What does Buffy Sainte-Marie believe?
Originally published on Dec. 30, 2016.
What if well-known people were asked a deeper, different kind of question? What if the red-carpet query weren't "Who are you wearing?", but "Do you believe the universe has a purpose?"
Buffy Sainte-Marie is usually asked about a lot of other stuff: her career in music, her Academy Award and her life as an activist.
But what does Buffy Sainte-Marie believe in?
"To me there's a spirituality to everything," says the songwriter, whose resume includes degrees in Asian Philosophy and Fine Arts. Her other honours include two Junos, the Polaris Music Prize, a Golden Globe award, and over a dozen honorary doctorates.
Buffy Sainte-Marie has had it all her life: deep sense of meaning and belief in a Creator.
Her Cree heritage and ties to the Baha'i religion make for a fascinating take on spirituality - while her life as a recording artist has convinced her there's a strong link between the sublime and creativity.
"If we're made in the image of the Creator, what that means to me is that we're creative. That's our green light for creativity. And the purpose and the sum total of our lives has to do with our creativity."
That impulse to create is at the heart of her activism. Buffy Sainte-Marie has spent decades fighting for aboriginal rights and dignity.
She says she doesn't like to dwell in a down-hearted place.
"I don't like to despair. It's uncomfortable. It kind of hurts to despair. So instead of despairing, I try to do things about it."
Buffy Sainte-Marie believes that we are always evolving - mutating, ripening, becoming - and that idea is the foundation of her 'forgiving' approach to life.
"As each of us learns and ripens, we affect everything around ourselves. I believe it's true even for the guys we love to hate. Pick someone you don't like... even that person is ripening."
Instead of attacking another person's beliefs, Buffy Sainte-Marie says she tries to model something else they could fall in love with and believe in.
Both songs encapsulate her personal philosophy on life.