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VIDEO: Polaris Winners Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq Collaborate on New Music Video

Empowering Native People: Native music icons and Polaris prize winners Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq release: You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind.)

As part of the second video in a planned series of collaborations sponsored by the Polaris Music Brain Trust, Native music icons and Polaris prize winners Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq released a new music video on Feb 21, 2017 titled You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind.)

Both Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq are recipients of the coveted Polaris Music prize, a non-profit organization that annually honors and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction.

Buffy Sainte-Marie was the recipient of the Polaris Prize in 2015 award for Power in the Blood, and traditional throat singer Tanya Tagaq won the award in 2014 for her album Animism.

VIDEO: Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind) presented by Stingray Music and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

According to the Polaris Prize blogsite, the song can be heard now on numerous Stingray Music channels, including Canadian Indie, Adult Alt, Canadian Voices, Canadian Adult Alternative, All Aboot Indie, Canadian Indie Chart and Stingray’s Hall of Fame Picks.

Additionally, the latest episode of the Polaris Podcast features an interview with Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq on Soundcloud discussing the collaboration.


The song was inspired by champion dogsled racer George Attla, who competed in the first Iditarod dog sled race in 1973, finished in fourth place and was the subject of the 1979 film, Spirit Of The Wind.

“It reminded me of growing up in Nunavut,” explained Tanya Tagaq on the Polaris Prize site. “Sometimes when things get difficult you have to pick yourself up, you can’t let things bring you down. You could take it to be an anti-suicide message. I really appreciate its powerful lyrics.”

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From the start of the video, the lyrics sung by Buffy Sainte-Marie aim to inspire.

Whether you’re woman or whether you’re man.

Sometimes you’ve got to take a stand.

Just because you think you can…

Down, in a hole,

You feel like two different people in your soul.

Feel like a loser, until you see, that as you bend,

You learn to be, your own best friend.

Buffy Sainte-Marie also offered her comments.

“There are very important things going on in Indian country right now. This is a song I’d like to hand to any of our Aboriginal candidates who really are in a position, finally, to make a big difference,” said Buffy Sainte-Marie on the site.

According to Polaris, A free digital download and a separate vinyl release of You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind) will be coming at a later date, currently the time is set for March 20 by Polaris.

Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) - ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor - Follow @VinceSchilling