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Buffy Sainte-Marie on her childhood and early influences

The Story

In part one of a two-part CBC Radio interview, singer-songwriter Buffy Saint-Marie talks about her childhood, college and early years as a performer. Born on a Cree reservation in Saskatchewan, Saint-Marie says she maintained her Indigenous identity despite being raised by white parents "in a real Javex community." She talks about early shows on Canadian reservations, and moving from folk to the "wonders" of electronic music.

Medium: Radio
Program: Our Native Land
Broadcast Date: Aug. 18, 1984
Guest: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Host: Brian Maracle
Duration: 12:45
This clip has been edited for copyright reasons.

Did You know?

• Buffy Sainte-Marie jumped on the electronic music train early and never got off. "I was not the barefoot folk singer in a granny dress -- I was doing electronic music in the '60s," she told a Canadian Press reporter in 2008, citing her 1969 electronic album Illuminations. She's been composing music and painting on computers since the 1980s. Sainte-Marie turned down filmmakers who wanted to document her life as a folk and protest singer. But she embraced a new project by a Toronto studio to make a 2006 documentary titled Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life.

• Sainte-Marie, who won a 2008 lifetime achievement award at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, spends most of her time in her mountain home on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Her son, Dakota Starblanket Wolfchild, a keyboard player in a reggae band, lives next door.


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