Obama's new name
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 05/19/2008
CROW AGENCY, Mont.—Democrat Barack Obama got a brand-new name as he courted native Americans in the West.
The presidential candidate was adopted as an honorary member of the Crow nation, and given the name Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuuxshish that translates as "One who helps people throughout the land."
"What an enormous honor this is," said Obama, occasionally stumbling to pronounce the complex native American names.
"I'm still working on it," he said. "I was just adopted into the tribe, so I'm still working on it."
Obama has actively courted the backing of native Americans throughout the region.
"One of the things I've made a point in doing is meeting tribal leaders everywhere I go," Obama said. "The government to government relationship is going to be a top priority of my administration."
Obama's adoptive parents in the tribe are Harford and Mary Black Eagle.
"Barack Black Eagle," mused Obama. "That is a good name."
Obama said growing up in Hawaii gave him gave him a sensitivity to minority issues.
"Where I grew up there weren't a lot of black families, so I know what it feel like to be an outsider," said Obama. "Now that I'm a member of the family I won't break my commitment to my brothers and sisters."