American tribal elder who 'adopted' Obama dies at 78
A native American elder who ceremonially adopted President Barack Obama into the 'Crow nation' has died, aged 78.
Hartford 'Sonny' Black Eagle Jr passed away on Monday on a reservation in the US state of Montana, his family said.
He had been ill with emphysema and pneumonia. In May 2008, he gave then-Senator Obama a name meaning 'One who helps people throughout the land'.
Black Eagle attended Obama's inauguration and later White House conferences on Native American affairs.
According to the BBC, Obama was adopted by the traditional healer in a ceremony in Montana during a visit ahead of that state's Democratic Party primary.
Obama, who was nearing the end of his primary campaign against then-Senator Hillary Clinton, won the state, the report said.
The candidate said at the time it was 'an enormous honour' to be adopted into the Crow nation and struggled to pronounce his new name, the report added.
"Barack Black Eagle," he then quipped, adding: "That is a good name."