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Hartford Black Eagle, Crow spiritual leader, passes away at 78






Hartford Black Eagle, a spiritual leader of the Crow Tribe of Montana who adopted President Barack Obama into his family, died on Monday. He was 78.

Black Eagle and his wife, Mary, adopted then-candidate Obama on a visit to the reservation in May 2008. The future president was given the name “Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuxshish," which means ”One Who Helps People Throughout This Land" in the Crow language.

“He didn’t really brag about it,” Cedric Black Eagle, the outgoing chairman of the Crow Tribe, told McClatchy Newspapers of his father.

The elder Black Eagle and his wife appeared with their adopted son at last year's White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., where the photo above was taken. The family also attended Obama's historic inauguration in January 2009.

Cedric Black Eagle said neither he nor his mother plan to attend this year's conference.

Funeral services for Hartford Black Eagle will be at 10 am Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Crow Agency Multi-Purpose Building. Interment will follow at Lodge Grass Cemetery

Get the Story:
Barack ‘Black Eagle’ Obama loses his adoptive father (McClatchy Newspapers 11/27)