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Buffy Sainte-Marie

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Buffy Sainte-Marie (born 20 February 1941) is an Academy Award-winning Canadian First Nations musician, composer, visual artist, educator and social activist.

She was born on the Piapot Cree reserve in the Qu’Appelle valley, Saskatchewan. She was later adopted and grew up in Maine and Massachusetts. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts and also holds degrees in both Oriental Philosophy and teaching.

By 1962, having graduated, Buffy began to tour alone, developing her craft and performing in various concert halls, folk festivals and Native reservations across the U.S, Canada and abroad. She spent a considerable amount of time in the coffeehouses of downtown Toronto’s old Yorkville district, and New York City’s Greenwich Village as part of the early to mid-1960s folk scene, often alongside other emerging Canadian contemporaries Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.

She quickly earned a reputation as a gifted songwriter, and many of her earliest songs, such as Until It’s Time For You To Go, were turned into hits by other artists including Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Sonny and Cher, Chet Atkins, Roberta Flack, Janis Joplin and Neil Diamond, among others.

Her debut album, It’s My Way, was released on Vanguard Records in 1964 and she was subsequently named Billboard Magazine’s Best New Artist. This album also contained the critically acclaimed protest song Universal Soldier that later became a hit for Donovan.

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