Iconic Aboriginal Woman to Receive Honorary Doctor of Music

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brandon, MB — During the 100th Convocation at Brandon University, four outstanding Canadians will be acknowledged for their efforts and accomplishments, each receiving an honorary doctorate.

Brandon University is pleased to announce the conferral of a Doctor of Music (honoris causa) upon singer/songwriter, entertainer, activist and humanitarian Buffy Sainte-Marie.

A graduating college senior in 1962, Buffy Sainte-Marie hit the ground running as a soloist, touring North America’s colleges, reservations and concert halls, meeting both significant acclaim and misunderstanding from audiences and record companies who expected Pocahontas in fringes. Instead, they were both entertained and educated with their initial dose of Native American reality in the first person.

By age 24, Buffy Sainte-Marie had appeared all over Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia, receiving honours, medals and awards, which continue to this day. Her song “Until It’s Time for You to Go,” was recorded by Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Barbara Streisand and Cher, and her “Universal Soldier” became the anthem of the peace movement. For her very first album she was voted Billboard’s “Best New Artist.”

Buffy Sainte-Marie has appeared at countless grassroots concerts, AIM events and other activist benefits. Throughout her career, she has created 17 albums of her music, three of her own television specials, spent five years on Sesame Street, score movies, helped found Canada’s “Music of Aboriginal Canada” Juno Awards Category, raised a son, earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts, taught Digital Music as adjunct professor at several colleges, and won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award Oscar for the song, “Up Where We Belong.”

Virtually inventing the role of Native American international activist pop star, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s concern for protecting indigenous intellectual property and her distaste for the exploitation of Native American artists and performers have kept her in the forefront of activism in the arts for 40 years. Presently, along with a busy touring schedule, she operates the Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education through which the Cradleboard Teaching Project serves children and teachers throughout North America.

Adding to an already expansive list of accolades and awards, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s latest release entitled “Running for the Drum” garnered a Juno Award for Aboriginal Album – her second – as well as an Aboriginal’s People Choice Music Award (APCMA) for Best Folk Album, Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards for Best Female Artist, Best Album, Best Single (“No No Keshagesh”) and Best Songwriter. As well, she became the 25th inductee into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the first person to receive the APCMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“This talented, eclectic, internationally renowned artist and activist honours Brandon University in accepting the degree, Doctor of Music (honoris causa) at this year’s Convocation,” said Deborah Poff, Brandon University’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

There will be four convocation ceremonies at Brandon University this spring. These will take place June 3 and 4 at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium.

For more information, contact:

Joanne F. Villeneuve
Brandon University
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Tel. 204-727-9762



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