OTTAWA – Popular singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is the latest frontrunner to be honored with a commemorative stamp by Canada Post.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Sainte-Marie said in an Ottawa media interview on Thursday. “I can tell you I never thought it would happen, my god.”
Now 80 years old, five-time award-winning artist Juno has been performing for more than 60 years and has always put indigenous issues and talent first.
“We have a lot of local artists, we have studios, musicians, producers,” she said of the need to make local music mainstream. “Records are being made, sold, listened to and we have the numbers.”
Her own songs have been covered by stars such as Elvis Presley, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond and Cher.
Born in Beverly Sainte-Marie on February 20, 1941 on the Piapot Cree First Nation reserve in Qu’Apelle Valley, Saskatchewan, she taught herself to play the piano at the age of 3 and began to put poetry to music at the age of 4.
She was raised by adoptive parents in Massachusetts and began her career playing cafes and folk festivals in the 1960s. Known for her unique vibrato, Sainte-Marie uses music. as a platform for social and political commentary, especially on issues affecting indigenous youth.
In 1975, Sainte-Marie held a benefit concert at the Piapot Cree Nation, attracting more than 1,500 participants. The money from the concert was used to build a new school.
Her family continues to be proud of her achievements, with her niece Ntawnis Piapot telling CTV News that despite her international fame, Sainte-Marie is the type to spend time with them, “just her and you in the family.” room.”
Sainte-Marie has received the order of Canada, an honorary doctorate, and has met the Queen during her lifetime, well-deserved praise according to former Chief of Staff of the Council of First Nations Perry Bellegarde.
“Buffy Sainte-Marie was not elected, but she is a strong leader, a visionary and she has had such an impact, a global impact,” he said.
In 1982, she became the first native to win an Oscar for the song “Up Where We Belong,” in the film “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
Sainte-Marie marks 11th Indigenous person honored with Canada Postage stamp