Cowboys & Indians

ARTIST ACTIVIST

EVER SINCE BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE’S GROUNDBREAKING 1964 DEBUT ALBUM, IT’S MY WAY!, the Cree singer-songwriter has been a musical trailblazer, innovative artist, and lifelong advocate of Indigenous peoples. Self-taught on the piano and guitar, Sainte-Marie was a voice for the 1960s and early ’70s with her anti-war anthem “Universal Soldier.” She’s been blacklisted and silenced, all the while writing pop standards sung and recorded by the likes of Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Donovan, and Joe Cocker.

From coffeehouses in Toronto’s old Yorkville district to New York City’s Greenwich Village as part of the ’60s folk scene, Sainte-Marie made her mark alongside other emerging Canadian contemporaries such as Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell, who has often mentioned her as an early influence.

Over a 55-year span, she has released 18 original albums (plus a two-volume best-of compilation and a collection of previously unreleased material), boasting such classic songs as “Until It’s Time for You. In 1976, she took a 16-year hiatus from recording to raise her son, Dakota Starblanket Wolfchild, and to work on the children’s television series .

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