Buffy Sainte-Marie (Born 20.02.1941) is a Canadian musician who also specialises in other areas of work. These include being a visual artist, pacifist, educator and social activist. She also founded the 'Cradleboard Teaching Project' which was devoted to give a better understanding of Native Americans. This article outlines the life of Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Sainte-Marie was born by the forename Beverley in the Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan in Canada. After being orphaned and later adopted, she grew up in Maine and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has married three times and one of her husband has been her co-writer Jack Nitzsche. Sainte-Marie's current partner is Chuck Wilson whom she has been with since 1993. They reside in Kauai.
Sainte-Marie learnt to play piano and guitar by herself in her childhood and this paid off as by her early twenties, she was already touring alone across the United States and Canada. Her reputation soon enhanced and her songs usually turned into successful hits in the charts. 1963 proved a decisive year for Sainte-Marie. After witnessing wounded soldiers returning from Vietnam, she released a song called 'Universal Soldier' which led to her becoming 'Billboard Magazine's Best New Artist.' In 1975, after a further decade of producing songs, Sainte-Marie was offered to appear on Sesame Street. She had turned it down the previous year but this time, she accepted and appeared for five years helping children learn the alphabet and teach viewers that 'Indians still exist'. In 1979, Sainte-Marie had her song 'Spirit in the Wind' featured in the film 'Spirit in the Wind. The song was described as 'inspiring' and 'perfection'. In 1980, one of Sainte-Marie's native songs was used as a theme tune for the television series 'Spirit Bay'. In 1989, she wrote and performed the music for the film 'Where the Spirit Lives'. In 1992, she recorded the album 'Coincidence and Likely Stories'. The album raised issues on the plight of Native Americans. After the success of her 'Nihewan Foundation for American Indian Foundation', Sainte-Marie founded the 'Cradleboard Teaching Project' in 1996. In 2002, she sang for the first Native American Astronaut, John Herrington at the Kennedy Space Center. In 2003, Sainte-Marie became a spokesperson for the 'UNSECO Associated Schools Project Network'. 'UNESCO' is an abbreviation for 'United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation'.
Buffy Sainte-Marie was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1997, she won a 'Gemini Award' for her album 'Up Where We Belong'. The song by the same name written by Sainte-Marie and Nitzsche received a Golden Globe Award, Academy Award and a BAFTA Film Award for best original song.