explore the history of the genocide in Canada. Sainte-Marie also chuckled at the fact it’s on Indigenous land, but you almost see a glorified version opposed to the electric chairs in the residential schools and The Doctrine of Discovery. She swears by how the horror deserves to be right alongside the stories of how they were forced to cut their hair and their language was taken away. Buffy hopes that this will show a major point of how bad leadership can destroy culture for centuries.

Students at the Old Sun Residential School in Gleichen, Alberta

However, this all hasn’t stopped Buffy Sainte-Marie from shining her coat of amour, which sometimes beyond music is a passion for finding fruit just as sweet that comes from the soil beneath her. “My whole life has been zero alcohol, and these days I try to eat zero sugar. I do ballet and I like to work out. Since I travel so much, I’ve learned to sleep every chance I can, because often I don’t get to, so I try to outsmart the jet lag when possible,” Buffy softly stated. “I also grow a garden, love being with pets, adore culture, don’t gossip, ignore trolls (poor things), and I understand that regarding both the pleasant and the unpleasant, this too shall pass away. So I try to enjoy life at the same time as support it.”

She also notes that her journey of a continuous fight is all well worth it because of her fans. Buffy laughed while stating how they have taught her everything to even just having fun. Sainte-Marie looks forward to performing in Toronto at the CNE Bandshell August 26th, 2019 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm and admirers can expect a mashup of new, old, hints of her band, and solo.

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