Presents Q&A with Reporter Christie Blatchford
Q: How is it to be a continuing torch bearer for Canada’s First Nations?
A: I am so overwhelmed by the acknowledgement. I’m just delirious. I almost want to cry. It’s like this sick feeling in my heart. Because I look at the language of victory and I look at the history of an entire people and there’s nowhere in the world that you can see that that’s more pitiful. Here we are fighting for our people all these years and that must be so agonizingly sad to see. It really must just be…
We’re stuck in this dead end. It’s no wonder our people end up dying. The colonial system just keeps on killing our language, killing our culture, and then [at] a certain point the people are just in a state of war where you have to kill your own to survive.
And I’m trying to say that if we had the money and had the programming, everything would be a lot better, especially when it comes to indigenous education. I really don’t see why they’re not being funded in some way, shape or form because it’s your future. You’re going to go out into the workforce with it.
Q: Do you have hope that indigenous people can be accepted in Canada?
A: One hundred percent. I cannot see any other reason. It’s so obvious. It’s in the text. It’s there for everyone to see it. This is the position they have. It’s the position they have to hold to their children. I cannot see any other way to put it.
Q: Canadians have been talking about residential schools for so long that has it really become an issue for these people that it is time that the issues around residential schools are taken seriously?
A: For me I think it’s time for justice. I think the justice was just so keen. I think this will be a life-changing experience for so many people. It’s monumental. It’s a generation of children who have to be rebuilt and bring the children back from the place where it’s all gone.
This is something we all worked for as singers. Now I’m blessed to be standing in front of this audience… it’s just unlike anything that’s happened to me. The songs speak, too. I’m so excited.
To use the #MeToo movement as a way to discuss this is incredible. We need to be included in this discussion of justice, peace and what justice means to us.
Q: You’ve experienced several death threats.
A: No. I’ve experienced genocide. I’ve experienced genocide when it came to the genocide of our women. I’ve been through so much just because of this horrible institution called residential schools. Now, we have to dig deep and bring back the children that were lost.
About Buffy Sainte-Marie:
Buffy Sainte-Marie will perform at Massey Hall in Toronto on Sunday, November 25th at 8 p.m. She is considered by many as Canada’s conscience-speaking voice and a titan of progressive rock and/or jazz.
Tickets start at $37.50 and can be purchased here.