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Anishinaabe singer says contested ancestry of Buffy Sainte-Marie ‘doesn’t take away the inspiration’ – CBC

Oct 31, 2023

Juno winner Crystal Shawanda says she’ll always love her inspiration for picking music career

Juno Award-winning blues singer Crystal Shawanda is among people still processing the news that singer and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie’s claims to Indigenous ancestry are being contradicted by family members and an investigation by CBC’s The Fifth Estate.

“This is a traumatic thing — everybody is going through different stages of grief at different times. Some people are in denial, some are angry, some are sad,” said Shawanda. “Some are stuck in one of those stages of grief, and I suppose I’m right there with everybody.”

Shawanda is Anishinaabe and was born in Wiikwemkoong First Nation on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. She was 11 when she first met Sainte-Marie at a concert in Wikwemikong.

  • Listen Métis lawyer says truth should come out even if it hurts regarding Buffy Sainte-Marie’s heritage
  • Indigenous Women’s Collective calls for Buffy Sainte-Marie’s 2018 Juno to be rescinded after CBC investigation

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