Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Obama Adopted into the Crow Nation (UPDATED)

AT THE AGE OF 34, Barack Obama became an orphan when his mother died of ovarian cancer. His father, who abandoned him when he was two and whom he only saw once, died in a car accident in Kenya when Barack was around 20.

Yesterday, before Barack gave an address to the Crown Nation in Crow Agency, Montana, he got new parents.

Earlier, in a private ceremony, the candidate was adopted into the Black Eagle family of the tribe under the name Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuuxshish, or "One Who Helps People Throughout the Land."

Crow Vice Chairman Cedric Black Eagle said a purification ceremony was performed in which the candidate faced east — the source of new life — and was prayed over by his adopted father, Hartford Black Eagle.

Just the thought of the ceremony brought tears to my eyes. Touched me a place just beneath my navel. My adoptive father was part Blackfeet. Growing up in Wisconsin, I was exposed to Native American people and culture and have incorporated some Indian ritual into my own spirituality.

Barack Black Eagle is the first national politician to step foot on the Crow Nation reservation in history.

But make no mistake, Barack's adoption is "official." It's a spiritual/familial thing that goes far beyond politics. And he knows it.

It starts with a sense of respect. It starts with the belief that all people are worthy of respect. I will never forget you. You will be on my mind every day that I'm in the White House.

We can make sure that we have a President who's committed to what's right: respecting you, honoring you. Where I grew up there weren't a lot of black families, so I know what it feels like to be an outsider. And now that I'm a member of the family, you know that I won't break my commitment to my brothers and sisters.

He also said that “few have been ignored by Washington for as long as native Americans – the first Americans.” He told his family that he intended to appoint a Native American adviser to his administration. He also vowed to improve the health care and education opportunities on reservations across the nation.

I have no doubt he will keep his word for he is one who helps people throughout the land.

That this adoption happened on the same day that Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, endorsed Barack calling him a "noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian" in whom he has complete faith, made yesterday a huge day for Barack Black Eagle and for America herself.

Know hope.

UPDATE: Barack Black Eagle


Lenoxave said...

Beautiful slideshow. I was also horrified to learn that Barack was the 1st politician to visit The Crow Reservation.

Coalition building and representation at its finest.

Ms.Martin said...


I too thought this was a special moment in time. They have got his back.

I've tried to add you to my feeds list, but there is not a link.

Do you subscribe to feedburner?

Craig Hickman said...

ms.martin, I just opened a feedburner account.

My Feedburner Feed

Ms.Martin said...


I'm still not getting the link to subscribe to your feed.

Ms.Martin said...

Okay, I finally figured it out.

SouthernGirl2 said...

Hi Craig,

What a beautiful slideshow! So emotional! I take heart to this because I also have Native American blood ties!

Barack is an amazing man! He reaches out to everyone. It's shameful that he is the "first" American presidential candidate to visit the reservation. I'm confident he'll do more for them! God Bless Barack!