Montana tribal elder who 'adopted' Obama dies

By

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An elder from Montana's Crow Indian Tribe who ceremoniously adopted then-Sen. Barack Obama into his family during the 2008 presidential race has died.

Tribal officials say 78-year-old Hartford "Sonny" Black Eagle Jr. died Monday at his home in Lodge Grass on the tribe's reservation in the southeastern part of the state.

Black Eagle and his family adopted Obama during a traditional ceremony involving the candidate in the weeks leading up to Montana's Democratic primary.

As part of his adoption, Obama received a Crow name that translates as "One Who Helps People Throughout the Land."

Black Eagle and his wife, Mary, later attended Obama's presidential inauguration.

Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday in Crow Agency. Black Eagle's son, Cedric, is the outgoing Crow tribal chairman.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.