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Blackfeet Troubadour Celebrates MT as the "Last Best Place"

PHOTO: Montana's Blackfeet Troubadour, Jack Gladstone, will use storytelling, lyric poetry and music to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act at a series of events this summer in Montana. Photo courtesy of Jack Gladstone.
PHOTO: Montana's Blackfeet Troubadour, Jack Gladstone, will use storytelling, lyric poetry and music to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act at a series of events this summer in Montana. Photo courtesy of Jack Gladstone.
June 17, 2014

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - A troubadour of Montana's Blackfeet Indian Nation, Jack Gladstone will be at the University Theater in Great Falls on Tuesday with a presentation incorporating storytelling, lyric poetry, and music to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Wilderness Act.

The event is just one stop in a series of appearances Gladstone is making around the state to share Native American traditions. He says this is a year of reflection on a common heritage and connections to wilderness.

"The stories within our cultural traditions," says Gladstone, "the creation stories - Old Man Napi the trickster, Scarface, Morning Star. All these characters are embodied in the landscape."

Gladstone says Americans are taking advantage of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act to reaffirm the importance of wilderness to the revitalization of the human spirit.

"There's a sacred geography in the landscape," says Gladstone. "There is a saying in our tribe that the land will tell you who you are."

More than three million acres in Montana have been designated by Congress as Wilderness since the National Wilderness Preservation System was signed into law in 1964.

The anniversary events are supported by the U.S. Forest Service, Montana Wilderness Association and The Wilderness Society. Gladstone will also be appearing at the summer solstice celebration of the "longest day" at Lindley Park Pavilion in Bozeman, on Saturday, June 21st.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT