In my philosophy, everybody is ripening at our own pace. Just like any seed, or any flower or any tree or any animal—we’re all ripening, each one, at our own pace. And that’s why we don’t have to judge each other. – Buffy Sainte-Marie, episode 252 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
This week, we’re joined by legendary singer-songwriter, Indigenous activist, and educator Buffy Sainte-Marie. She reflects on growing up to adoptive parents in Massachusetts (4:00), the value of encouraging creativity in childhood (7:12), reuniting with her Cree family at eighteen (10:37), singing for peers in college (14:36), and the alternative conflict resolution messaging behind her early 1960s protest songs (16:46).
On the back-half, she discusses the performance that got her blacklisted by Presidents Johnson and Nixon (30:45), some of the issues facing Native American people in North America (36:50), her inventive core curriculum for students (40:50), and what it meant to be the first Indigenous person to win an Oscar in 1983, and recognized in the Academy Museum today (45:40).
- To learn more about Buffy Sainte-Marie, visit her website.
- Follow her Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Watch Buffy’s live performance of Universal Soldier in 1964.
- Hear our past conversations with Janelle Monáe, Lorde, Run The Jewels, Sleater-Kinney, Brittany Howard, and Rep. Ilhan Omar.
- Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.