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Nov 1, 2023
A recent Fifth Estate episode about Canadian icon Buffy Sainte-Marie’s ancestry is not sitting well with a North Okanagan advocate for Indigenous women.
The documentary showed Sainte-Marie’s birth certificate, which indicates she was really born in the United States to parents who are non-Indigenous.
“I kept dwelling over people talking about Buffy Sainte-Marie and these pretendians,” said Jody Leon, a member of the Splatsin First Nation.
“It’s creating division amongst Indigenous communities themselves as well as non-Indigenous,“ she added.
Leon said she believes emotions are being stirred up on both sides of the Buffy discussion. For her, the talk of adoption brings back memories of how her older sister was taken away from her mom in the 1960s.
“My mom was 16 years old and she was a single mom, and the government worker told her that it was a child protection issue for her to be a single mom,” Leon explained.