Buffy Sainte-Marie’s unique voice and music helped propel the peace and civil rights movement during the 1960’s. Her songs “Universal Soldier” and “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” helped garner the attention of not only thousands of young Canadians and Americans looking for social justice but also the Johnson and Nixon administration’s where her music was eventually blacklisted.
Born on the Piapot Reserve in Saskatchewan’s Qu’appelle Valley, Sainte-Marie was orphaned at an early age and was adopted by Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie in a small town just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. A shy, introverted girl, Buffy did well in school and eventually earned degrees in teaching and philosophy. It was while she was at school that Buffy began performing and started to gain a following. Eventually a number of artists among them Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Cher and Barbra Streisand began performing her music and Sainte-Marie’s stature grew accordingly. In 1983, she was awarded an Academy Award for Best Song for the composition “Up Where We Belong” featured in the film “An Officer and a Gentleman”.
Buffy Sainte -Marie continues to record, her latest album , Power in The Blood , was released just this year and she continues to lend her support to a number of causes including native education and most recently was a guest performer during the closing ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Catherine Clark spoke to Buffy Sainte-Marie in Ottawa.
Born into political life in Ottawa, Catherine Clark is no stranger to being in the public eye. As founding host of CPAC’s popular weekly television show Beyond Politics, Catherine interviews Members of Parliament, Premiers and people of influence to reveal the personal, human side of public life. Catherine is also a sought-after public speaker and emcee, and writes the “Giving Back” column for Ottawa at Home Magazine, profiling people who are improving the lives of their fellow citizens.