Buffy Sainte-Marie
A clean sweep for Sainte-Marie: Singer picks up four awards at Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards

Posted: December 2, 2009
View original article: Hamilton Spectator

November 28, 2009
Graham Rockingham

No one has done more than Buffy Sainte-Marie to focus attention on aboriginal issues through music.

So it was only fitting that the Saskatchewan-born singer-songwriter added four more awards last night at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards to her already well-stocked trophy case.

Sainte-Marie, 67, won in all four of the categories in which she was nominated -- best female artist, best album (Running for the Drum), best single (No No Keshagesh) and best songwriter.

The four awards are the latest in a long list of accolades for Sainte-Marie, who has previously been inducted into the Juno and Canadian Country Music halls of fame; been made an officer of the Order of Canada and received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.

Earlier this month, Sainte-Marie was given a lifetime achievement award at the Aboriginal Peoples' Choice Music Awards in Winnipeg. She also received an Oscar in 1982 for Up Where We Belong, the theme for the movie Officer and a Gentleman.

Last night's awards were presented at Hamilton Place during a gala concert cohosted by Six Nations rock guitarist Derek Miller and Metis actress/singer Andrea Menard, and featuring performances by several nominees, including Sainte-Marie.

It was the first time in the CAMAs' 11-year history that the show has been held outside Toronto.

Other award winners included Winnipeg singer Don Amero (best male artist), Six Nations rockers the Pappy John Band (best blues album), Alberta country singer Shane Yellowbird (best video), Nunavut singer Lucie Idlout (best rock album), B.C. singer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson (best traditional/cultural roots album), R. Carlos Nakai (best traditional flute album), Feenix (best rap or hip-hop video) and the Whitefish Bay Singers (best traditional powwow album). Digging Roots, a critically acclaimed alt-rock band from Barrie, Ont., entered the CAMAs with six nominations, but won only one for best group of the year.

Record producer Darryl Hester was presented with a special industry award for his work with the Waskaganish Cree youth music program in northern Quebec.

Sainte-Marie, who holds a doctorate in fine arts and currently lives on a goat farm in Hawaii, has been writing, singing and recording for almost 50 years.

Buffy also sat down with Stevie Salas for Arbor Live; here's a still from the shoot.

She is best known as a protest singer for songs such as Universal Soldier and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Her latest CD, Running on Drum, continues that tradition of protest with the song No No Keshagesh providing a bitter indictment of the exploitation of native lands by North American industry. Keshagesh is a Cree word for "greedy puppy."

The 12-track CD was her first album of new songs in 15 years. Sainte-Marie devoted much of her time during those years to her Cradleboard Teaching Project -- a free online aboriginal curriculum for schoolchildren.

On Thursday night, 11 other CAMAs were handed out at a special dinner attended by 340 people at the Hamilton Convention Centre. Art Napoleon and Arvel Bird each received two awards at the dinner.

Napoleon, a singer-songwriter from Victoria, came away with best country album and best folk/acoustic album for his CD Siskabush Tales.

Bird, a classically trained violinist based in Nashville, took awards for best producer/engineer (along with Tom Wasinger and Chas. Williams) and best instrumental recording for his album Tribal Music Suite: Journey of a Paiute.

The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards are part of the larger Canadian Aboriginal Festival, which is open to the public and continues throughout the weekend at Copps Coliseum. For more information visit the website canab.com.



View original article: Hamilton Spectator

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