Buffy Sainte-Marie Responds To Questions About Her Indigenous Heritage


Buffy Sainte-Marie has responded to an upcoming CBC report that questions her Indigenous ancestry.

CBC's news documentary series The Fifth Estate is expected to air an investigation into the legendary singer-songwriter's background on tomorrow (October 27) night's episode. 

A description for the October 27 episode reads, "An icon's claims to Indigenous ancestry are being called into question by family members and an investigation that included genealogical documentation, historical research and personal accounts."

In response to an inqury by the Canadian Press, CBC's Chuck Thompson said in an email, "Beyond what's in the program description, we have nothing more to add."

Sainte-Marie, 82, took to social media to give her side. In a statement, she said, "I have always struggled to answer questions about who I am. Through that research what became clear, and what I’ve always been honest about, is that I don’t know where I’m from or who my birth parents were, and I will never know. To those who question my truth, I say with love, I know who I am.”"

"For 60 years, I’ve shared my story with the world as honestly as I know how," she added on Facebook. "I am humbled my truth is one so many others have connected with. Unfortunately, some wish to question my truth. So here it is - as I know it. From me to you. Big love, Buffy"

The Piapot family, who adopted Buffy Sainte-Marie, issued a statement of their own, saying, “The accusations which are about to be made of our Auntie Buffy are hurtful, ignorant, colonial - and racist. No one, including Canada and its governments, the Indian Act, institutions, media or any person anywhere can deny our family's inherent right to determine who is a member of our family and community." See the full statement below.

As detailed on her website, Sainte-Marie identifies as Cree, who believes "to have been born in 1941 on the Piapot First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan and taken from her biological parents when she was an infant. She was adopted by a visibly white couple and raised in Maine and Massachusetts. As a child, Buffy’s adoptive mother self-identified as part Mi’kmaq but knew little about Indigenous culture. She encouraged Buffy to find things out for herself when she grew up."




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