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Buffy Sainte-Marie

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Buffy Sainte-Marie (born February 20, 1941 at Piapot Reserve in Saskatchewan, Canada) is a Cree singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, pacifist, educator, social activist, and philanthropist.

Throughout her career in all of these areas, her work has focused on issues of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her singing and writing repertoire includes subjects of love, war, religion, and mysticism. Her music might generally be categorized as folk and traditional music, though she did record one mostly country album, I'm Gonna Be a Country Girl Again, in Nashville. Contrary to an often mistaken credit, she wrote "Universal Soldier" for her first album, made famous by Donovan. She also won an Oscar for co-writing "Up Where We Belong" for the "Officer And A Gentleman" film.

Some of her other songs have more modern popular sounds. Her work has been covered by such diverse musicians as Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Neko Case, Janis Joplin, Chet Atkins, The Indigo Girls and Joe Cocker. She is also responsible for Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to better understanding of Native Americans.

She has won recognition and many awards and honors for both her music and her work in education and social activism.


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Buffy Sainte-Marie, (born Beverly Sainte-Marie, February 20, 1941) is an Indigenous Canadian-American (Piapot Cree Nation) singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist. While working in these areas, her work has focused on issues facing Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her singing and writing repertoire also includes subjects of love, war, religion, and mysticism. She has won recognition, awards and honours for her music as well as her work in education and social activism. Among her most popular songs are "Universal Soldier", "Cod'ine", "Until It's Time for You to Go", "Take My Hand for a While", "Now That the Buffalo's Gone", and her versions of Mickey Newbury's "Mister Can't You See" and Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game". Her songs have been recorded by many artists including Donovan, Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes, Janis Joplin, and Glen Campbell. In 1983, she became the first Indigenous American person to win an Oscar, when her song "Up Where We Belong", co-written for the film An Officer and a Gentleman, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 55th Academy Awards. The song also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song that same year.In 1997, she founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to better understanding Native Americans.