Street is no ordinary seven-year-old, second grader.
Normally hes in Mrs. Paveks
class at Sweetwater Elementary School in Devils Lake but hes
heading to Washington DC later this week to perform for the second
annual White House Tribal Nations Conference and President Barack
Street was selected for the honor by the
National Congress of American Indians after they heard his singing
on a You Tube video. He will be performing the Lakota Flag Song
at the beginning of the opening ceremonies of the conference. It
is equivalent to the National Anthem for the Lakota people.
Melissa Merrick, Streets mother,
will accompany him on his trip to Washington. She says she doesnt
know whos more excited about the trip, her son or she. They
will be leaving Wednesday morning to make sure they get to Washington
Merrick says her son has been singing
since he was two years old and has a gift for learning the words
and songs. Hes most familiar with the Lakota and Dakota
culture, she said. He is an enrolled member of the Three
Affiliated Tribes, that was my fathers tribe. I am Spirit
Lake, Dakota, and he is being raised here. The traditional way is
part of who we are, Merrick said.
A proud mom, Merrick has her hands full
raising four boys: her brother Brier Lebeau, 15; and sons Kasen,
14, Richard III, 11 and Hunter.
The White House Tribal Nations Conference
in Washington DC convenes on Thursday, Dec. 16. The opening ceremonies
was broadcoast on the www.whitehouse.gov
website. It began at 8:30 a.m. EST, 7:30 a.m. CST.
Merrick worked on the 2008 Obama campaign
locally as part of First Americans for Obama. She and her former
husband, Richard Street, Hunters father, had to pass background
checks as part of the process leading up to Hunters invitation
to the congress.
She said at last years congress
two young men from Pine Ridge performed at the opening ceremonies,
now, this year, it will be her son. Thats a real thrill
for me, I am so proud of him, Merrick said.