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FYI

Investigation Questions Buffy Sainte-Marie's Indigenous Identity

A new Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) investigation calls into question the Indigenous identity of singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Investigation Questions Buffy Sainte-Marie's Indigenous Identity

By External Source

A new Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) investigation calls into question the Indigenous identity of singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie. It’s already opened up a broad conversation about identity and appropriation.


Sainte-Marie is one of Canada’s most decorated musicians. The artist and activist has won the Polaris Music Prize, multiple Juno Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Song and is the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

She was named Billboard’s Best New Artist in 1964. She’s been recognized as a champion of Indigenous rights internationally, from the stage to Sesame Street, where she educated children about Indigenous culture starting in the mid-1970s.

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The documentary, however, says some of Sainte-Marie’s family members believe her claim to Indigenous heritage “is built on an elaborate fabrication.”

The bombshell investigation aired last Friday (Oct. 27) on the YouTube channel of the program The Fifth Estate and is available to stream on CBC Gem. – Richard Trapunski’s Billboard Canada story continues here.  

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