Jack Gladstone "Montana's Blackfeet Troubadour"
Gig Seeker Pro

Jack Gladstone "Montana's Blackfeet Troubadour"

Kalispell, Montana, United States | INDIE

Kalispell, Montana, United States | INDIE
Band Americana




"Montana Iwo Jima soldier gets tribute 65 years later"

By KIM BRIGGEMAN Missoulian | Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2010 12:00 am |

MISSOULA — The focus on Louis Charlo, when there’s a focus at all, is how he helped raise the first flag on Iwo Jima and how he died there.
There is so much more to the story, and Jack Gladstone is determined to tell it.
“This is a coming out of the bear’s den for this grizzly,” Montana’s Native “PoetSinger” from Kalispell and the Blackfeet Indian Nation said last week.
Gladstone is making an epic cut he calls “Remembering Private Charlo” into an 11-minute, 45-second centerpiece for his first new CD in seven years, one he’s calling “Native Anthropology.”
On Tuesday, the 65th anniversary of the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi on the tiny Japanese island in the South Pacific, Gladstone was in a recording session in Tucson, Ariz. He’s working with the likes of Montana virtuoso David Griffith and Will Clipman, a percussionist-drummer for Native flutist R. Carlos Nakai. Clipman, like Nakai, is a multi-Grammy nominee.
“I’m going to lay the rhythm beds for probably the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Gladstone.
He’ll be back in Montana next week to record, and said he would love to have the CD out by mid-May.
In “Remembering Private Charlo,” Gladstone invokes the long history of Charlo’s Bitterroot Salish people and ties it to what he calls “the predominant question in becoming human.” That is, the biblical query, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Chief Three Eagles and the Salish said “yes” to that question when they welcomed a weakened Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Bitterroot Valley in 1805 and supplied the strangers with horses. The chief laid down white robes, signifying a covenant, a symbolic treaty of good will.
Gladstone’s song traces relations between the Salish and the U.S. government over the next century and more. It was a relationship tinged, he said, by the “growing pains of a young nation that sometimes goes through fits of amnesia and attention deficit.”
It was a true trail of tears that Chief Charlo, Louis Charlo’s great-grandfather, and his people followed on a journey from their homeland in the Bitterroot to the government-formed Jocko Agency in 1891, Gladstone said. Within two decades, that reserve would be opened to white settlement.
He said Chief Charlo’s own grandfather had served the United States in the Indian Wars. War after foreign war, the Salish and other American Indian tribes have distinguished themselves by serving their country in ratios surpassed by no other segment of society.
So it was that Louis Charlo, barely 17, brought home to Evaro a box of chocolates in 1943 and begged his mother to let him enlist in the Marines as the guns of war boomed. Maybe it was coincidence, maybe fate, that placed Pvt. Charlo on the USS Missoula en route to Iwo Jima, along with the other soldiers who would raise the first flag on Mount Suribachi to a celebratory cacophony of American soldiers and gunboats.
It was the first foreign flag to be planted on Japanese soil in four millennia, and it came five days after the initial invasion of the island deemed critical for American air strikes on Japan.
The battle, which involved more than 100,000 U.S. and Japanese warriors, would last another 31 days after the first flag and then a second, larger and more famous, were planted. More than 6,800 Americans died, as did all 22,000 Japanese defenders.
On the morning of Feb. 23, “Chuck” Charlo was one of four men selected to scale the island’s tallest feature, Mount Suribachi, in what many saw as a suicidal mission. They made it unscathed.
Gladstone has meticulously researched the battle and Charlo’s part in it — “I probably know more than I emotionally should be allowed to know without having been there,” he said.
The four-man squad then retreated down the slopes, but later in the day joined a 40-man platoon that went back up. There’s debate about whether Charlo physically helped plant the first flag. Gladstone is convinced he was, based on a conversation with Chuck Lindberg.
Gladstone was working on a CD in the 1990s that included a song about Navajo Codetalkers in World War II. Lindberg was the last survivor of the flag raisers. As the two visited, he told Gladstone of Charlo’s role that day. It was the first Gladstone had heard of the story.
He became more interested a few years ago, when Louis’ sister, Mary Jane Charlo, told him about her brother’s heroism. She worried about his legacy.
“She said, ‘It’s like nobody even cares.’ It was kind of a call for me to do something,” Gladstone said.
Shortly after, Gladstone heard from Bill Worf in Missoula. Worf, from Rosebud County, was also an 18-year-old Marine on Iwo Jima. He was less than a mile away when the first flag went up.
Now 82, Worf is retired from the U.S. Forest Service. He said he had heard Gladstone’s musical tribute to Ira Hayes, an American Indian from the Pima Reservation in Arizona who helped raise the second flag on Suribachi. The photo of that won a Pulitzer Prize for Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.
Johnny Cash took Peter LaFarge’s “The Ballad of Ira Hayes” to No. 3 on the Billboard country music chart in 1964. The 2006 Clint Eastwood film, “Flags of Our Fathers,” based on James Bradley’s 2000 best-seller of the same name, cemented Hayes’ legacy as a war hero who died forgotten and exploited.
“When I heard that song, I wanted Jack to know there was another flag-raising and there was a Montana Indian involved,” said Worf, who learned of Charlo the day the flag was raised. His platoon leader, Owen Jarvis, told him when he reported to pick up rations.
“He said, ‘I just wanted you to know another kid from Montana was one of the ones who raised it,’ ” said Worf. “He told me the man’s name was Louis Charlo, and I put it in my head that I was going to meet him as soon as I could.”
Worf had made it known he planned to go to the University of Montana to become a forest ranger. So Jarvis also pointed out that day that the flag and the men who raised it had reached Iwo Jima aboard the USS Missoula.
Louis “Chuck” Charlo died on March 2, 1945. In a sector nicknamed “The Meat Grinder,” he tried to carry wounded private Ed McLaughlin of Boys Town, Neb., to safety. Both were gunned down.
According to the Bible, Cain slew his brother Abel in a fit of jealousy.
“God asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother?’ ” Gladstone said. “And Cain responded with another question: ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’
“In the last spontaneous act of his life, Private Louis Charlo of the Bitterroot Salish nation answered that question with action. He answered it with compassion, with an understanding that he was linked with his brother, and in saving his brother, he would save himself.”
Some 140 years after his forefathers rescued Lewis and Clark, Louis Charlo made the ultimate sacrifice to carry a private from Nebraska to safety.
“When we look at (Feb. 23, 1945) in history, we say, ‘Yeah, there was an Indian up there. Oh, yeah, the drunken Ira Hayes,’ ” Gladstone said, echoing the words of “The Ballad of Ira Hayes.”
“I don’t want to hear about the drunken Ira Hayes any more. I want to hear about Private Louis Charlo. I want the country to understand that at the highest levels of the human spirit, he had risen up and he had given himself — it seemed overtly to the United States and maybe to his Bitterroot Salish nation. But in the final act of his existence, he simply was trying to save another fellow human being, in a total selfless context.”
“That,” insisted Gladstone, “is what brotherhood is all about.” - Missoulian, Great Falls Tribune, Helena Independent Record

"Gladstone, Montana singers featured on state’s ‘hold music’"

The State of Montana is putting Blackfeet singer-songwriter Jack Gladstone’s musical career on hold.
No, really.
Hundreds of times a day, when someone calls the state and gets put on hold — and, friends, you often get put on hold — the music people hear is Gladstone’s.
He’s one of five Montana artists whose music is featured on the state phone system’s “hold music,” although Gladstone n a personal favorite of Gov. Brian Schweitzer — has the most music in the rotation.
“Now, when I get put on hold — and absolutely, I get put on hold — I whistle,” Schweitzer said. “I whistle along.”
Montana’s state phone system used to have canned hold music — a kind of dreamy, syntho-jazz number so short callers would hear the same song over and over even if they were on hold a short while.
Shortly after Schweitzer became governor in 2005, he phoned someone within state government and got put on hold. He was treated to dreamy, syntho-jazz.
“I was listening to this elevator music and I thought, ‘We can do better than that,’” he said.
On the campaign, he had come across Gladstone, a Blackfeet tribal member who’s gained fame as a balladeer, storyteller and guitar-picker and now divides his time between his native St. Mary Valley on the east side of Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley where he has a business.
Gladstone said he played an early fundraiser for Schweitzer and gave him some of his CDs as road music for the campaign trail.
Schweitzer became a quick, dedicated fan. (He described Gladstone as a “diamond” to this reporter.)
State phones fall under the bailiwick of the Department of Administration. Sheryl Olson, the agency’s deputy director, said she got an inquiry from the governor’s office: Can we fix this music situation?
Vince Crewey, a state phone technician who happens to play a little music himself, solved the problem. He got an MP3 player and asked for any musical requests.
The governor’s office had a few. Gladstone, of course. But Schweitzer also asked everyone else in the office for their ideas.
About a year ago, Crewey pulled the plug on dreamy, syntho-jazz. Now, in a room in a nondescript state office building, there’s an MP3 player plugged into the state phone system. It’s loaded up with Montana-made music, which it plays at random 24 hours a day.
Callers to state government now hear one of five Montana artists. Gladstone is the most famous and heard the most often. But you’ll also get one of four songs Crewey himself had recorded. There are also songs by Darrell Casey, a Helena acoustic guitarist who plays with his sons in the regionally well-known ensemble “The Watercarvers Guild.” There’s some foot-tapping Western swing by a Livingston group called Open Range and traditional bluegrass from another Helena outfit called Bill Junior & the Montana Rangers.
The artists earn nothing but exposure, Olson said. The state has contacted each and asked permission to use the music. Additionally, Montana paid $280 to get a licensing agreement with the record company BMI to use any BMI-copyrighted material.
Now, Olson said, getting put on hold is actually kind of nice.
“You’ve got foot tapping under your desk,” she said.
Not every single state phone has Montana-grown melodies on hold. A few state agencies, especially those like the Department of Military Affairs which is housed at the military’s Fort Harrison at the edge of town, or the semi-private Montana State Fund, are on their own phone systems.
They’ve still got canned music.
Gladstone said he’s proud his music offers a bit of Montana to the hundreds of people on hold throughout the day.
“It’s a pleasant alternative,” he said. “I admire a lot of the things the governor has done and he admires my music.”

- Helena Independent Record

"Area schools participate in Adopt-A-Species Program"

Aaron Gerhart is excited to learn more about the buffalo, since all he knows now is that the animals are big and that some of them live in Yellowstone National Park.
Gerhart, 7, is a first-grader at Jefferson Elementary, where the buffalo was unveiled on Monday morning as the school's animal for the Adopt-A-Species Program, sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service.
Jefferson is one of 16 elementary schools in the area that over the past week has held assemblies kicking off the program, themed this year as "celebrating wildlife through native culture," with special performances by Jack Gladstone, a native poet-singer.
At Smith Elementary students will spend the next year learning about the bald eagle. South of Helena at Boulder Elementary it's the river otter and to the east, students in Townsend will study the black footed ferret.
Liz Burke, conservation education specialist with the Forest Service, said the purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for students to learn about the importance of wildlife and healthy habitats in Montana.
"We wanted each school to have a close relationship with a species," she said.
The program began in 1994 and each year a new species is selected with teacher input for the participating schools.
"We hope through the six years of learning they'll have a strong personal connection to a variety of native species," Burke said.
Last year Jefferson's animal was the beaver, 6-year-old Reegan Walsh said.
"I like the buffalo better because you can make blankets out of them," she said.
Walsh said she's seen buffalo running when she was riding in a car through Yellowstone, and coincidentally was wearing a buffalo shirt.
Each school incorporates the program into daily classroom exercises differently, but all celebrate the beginning of the program for the school year with an assembly.
In Lincoln students will spend the coming year learning about grizzly bears, and Principal Laurie Maughan said students are elated.
"We finally get a big animal," she said with a laugh.
Maughan said she appreciates the way the program brings the school together as students learn and study one species together.
Each school is presented with a trunk filled with interactive learning tools specific to the chosen animal.
Shelley Dempsey, principal at Cecilia Hazelton Elementary in Townsend, said teachers use the supplemental materials to create art, play games, and tell stories.
"The teachers use the trunk a lot throughout the year," she said. "I think it's an awesome program for the kids."
Performances by Gladstone at the assemblies were funded by the Office of Public Instruction as a way to integrate Indian Education for All into the program.
Gladstone speaks passionately about each animal to the students and incorporates songs and stories into the half-hour presentations.
"It's an enormous honor to introduce the students in Helena and these adjacent communities to our original Montana cultural perspective," Gladstone said. "That perspective is one of community and kinship, and since we are all children of a common creator we can also be considered brothers and sisters. This relationship extends beyond the human world - it expands to all creation."
Gladstone said the buffalo is one of his favorite animals and shared songs he wrote about the animal with students at Jefferson.
He told the students in order to be open to the teachers of nature they must have an attribute of humility. Gladstone said humility must be balanced with pride, just as a bird must use two wings to fly.
"A bird with just one wing will just tumble and crash," he said.
Mike Jetty, Indian Education Specialist with OPI, said sponsoring Gladstone in these assemblies fit perfectly since the theme this year was about promoting Indian Education for All through species.
"Jack is such a good performer to engage interest and his songs connect to the species," Jetty said. "These were just a kickoff and we wanted to do something that was visible and engaging since all the teachers and students hear it.
"It's the first step, and we hope throughout the year teachers are incorporating Indian content with the Adopt-a-Species program."
Reporter Alana Listoe:
447-4081 or alana.
listoe@helenair.com - Helena Independent Record

"Jack Gladstone features music from his newest album Saturday"

Blackfeet balladeer Jack Gladstone showcases music from his latest album,"Native Anthropology," Saturday during a free presentation at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. He appears from 2 to 3 p.m.
Co-produced with Philip Aaberg and David Griffith, Gladstone's 15th album is arguably his most elaborate to date. More than 100 people contributed to the album in some capacity, including the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School Honors Choir in Helena and the Glacier High School Echos Honors Choir in Kalispell.
Terrance Guardipee, who Gladstone refers to as "probably the hottest American Indian artist in the country right now," provided cover and liner art.
The album's lush tonal landscape comes courtesy of an eclectic range of instrumentation, including Native American hand flutes and drums, mandolin, bazuki, autoharp, mandolin, Dobro, fiddle, cello, saxophone, organ and shakuhachi flute, along with acoustic guitars, bass and percussion.
In a recent phone interview, Gladstone called the album "the most musically diverse album I've ever done."
The album's subtitle is "Challenge, Choice and Promise in the 21st Century." As the subtitle implies, an overriding theme presented in the recording's 14 tracks is raising the collective consciousness of current societal maladies and, drawing from a traditional Native American world view, relying on the mutual spiritual interconnectedness of humankind and the natural world to overcome challenges in the new century.
"On this planet, especially in this country, we are faced with an enormous challenge to grow up," Gladstone mused, "and to recognize that we are interdependent with the rest of the planet, people, creatures and biosphere. We have the opportunity to rise to the occasion and help our own survival."

Dependence on fossil fuels and reckless consumerism are examined in the songs "Fossil Fuel Sinner" and "Conspicuous Consumption."
"We're in a fossil fuel-based reality right now," Gladstone said. "We're behaving as if we can continue indefinitely at this level of consumption.”
Gladstone stressed that in making observations, he's assuming the role of the Native American Trickster for a purpose.
"I understand anytime I point the finger at someone else, there are three pointing back at me," he explained, "so I'm making fun of myself as an American, and I'm trying to point out the irony and the tragedy that we are unfolding. I'm not pointing fingers without recognizing that I, too, am part of the problem."
The centerpiece track on the album is "Remembering Private Charlo," which pays tribute to the Bitterroot Salish Indian who participated in the first raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima while serving in the Marines.
The song spans several "movements" that include Native American verses, F.D.R.'s "Infamy Address" as well as poetic references to USMC boot camp and the U.S.S. Missoula. Gladstone's extensive research crafting the song included interviews with six Iwo Jima veterans, some of whose voices are featured in narrative. Gladstone noted the song's message alludes to a reverence for unity among races and cultures.
"The extension of that reverence, that respect and that friendship that was established between Lewis and Clark and the Bitterroot Salish ultimately culminated in in one of the sons of the Bitterroot Salish helping raise the first flag on Iwo Jima and also dying on the island trying to save a fellow Marine," Gladstone explained. "The important thing is that Charlo demonstrated the finest quality that we can find in a human being is that spontaneous willingness to sacrifice his life for a fellow human being and a fellow American. That's what it's all about."
While obviously proud of his latest recording, Gladstone seems to view himself simply as a humble messenger. "This album is almost like jumper cables," he said with a chuckle. "I would like to entertain, inspire and maybe in my own way enlighten."
- Great Falls Tribune

"Songs, Poems and Storytelling in ‘Native Anthropology’ Jack Gladstone releases 15th album"

By Molly Priddy of the Flathead Beacon
August 4, 2010
Blackfeet Nation poet-singer Jack Gladstone recently released his 15th album, and at least one of the songs on it took nearly 15 years to complete.
The song, “Remembering Private Charlo,” is about the short life but long history of Louis Charlo, a Marine from Montana who died during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. Charlo was part of the first American flag raising on Iwo Jima, Gladstone recounts, but his story begins back when Lewis and Clark first encountered Indians in the early 1800s.
“Remembering Private Charlo” began ruminating in Gladstone’s mind in 1997 after a visit with another WWII veteran who was also engaged in the first flag raising. The idea sat for another nine years, until in 2006 when Gladstone began work on the song in earnest.
The resulting epic is a 10-minute-long history lesson, beginning back in 1805 when Lewis and Clark first made their trek through what is now Montana. The song is deepened with various instruments, including a shakuhachi flute from Japan, and several cameos, one from a barking, retired Marine colonel and one from former-President Franklin Roosevelt.
“There is nothing like this that I’ve done,” Gladstone said, describing the song as the cornerstone of his new album, “Native Anthropology: Challenge, Choice and Promise in the 21st Century.”
Gladstone’s latest effort, released Aug. 1, follows his style of integrating traditional Blackfeet Nation stories with current events, as well as analyzing history through song and poetry.
Called Montana’s Blackfeet Troubadour, Gladstone is a mainstay for many in Montana. His powerful voice is recognizable to those familiar with his summer “Native America Speaks” series in Glacier National Park, which he has been performing for nearly three decades.

The works in “Native Anthropology” cover a broad range of subjects, from global warming to war to the love a man can feel for a strong cup of coffee. Throughout the album, Gladstone handily takes on the role of wordsmith, something he refers to as being the “matador of metaphor.”
“It is designed to inspire introspection,” Gladstone said. “I think this is a really critical time in human history.”
Several songs on the album deal with fossil fuels and the culture of consumption in America. Gladstone admits to often playing the trickster character in these songs, giving listeners a tongue-in-cheek performance.
In “Fossil Fuel Sinner,” Gladstone sings with a local gospel choir cobbled together for this track. The initial plan was to use a choir from Tennessee, but when that didn’t work out, they improvised. “We ended up just doing a pick-up gospel choir in the studio and they sound great,” Gladstone said. The resulting “Fossil Gospel Choir” consists of Denise Sterhan, Sandy Matheny, McKinley “Saxman” Cunningham, Craig Barton and Rob Quist.
Though the song is playful, Gladstone insists the subjects of over-consumption and global warming should not be taken lightly. The point is to start taking serious inventory of American lifestyle, he said.
“We do what we can do because this is our responsibility, not so much for ourselves but for the generations that depend upon our actions for their wellbeing,” Gladstone said.
The ballad, “Chapel of Sea,” written on a trip to Greece, also portrays the immense beauty of the earth, Gladstone said.
“It’s the most gorgeous ballad I’ve written,” Gladstone said.
To help bolster the album’s musical achievements, Gladstone enlisted the help of multiple industry heavyweights. It was produced and arranged by Gladstone, Phillip Aaberg and David Griffith, as well as Michael Atherton.
Gladstone also brought R. Carlos Nakai on board to play the native flutes and Will Clipman to play native drums and percussion. Both are at the top of their profession, Gladstone said.

Also featured on the album are the Glacier High School “Echoes” Choir and the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School Honors Choir from Helena.
While discussing “Remembering Private Charlo,” Gladstone emphasizes the unique connection between the United States and the American Indian nations. He tries to take on the role of cultural bridge-builder with this and other songs, he said.
“The moral of the story is that we have separate identities in this country, but we also have a common identity,” Gladstone said.
For more information on Jack Gladstone and a list of concert times in Glacier National Park, visit www.jackgladstone.com.

- Flathead Beacon


Jack Gladstone
Native Anthropology
Hawkstone Records
Gladstone is a noted storyteller, actor, educator, singer and songwriter from the Blackfeet Nation of Montana. He has 15 albums to his credit, collections that seamlessly blend American folk and pop, country and Native music into a style that’s all his own. Gladstone’s lilting tenor, superlative arranging skills and the talents of special guests R. Carlos Nakai on flute and Will Clipman on drums and percussion make this CD another winner. The songs include the tongue-in-cheek 50’s rocker “Conspicuous Consumption”, traditional Blackfeet singing on “Two Flags Song” and “Rainbow Medley” and a beautiful arrangement that includes “Over the Rainbow” and “Let It Be”. The album’s centerpiece is “Remembering Private Charlo”, an ambitious 10-minute track that uses the life of Louis Charlo, one of the Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, to illuminate the role of Native people in the U.S. military during World War II. - NATIVE PEOPLES, article not available on-line

"Listening to HISTORY: Poetsinger and storyteller describes American Indian life and culture"

With one finger pointing up on each side of their heads, the students were ready to run through a blizzard.
The fifth- and sixth-graders at Park Elementary School became buffalo for part of a song by poetsinger Jack Gladstone. The song tells the story of how buffalo charged through snowstorms, facing their troubles head on. Gladstone shared signs from American Indian sign language and words from the language of the Blackfeet Indian Nation of Montana.
"With American Indian sign language, we could speak with our hands," Gladstone said. "An individual could go from one tribal language to another."
Gladstone transforms ancient legends and Western history into song. He has performed at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian since 2006.
Gladstone and storyteller Greg Rodgers shared parts of Native American life with Park students on Wednesday morning. The two were joined by baseball legend Jackie Robinson, played by Gregory Gibson Kenney. Kenney was in Casper as part of the "Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience" traveling exhibit sponsored by the Natrona County Public Library.Fifth-grader Olivia Kitterman said the presentations were a fun way to learn.
"I learned that people couldn't change and in the old days it was hard to reach your goals," Kitterman said.
Gladstone, Rodger, historian Herman J. Viola and storyteller Jim Garry traveled to schools as part of the Smithsonian Scholars in the Schools program. The program selects speakers for topics found in the Smithsonian Institution's museums and research in art, culture and history, and Earth and space science.
The scholars planned to visit Grant, Oregon Trail, Sagewood and Southridge elementary schools. To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center will host the scholars for a free family day on Saturday.
- Billings Gazette & Casper Star Tribune

"Blackfeet troubadour tells history from Indians’ viewpoint"

Gladstone tells history from Indians’ viewpoint

By GAIL SCHONTZLER Chronicle Staff Writer

lackfeet singer and storyteller Jack Gladstone came to Bozeman to teach kids about American Indian culture and history, so it was surprising to hear him sing about shopping.
Gladstone, 51, who has been called Montana’s troubadour by Gov. Brian Schweitzer, brought his six-string guitar to perform Tuesday for hundreds of students at Morning Star Elementary and Sacajawea Middle School.
Gladstone told seventh-graders at Sacajawea how the British Hudson Bay Company came to Canada and started offering Indian trade goods for beaver pelts.
“It was the beginning of the transformation of Indian people from hunting and gathering to consumerism.” he said.
For thousands of years, the Blackfeet had had a “sacred covenant” with animals like the beaver and wolf, he said. Animals had been crucial to Indian songs, dances and creation stories.
Suddenly animals became commodities - something to trade for wool sox, blankets, bolts of flannel, looking glasses, beads and hard rock candy.

“The reverence and respect for nature, the recognition that we are part of the community, all children of the same Creator... with the fur trade, it started to fracture,” Gladstone said. “All of a sudden, all we could see was dollars and cents.”
In a song called the “Hudson Bay Blues,” he sang about the traders giving Indians rum, or firewater.
“They got us ready for shoppin,” Gladstone sang.
Students sang along on the chorus and laughed when he described walking today into Wal-Mart, Kmart or Costco, and realizing the giant stores are “fur trading posts - on steroids!”
He taught students about the huge impact it had on Plains Indians when “elk-dogs,” the Blackfeet word for horses, arrived 300 years ago. Horse power meant that Indians who had often starved could hunt more effectively and enjoy a surplus of bison meat and robes.
He also sang and talked about the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark’s Corp of Discovery from the Indian point of view.
When John Colter and a fellow fur trader were captured by Blackfeet in 1808, he said, “Colter was relieved of his clothing and turned loose.”
“He invented streaking!” Gladstone joked. “Our Blackfeet invented catch and release!”
Gladstone said his father was Blackfeet and his mother German. He has taught at the community college in Browning, performed for 25 years in Glacier National Park and recorded 14 CDs.
He ended with advice to students: “Everybody is responsible to make this a better place. You don’t have to do it all, just do your little part.” Save energy, he said, fight climate change, and maybe do a little less shopping.
“I thought it was really cool,” said Scarlett Perry, 12. “I never knew (traders) got them liquored up to buy stuff.”
“He did an amazing job.” said Anna Atwell, 13. “It was a real honor to have him here.”
Micki Abercrombie, the school’s Indian education coordinator, said it’s important for all Montana students to learn about the Native American experience.
“It expands our vision of who we are as people of Montana and enriches our lives.” she said. “It has the power to transform the way people look at each other.”
Gail Schontzler can be reached at gails@dailychronicle.com or (406) 582-2633. - Bozeman Daily Chronicle


Native Anthropology (2010)
Native Anthropology, Challenge, Choice and Promise in the 21st Century” is Jack Gladstone’s most elaborate and relevant album to date. A tapestry of new compositions highlight U.S. Consumerism, Petro-holism, Caffeine Addiction, Patriotism, Spiritualism and Native Mysticism. Musical styles include Middle Eastern, Folk, Gospel, Soft Rock, A Capella and Native Americana. Co-produced by Phil Aaberg (former keyboardist with Peter Gabriel and Elvin Bishop) “Native Anthropology” boldly inventories and illustrates the triumphs and contradictions of contemporary American culture.

Additionally, Jack has produced 14 other albums that have garnered critical acclaim and award nominations. Among them are:

Tappin’ The Earth’s Backbone (2002)
These storysongs spring from the east slope of the Rockies adjacent to the Blackfeet reservation. A somber highlight is the haunting “Sometimes Eagles” a story of heroism, sacrifice, and tragedy stemming from combat over Nazi Germany in WWII. “Tappin the Backbone” is a phrase that can be taken numerous ways. “We tap the earth when we walk and dance. We tap into something for a deeper understanding. Tappin’ into the Backbone implies that we’re responding to our planet in the deepest level possible: physically, emotionally and spiritually.”

Buffalo Cafe (1998)
Jack’s all time best selling CD chronicles the Northwestern Plains from the “long ago time” into the Glory Days of the Plains Indian, and finally, through the sunset of the Buffalo Days in the 1880’s. Tracks include: Buffalo Cafe, Coming of the Horse, Faces the Blizzard, In the Valley of the Little Big Horn, Lewis & Clark Rag, and When the Land Belonged to God.



Jack Gladstone is a Native "Storysmith" and lecturer from the Blackfeet Indian Nation of Montana. A leading voice in the presentation of indigenous culture, Jack delivers programs nationally on American Indian history and tradition. In a career spanning almost three decades, Jack has produced fifteen critically acclaimed CD’s. In 1985, Jack co-founded "Native America Speaks", an award-winning lecture series for Glacier National Park.
A former college instructor, Jack has been featured on both the Travel Channel and in USA Today magazine. Honored as a “modern day warrior and bridge builder”, he holds a Human Rights Award for Outstanding Community Service from Montana State University. Since 1997, Jack Gladstone has collaborated with Lloyd Maines, Grammy winning producer of the Dixie Chicks. He was also a key tribal voice providing alternate perspectives of the Lewis and Clark expedition during the recent bicentennial commemoration. In 2004, Jack narrated the Telly award winning Lewis and Clark film “Confluence of Time and Courage”.
In 2008, 2007 and 2006, Gladstone headlined programs at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indians in Washington D.C. In the fall of 2008, Jack travelled as Montana’s spokesperson and troubadour for the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree.
In 2010 Jack released “Native Anthropology”, a landmark recording achievement. Co-produced by legendary multi-instrumentalist David Griffith and Montana’s own Phil Aaberg. “Native Anthropology” is Gladstone’s most elaborate and timely album to date.