From WashingtonPost.Com

Obama Adopted into Crow Nation

Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) arrives for a campaign rally in Crow Agency, Mont., May 19, 2008. (Reuters)
By Matthew Mosk

CROW AGENCY, Mont. — Sen. Barack Obama became the first American presidential candidate to visit the reservation of the Crow Nation, and in doing so was adopted into the nation under the Crow name “One Who Helps People Throughout the Land.”

Drums pounded and the crowd cheered as Obama was escorted to the podium by his “new parents,” Hartford and Mary Black Eagle, in the manner of a groom being walked down the aisle. Obama beamed. His adoptive parents gave Obama hugs as he stepped onto a riser to speak.

“I want to thank my new parents,” he said. “The nicest parents you could ever want to know. I like my new name. Barack Black Eagle. That is a good name!”

For all the symbolism — members of the tribe wore colorful traditional clothing and feathered head-dresses — Obama addressed some issues of serious concern not only to the 12,100-member Crow Nation but to many Native American tribes around the country.

Obama told those gathered that he intended to acknowledge the “tragic history” of Native Americans over the past three centuries. They “never asked for much, only what was promised by the treaty obligations of their forebears,” he said, promising to honor those treaties.

Moreover, he pledged to bring sorely-needed “quality affordable health care and a world class education to reservations all across America. That will be a priority when I’m president.”

The visit was meaningful, said Darrin Old Coyote, a member of the tribe who wore an elaborate headdress. “To have us left out all these years, and then for him to come here, it shows respect, and it makes us optimistic,” Old Coyote said.

The visit also had political value for Obama. The members of the Crow Nation vote as “a close knit bloc,” Old Coyote said. “Now that Senator Obama is part of the family, that is where we will go.”

Barack Black Eagle…….


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