Jodi Rave: Sen. Obama first to visit reservation
"The Crow Nation welcomed Sen. Barack Obama on Monday afternoon before thousands of people, marking the Democratic presidential candidate's first campaign visit to a U.S. reservation.

“It was exciting - you felt like you were a part of history, where you can be a part of change that matters, that we matter,” said Del Laverdure, a Crow tribal attorney who attended the rally on the Crow Reservation.

Obama spoke to a estimated audience of 4,000 people, mostly Native, who arrived at Crow Agency in southeastern Montana. The event was open to the public at the tribe's Apsaalooke Veterans Park. Crow elder Barney Old Coyote, one of the most decorated Native veterans in the country, provided the opening prayer. * Before Obama spoke, Crow Tribal Chairman Carl Venne asked the presidential candidate to support three proposals on behalf of Indian Country, including defending indigenous rights worldwide, appointing a Native to lead the Interior Department and honoring treaty concessions. Obama was invited to visit the tribe's homeland after leaders of the Crow, or Apsaalooke, decided to endorse the Illinois senator last week.

When he took the stage, Obama announced he was proud to have been adopted - in Crow tradition - by the Black Eagle family. And he was also given a Crow name, which translates as “That Person Who Goes Throughout Our Land And Tries To Help People,” said Laverdure.

Obama's visit to the Crow Reservation marks an unusual presidential campaign foray into tribal lands. Bobby Kennedy is arguably the last known presidential candidate to do so, campaigning on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation in 1968. He was assassinated the same year in California."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Crow ask Obama to support indigenous peoples (The Missoulian 5/20)

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