Academy-Award winning musician Buffy Sainte-Marie to speak at Ortiz/Labriola lecture

Academy-Award winning musician and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie will headline the Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture and Community at 7 p.m., Oct. 10, at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Sainte-Marie, a Canadian native, describes herself as a “natural musician,” whose love for music and pictures began at the age of three. Over the years she has crossed many genres, including rock, pop, powwow and folk. Heavy industry hitters such as Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin and Chet Atkins have covered her songs.

“I think songs are born themselves and sort of fall into appropriate genres after the fact, depending on the style of the singer. Some of my songs escape the genre bins completely and are absolutely original, like 'God Is Alive' and 'Disinformation.' 'Darling Don't Cry' and 'Starwalker' sure blew a lot of record business minds because those guys had never listened to powwow before,” she said.

Her latest CD, “Running for the Drum,” won a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) in 2009, and in September of the same year, she was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Sainte-Marie is also the recipient of two Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards – including one for Lifetime Achievement – and six honorary doctorates in art, letters, music and law from various Canadian institutions.

Her band is currently on tour in Canada, but she will be making a special stop in Phoenix for the Ortiz/Labriola lecture. Audience members will be treated to a discussion she has titled “Detoxifying Aboriginal Self-perception and Outward Identity.” This includes musings on music, art, dance, Sesame Street and more.

Fans may also attend a special meet-and-greet with Sainte-Marie earlier in the day at 10:30 a.m., in Hayden Library on the Tempe campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit the Department of English website.