"The Creator gifted each and every one of us with something special.
You find that within yourself. All your dreams can come true.
The greatest gifts on earth are Godís children. Donít be afraid to share with
the people, because we all come from one Creator."
An enrolled member of Fort Bertholdís three affiliated tribes, Kenny Merrick, Jr.ís experience with Indian culture has been life-long in the making. Mr. Merrick is also a Grammy nominated musician who has traveled around the world performing Native American music. During his school programs, he talks about American Indian folk lore, customs, and reverence for nature and elders--and also plays the flute. If space allows, Kenny invites the entire school audience, teachers and students alike, to participate in a drum dance.
Raised on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, North Dakota and currently teaching, composing and performing for the Mashantucket Pequot Nation, Kenny Merrick, Jr., possesses authentic, extensive knowledge of Native American music, dance and culture and has been nurtured and taught by those who believe in the tradition that Indian culture should be passed on to the next generation. In addition to playing the Native American flute, he is drum instructor for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and lead singer and drum coordinator for the Mystic River singers.
Mr. Merrick began learning traditional native songs in 1976, receiving instruction from the following well-known and well-respected elders: Kenny Merrick, Sr., Lake Region, Badland Singers; Paul Little and Ignancious Jackson, Little Brothers; Chuck Spotted Bird, Gary Drum and Ben Grey Hawk, Sr., Badland Singers; and Jim Black Dog, and Ben Grey Hawk, Sr., the Fort Kipp Singers. Life in Harmony is his current CD.
Kenny Merrick, Jr. is also skilled in choosing the proper song for specific rituals or ceremonies, according to indigenous protocol, and has performed on flute, hand drum or group-drum for memorial songs, veteran songs, honor songs, flag songs, thank you songs, round dance songs, rabbit dance songs, Crow hop songs, Gohomenny hand drum songs and intertribal songs. Mr. Merrickís work with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mystic Singers requires him to be continuously creating new songs. His songs have been used by John Trudell, Valerie Red Horse in the film "Naturally Native," the American Indian Dance Theatre (set to choreographed dance), and in the short documentary film, "The Mural." He is also an experienced Arena Director and Powwow Coordinator.