Buffy Sainte-Marie documentary six months too late

The timing of the Friday Harbor Film Festival showing of the Buffy Sainte-Marie bio-pic is about six months too late.

Buffy’s career and fame as a singer/activist rest in part on her claim of being an Indigenous woman of the Cree Nation, born in Canada on a reservation and adopted as a child by a couple in Massachusetts.

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) did an investigation into her origins and reported last October that her birth certificate shows she was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts in 1941 to Albert and Winifred Santamaria, the same couple who raised her (her parents). Her father was Italian; her mother had English roots. Her race is listed as white, the same as her parents.

Indigenous people are rightly indignant about people claiming native ancestry and using it for their personal gain.

Buffy Sainte Marie was a compelling singer, songwriter, and effective activist, but she had no business claiming what isn’t rightfully hers to claim.

Kathy Schwartz

Cape San Juan