Voices for the Silenced of Residential Schools

To support Buffy MacNeil, singer and educator to produce the album featuring the song “Somebody Pray” for residential school community healing. Production of this album includes: recording, editing, arranging, mixing, mastering, and engineering. The purpose of the project is to release the album which will support the creation of a youth care and advocacy centre in the community of the Paq'tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation - https://paqtnkek.ca.  Funds raised above the costs of the album will be directly forwarded to the youth centre.


The lyrics to “Somebody Pray” came pouring out as Buffy reflected on those in her life who have been impacted by the violent history of the Indian Residential School system in Canada. During a conversation with the late Dr. Isabelle Knockwood (residential school warrior), Buffy was asked by Isabelle to “promise not to forget her stories”. Buffy explains that “Dr. Knockwood’s words resonated as I put pen to paper in an attempt to honour those who have suffered so terribly in these institutions. As this project moves forward, I believe that it is important to give back to the Indigenous community. I felt like the song just needed to come out. Many people in my life have been affected personally by the Indian residential schools. My heart was thinking of my daughters, their families, and other relations in my life, who have been affected across and within generations." 

See https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/authors/view/isabelle-knockwood for Dr. Knockwood's book Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi’kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia.


1. To raise awareness locally, provincially, nationally, and globally about the systemic and institutional barriers and exclusion that have historically and currently impacted Indigenous youth

2. To promote youth engagement that focuses on mentorship, skill development and empowerment towards community well-being

3. To envision the creation of a space for Indigenous youth from the Paq'tnkek community that provides relevant traditional knowledge, support and advocacy

4. To advocate for social change relevant to policies impacting Indigenous youth through the Arts and Music

Artist Biography:

Buffy MacNeil was born in Arichat, Cape Breton, the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Mi’kmaq. Her musical roots are inspired by her mixed-race ancestry of Scottish, Acadian and Mi’kmaw. Buffy was encouraged to sing and perform since the age of five. It was her grandfather's love of the fiddle musicians such as Winston Fitzgerald, Lee Cremo and the young Ashley MacIsaac that inspired her to play music. Her grandmother bought Buffy her first fiddle when she was eleven and was later mentored by Cape Breton fiddle legends, John Donald Cameron and later Gordon Cote. Her vocals, a unique natural soprano, are pure, distinct, and dynamic while drawing the audience into a powerful and transformative world.

Influenced by all styles of music, in 2005, Buffy auditioned and secured a place as a member of the award winning, Birchmountain Bluegrass Band. In 2014, Buffy along with her husband Larry Boutilier, released their first album "Surrounded". In addition, they received a nomination for Indigenous Songwriter of the year at the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Buffy is also an alumna of Saint Mary’s University (BA) and Mount Saint Vincent University (BEd). She is trained as a teacher and is currently at East Antigonish Education Centre in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) where her specific role is to support and assist Mi’kmaq students academically and culturally towards their well-being.

With a desire to continuously grow musically and as an educator, Buffy is again redefining her style as a singer, musician, and writer, while integrating her role as a youth advocate. Her haunting soprano vocals featured on her latest recording “Somebody Pray” captivates the listener, leading them on a journey that tells a story of two children taken from their families and forced into Indian residential schools in Canada.

Album Production Expenses: 

1) Extended Play (EP) Production Costs: $11,500.00 ($10,000+tax). Paid to Producer for booking of musicians and recording studios, as  well as recording, editing, arranging, mixing, mastering, engineering and production. 
2) Tracking: $7,000.00
3) Demo Studio Fees: $3,000.00
4) Photo Shoots, Honoraria for additional artists and performers: $5,500.00
5) Video and Graphic Design: $3,000.00
6) Distribution, Association Fees: 1,500.00
7) Accommodation, Travel, Hospitality: $3,000.00
8) Album Pressing: $3,000.00
TOTAL: $37,500.00

Donations (41)

  • Bernadette Schmeisser
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Laurie Tretina
    • $30 
    • 2 yrs
  • Marilyn Harford
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Jacqueline Twohig
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Donna Lyon
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs


Buffy MacNeil
Arichat, NS

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.