The Titanic is sinking, friends, let's get that string quartet tuned up
I'm a Spokane Indian who grew up on my tribe's reservation. The debunking of Buffy St. Marie absolutely serves Native American and First Nations people. We on the left, Indian and not, overuse the term "colonialism" but St. Marie's deceptions are indeed colonial. She has stolen privilege, position, and power from Native people. And tons of cash! She is also just one example of dozens of pretendians who are still successful carrying on their ruses in Canada and the USA.
There's a lot I could say about the Buffy story but, to respond to what you shared: I'm not interested in the CBC spending my money to 'take down' any public figure. Whenever I see a story like that--especially one where some of the core facts come down to 'he said, she said'--I am suspicious of the motivations of those producing the story. If they actually care about harming indigenous people (which I question, at this point), perhaps they could run stories about, say, the need for healthy water sources from all indigenous kids, until the Canadian public is aware, convinced, and pressures the government(s) to fix it.
Thank you for articulating my gut reaction when the story broke, i.e., how does this serve anyone? While the evidence is incontrovertible, all Buffy's cosplay as a pretendian accomplished was to raise awareness of Indigenous issues and culture. Her fake identity may have opened some doors, but it was her musical talent that made her famous and kept her famous. But.... The problem that you only touched on is that she maintained her pretendian status by blackmailing her brother with the darkest lie one can make. Were it not for that, her "takedown" would have been almost unconscionable. What her lie about her brother showed is that she is not the person portrayed by her public persona; in truth, she is a ruthless and fame hungry person who will do and say anything to attain the spotlight. Her identity is as hollow and meaningless as her "indigenous heritage." She knows her truth, indeed, and one wonders how she lives with herself.
Buffy lived a lie her adult life and liars should not be rewarded for their lie. For instance, return the Order of Canada - not a Canadian, and the Juno - not indigenous.
What would be interesting to know is the intention of the revelations about Sainte-Marie's lineage. I guess regardless, the outcomes appear to have charged all parties related to First Nations issues. On one side, there is a narrative about "pretendians" and how this serves as a long-standing case. On the other is a decolonial narrative where the expectations related to birth records, for example, give way to traditional (in this case, Piapot) claims to membership. All reporting points to "harm" towards Indigenous people and traditions. None of the mainstream discussions seem to look at this as the "left eating itself" though that seems like a possible outcome after the expose.
As always, insightful commentary from Tara. Thanks for all that you do.
Cancel culture, takedown of the week or the villain of the week. All means to shut down voices of dissent and scare the populace into submission to the narrative. Also handy for clickbait.
Whomever the media decide to impugn from Hasan Minaj to Joe Rogan to Buffy Sainte Marie I am inclined to not believe the accusations. So many of these cases involve disputable information and often those attacked are found innocent or the charges are dropped.
And as bad as Canadian politics and international politics might be at the moment we still live in a safer and healthier world than 100 years ago.
Take care everyone :)
Ok, I had an employee for many years, who was a member of the Piapot Band. I can say definitively that he claimed Buffy. There was absolutely no doubt in his mind that Buffy was a member of his tribe, and that he was very proud of her.
And yes, his last name actually was Piapot.
Tara it's not about going after someone because she's 82, it's because she indulged the myth of her Heritage to boost her fame and fortune as an Indigenous performer and author. If she had integrity she never would have accepted any awards under this pretense, correcting them as a "Canadian" performer, rather than that as an Indigenous performer. There's no way any other white performer would get away with something like that. Just ask Joseph Boyden.
Never thought for a moment about defunding the CBC until I saw this piece of 'investigative reporting'. Shameless, and also raises the question of why a white Christian male named Geoff Leo is so invested in taking down a female performer, indigenous or not. Second question it raises is why supposed to be accepting of an individual claiming a different gender than the one they were born with, but not of an individual who claims a different ancestry than the one they were born into. If biology is fluid and can be questioned then why can't DNA?
Going after Buffy breaks all the alleged fake rules of media "ethics". She's been out of the public eye for decades, and when she was famous she did NOT use tribal ancestry as part of her image or credentials. It was irrelevant then, so it's still irrelevant. She was famous for her looks and her singing, like any other performer.
I'm actually more excited to see your recap of the Munk Debates than watching it. Thank you again for all you do!
Clearly in the public interest, Tara. Fraud should be exposed. Honors due indigenous artists were expropriated. Above all, when ME Turpel-Lafond was exposed, she had the integrity to fess up. Buffy still refuses to come clean. At least one of the letters she sent to family used her wealth and lawyers to intimidate. Calloused.
I'm 48 and although I've heard of Buffy Sainte-Marie I literally know nothing about her and couldn't recognize any of her songs. She's before my time. So imagine how this controversy appears to (say) a 20 year old. This is basically the Canadian equivalent of Americans in maybe the year 2000 discovering Lawrence Welk was faking his German accent.