HomeLatest NewsAcclaimed Canadian Singer's Indigenous Identity Faces Scrutiny in Explosive Report

Acclaimed Canadian Singer’s Indigenous Identity Faces Scrutiny in Explosive Report

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Media reports suggest that one of Canada’s most famous Indigenous icons may not actually be Indigenous.

Buffy Sainte-Marie was the first Indigenous person in history to win an Oscar. She has always claimed that she is a Cree Indian who was born in Canada, adopted by a couple from America, and raised near Boston. The singer is best known for her performance on Sesame Street. She was also featured on Canadian stamps, and she performed for Queen Elizabeth II.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News (CBC) conducted an investigation on Sainte-Marie based on public records and interviews with family members, including estranged ones. According to the 82-year-old icon, she was adopted by a White Massachusetts family as an infant and was then born in Saskatchewan’s Piapot First Nations. However, her birth certificate states that she was actually born Beverly Jean Santamaria in the U.S.A.

Sainte-Marie made contradictory claims about her Indigenous background, and the investigation documented this. It included articles written early in Sainte Marie’s career where she was described by different native groups.

Media reports suggest that one of Canada’s most famous Indigenous icons may not actually be Indigenous.

Buffy Sainte-Marie was the first Indigenous person in history to win an Oscar. She has always claimed that she is a Cree Indian who was born in Canada, adopted by an American family, and raised near Boston. The singer is best known for her performance on Sesame Street. She was also featured on Canadian stamps, and she performed for Queen Elizabeth II.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News (CBC) conducted an investigation on Sainte-Marie based on public records and interviews with family members, including estranged ones. According to the 82-year-old icon, she was adopted by a White Massachusetts family as a baby and was then born in Saskatchewan’s Piapot First Nations. However, her birth certificate states that she was actually born Beverly Jean Santamaria in the U.S.A.

Sainte-Marie made contradictory claims about her Indigenous background, and the investigation documented this. It included articles written early in Sainte Marie’s career where she was described by different native groups.

PBS reported in 2022 that “she had been taken away from her family without their consent” as part of the Sixties Scoop, a Canadian practice.

Sainte-Marie told NPR in an interview from 2018 that “in Canada, we’ve had something called the ‘Big Scoop,’ which was the removal of Native children from their homes.” “They are assigned a birthdate. They are given a kind of biography. In many cases, the adoptive parents don’t know what their true story is.

Lainey Sainte Marie’s younger sibling told CBC that her parents had never said that Sainte Marie was adopted. She added that she first heard about it when Sainte Marie was in her 20s.

CBC traveled to Stoneham to verify the authenticity of the birth certificates.

The town clerk Maria Sagarino took CBC to the vault in which the birth certificates are kept. This vault contained Sainte Marie’s original handwritten birth certificate, signed by the doctor who delivered Sainte Marie’s sister, and the parents Sainte Marie claimed she was adopted by.

Sagarino stated, “This is an original from the hospital.” There’s no way to refute this because I have it in my possession from my files.

“I can say absolutely with 100 percent certainty that this is the original birth certificate,” Sagarino added told CBC. “Beverly Jean Santamaria was born in Stoneham, Mass., at New England Sanatorium and Hospital on Feb. 20, 1941.”

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