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Singer Buffy Sainte-Marie in an early interview

The Story

She is a peace activist, an outspoken advocate for Indigenous people, and a well-known folksinger. But to a generation of Sesame Street fans, she is just Buffy, a young woman who interacts with Muppets and kids to show viewers that, in her words, "Indians still exist." Born on a Saskatchewan reserve and raised in Maine, Buffy Sainte-Marie frequently returns to her birthplace to spend time with family and keep her son, Dakota, in touch with his roots. In this wide-ranging 1979 conversation with Don Harron, Sainte-Marie talks about working with Muppets, her hopes for Dakota's generation, the lack of good dramatic roles for Indigenous actors, and her advocacy for breastfeeding. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Don Harron's Morningside
Broadcast Date: Nov. 8, 1979
Guest: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Interviewer: Don Harron
Duration: 9:38
Photo: CBC Still Image Collection

Did You know?

• For five years, from 1976 to 1981, Buffy Sainte-Marie was a regular as "Buffy" on Sesame Street. Her infant son, Dakota Starblanket Wolfchild, joined her on the show. In one memorable segment, Buffy explains breastfeeding to a curious Big Bird. "I get to hug him when I do it, see," she tells Big Bird.

• In 1982 Sainte-Marie won an Academy Award for her song Up Where We Belong, recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the movie An Officer and a Gentleman



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