10 Buffy Sainte-Marie Photos To Make Your Heart Melt

11th March 1969: Portrait of Canadian musician Buffy St. Marie lying on the floor, holding her guitar, her head resting on her palm. She is wearing a long sleeved satin blouse. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

An Inspiration To Icons

Buffy Sainte-Marie is a legendary Native American songwriter and activist. She was in the beatnik/activist scene in 1964 where she made friends with Bob Dylan who referred her to the NY Times, when she started to rise to fame. Sainte-Marie was born in Saskatchewan, Canada and became an inspiration to her contemporaries including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, and Johnny Cash. Most of the aforementioned icons also covered her songs or performed in duets with Sainte-Marie.  Even Elvis Presley became familiar with her and covered her song “Until It’s Time For You to Go.”  Buffy Sainte-Marie is a musician’s musician.



UNSPECIFIED – JANUARY 01: Photo of Buffy ST MARIE (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)


Buffy Sainte-Marie started touring as solo artist in 1962. She performed in mostly folk venues and Native American reservations. She landed in Greenwich Vilage, New York where she made her name amongst the biggest names in Folk Rock history.

11th March 1969: Full-length portrait of Canadian musician Buffy St. Marie kneeling on the floor with her hands clasped. Her long black hair is down and she wears black pants, a long sleeved shirt, a vest and leather moccasins. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


In 1963 she became addicted to Codeine after a throat infection. This is when she wrote “Cod’ine” which was covered by Donovan, an early Janis Joplin, Gram Parson, and various others including Courtney Love much later on. In 1964, she wrote a protest song called “Universal Soldier,” which was covered by Donovan. Billboard named her Best New Artist that year.

Jack de Nijs / Anefo [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Buffy was legendary. She was the only representative of Native American culture at the time, and one of the biggest names in Native American music to this day. Sainte- Marie has dedicated her life to bringing awareness to the mistreatment of Native Americans, which sparked major controversy. None the less, she continued her activism and released music like “Now That Buffalo’s Gone” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying.”

NBC Television / Then Came Bronson


Buffy was ahead of her times. She started editing and recording her music on Apple and Macintosh products as early as 1981. She received an Academy Award for Best Song in 1982 for “Up Where We Belong” which was used in An Officer and a Gentleman.

UNSPECIFIED – JANUARY 01: Photo of Buffy Sainte-Marie (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)


Buffy Sainte-Marie was able to adapt to all forms of music and songwriting whether it was Native American folklore on solo tours, working on American Bandstand, The Johnny Cash Show, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She is a hero to women and indigenous people across the world.

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1970: Photo of Buffy Sainte-Marie Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Buffy Sainte-Marie was in a class of her own. Her songwriting was unparalleled and was matched with a haunting voice that lingered in the air as she sang passionately.

SAN FRANCISCO – MAY 24: Singer songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie performs onstage on May 24, 1969 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Robert Altman/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)


Her style was not a fashion statement. She was a proud Native American from the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan, Canada.

UNSPECIFIED – JANUARY 01: Photo of Buffy Sainte-Marie (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Sainte-Marie adapted well to all cultures despite her pride. She was a frequent staple in Greenwhich Village during the beatnik scene of the 1960s.

NEW YORK – APRIL 22: Folk singer and song writer Buffy Sainte-Marie performing at the Bottom Line in New York City on April 22, 1974. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)

She was the voice of her nation and a legendary performer.

TORONTO, ON – MARCH 27: Singer Buffy Sainte-Marie poses backstage in the press room at the 2011 Juno Awards at the Air Canada Centre on March 27, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)


To this day, Buffy Sainte- Marie is a swoon worthy woman, musician, songwriter, and activist. Go Buffy!