Buffy Sainte-Marie says being 'Indian' isn't about 'sperm tracking' after getting busted over false claims of being indigenous

"Being an 'Indian' has little to do with sperm tracking and colonial record keeping," Sainte-Marie said.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
Canadian legend Buffy Sainte-Marie has continued to push back against doubts about her Indigenous ancestry following a CBC documentary that revealed evidence purporting to prove that she was actually born in Massachusetts to caucasian parents.

She pointed out that regardless of what documents say, she will always be Indigenous, and vowed to "respond to every false allegation."

"Being an 'Indian' has little to do with sperm tracking and colonial record keeping," Sainte-Marie said in a statement to the Canadian Press. "It has to do with community, culture, knowledge, teachings, who claims you, who you love, who loves you and who's your family."

She went on to explain that she's "heard from countless people with similar stories who do not know where they are from and feel victimized by these allegations."

The singer emphasized that, "Most importantly, this is my life — I am not a piece of paper."

Sainte-Marie has maintained that she was born near Regina, Saskatchewan as a member of the Piapot First Nation, however that account was called into question by the CBC's The Fifth Estate.

The program located her alleged birth certificate, which stated that she was born in 1941 in Stoneham, Mass to caucasian parents, and claimed to have found corroborating evidence in the form of a marriage certificate, a life insurance policy and the United States census.

In a statement rejecting CBC's claims, Sainte-Marie said she has never known the identity of her birth parents but remains "a proud member of the Native community with deep roots in Canada."

Following the release of the program, progressive groups quickly piled on Sainte-Marie, accusing her of being a "pretendian."

"This deception allowed her to benefit from a very deliberate and false narrative that misled thousands of Indigenous youth, adults and most tragically, Indigenous survivors of colonial harm," the Indigenous Women's Collective wrote on X.

Sainte-Marie has been a musical icon in Canada and beyond for half a century, and still has a dedicated fanbase who have defended her against the claims being made by the national broadcaster and others.
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