June 24th, 2024

Indigenous group wants Buffy Sainte-Marie to lose 2018 Juno over ancestry doubts

By The Canadian Press on October 30, 2023.

Buffy Sainte-Marie opens the Juno Awards show on Sunday April 2, 2017 in Ottawa. The Indigenous Women's Collective is calling for Sainte-Marie to lose her 2018 Juno Award for "Indigenous Album of the Year," after a CBC story cast doubt on the singer's ancestry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Indigenous Women’s Collective is calling for Buffy Sainte-Marie to lose her 2018 Juno Award for Indigenous album of the year, after a CBC story raised doubts about the singer’s ancestry.

The collective says in a statement that it has reviewed the story and believes Sainte-Marie deceived the public about her origin.

It says the deception allowed her to benefit from a false narrative that misled thousands of Indigenous people.

CBC obtained Sainte-Marie’s birth certificate, which says she was born in 1941 in Stoneham, Mass., to Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie.

Family members in the U.S., including Sainte-Marie’s younger sister, told CBC that the musician was not adopted and does not have Indigenous ancestry.

Sainte-Marie, 82, has said she doesn’t know who her birth parents are or where she’s from but calls herself “a proud member of the Native community with deep roots in Canada.'”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

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