Obit of the Day: President Obama’s Other Father
In May 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama became the first presidential candidate to visit the Crow Tribe. On that visit he not only spoke to the concerns and issues of Native Americans but was given an even greater honor. The former chairman of the Crow Nation, Hartford “Sonny” Black Eagle, adopted the candidate as his son.
Barack Obama was given the name Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuuxshish, which translates as “One Who Helps People Throughout the Land.” (President Obama would later joke that Michelle would prefer his name to be “One Who Isn’t Picking Up His Shoes and Socks.”)
President Obama would invite Hartford Black Eagle, as well as his adoptive mother Mary Black Eagle, to his 2009 Inauguration as well as to the 2011 Tribal Nations Conference held at the White House.
Hartford “Sonny” Black Eagle died on Monday, November 26 at the age of 78, one week before the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference.
Random Note: “Sonny” Black Eagle’s biological son, Cedric Black Eagle, lost the Crow Tribe general election this November. Interestingly he protested the results of the election claiming that not all voters provided legitimate forms of ID. (According to others, ID is not required and a “triple signature” process is used.) So unlike his “brother” Cedric Black Eagle will serve only one term.
(Image, “President Barack Obama listens as Hartford ‘Sonny’ Black Eagle delivers remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, at the Interior Department in Washington.” Copyright Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press and courtesy of sulekha.com)