jack wallace gladstone
MEDIUM: Performance Arts
LOCATION: East Glacier, Montana
Lyric poet, international performer and storyteller, recording artist, composer, teacher, speaker, coach, Rose Bowl champion. Like each Community Spirit Award honoree, Jack Wallace Gladstone, known as Montana’s troubadour, maintains a many-faceted and interconnected web of accomplishments and commitments. And, like his fellow artists, Jack is being honored through the Community Spirit Award not for his individual achievements but for his contributions to the collective good.
Jack is creatively driven to restore the narrative themes that have long provided the framework to nurture individual and collective identities within tribal communities. “My hope is that my art continues to strengthen my community through the innovative production and presentation of mythic, historical and ecological tradition,” he says.
Jack defines his community broadly and inclusively — “the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, the neighboring Indian nations of Montana, the nations of the Americas and the entire world.” But it is Jack’s enduring commitment to the children of Montana that inspired Patti Rae Bartlett of Seeley Lake, Mont. to nominate him for the 2016 Community Spirit Award.
“In the course of the past 30 years, Jack has been an iconic positive role model, both culturally and athletically, to students across the state of Montana,” Patti says. “Jack shares Montana’s indigenous heritage with students and communities through both story and song. This prompts students of all ethnicities to reflect upon their own identities and encourages them to trace their own ancestral paths.”
"Throughout my life’s passage, family, tribal and academic mentors have nurtured me. Through the realm of mytho-poetic and historical tradition, I have been drawn to and strengthened by the power of stories. Stories that inform. Stories that inspire. Stories… that heal. Through the composition of lyrical portraits, I reconnect with our common tribal heritage. Within our human core, we’re all indigenous." — Jack Wallace Gladstone