Language peservation is an important part of tribal college curriculum. But did you know that native languages have helped keep Amercica free?
Native American language used as code was made famous by the Navajos in WWII. Ironically, these men voluntarily served this country and used their language to help win the war six years before the Native American Citizenship Act. It is also ironic that at the same time the Choctaw language was being used to benefit the war effort, Native languages were being banned in government schools.
Help is needed to recognize the original Native American Code Talkers. The Assistant Chief of the Choctaw nation is working with members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill that will make it possible to issue medals for service as a Code Talker. Congressman Dan Boren has introduced HB 4544, which currently has 95 co-sponsors. 289 co-sponsors are needed, and many Congressional representatives need to hear from their constituents before they will agree to sign on.
The Navajos’ service was recognized with medals in 2000. However, members of other Native American tribes also used their languages as unbreakable top-secret codes in WWI and WWII. Choctaws were the first to use their Native language as “code” to transmit messages on the field.
All of the Choctaw Code Talkers are now deceased. Only a few of their children remain. Recognition of these men is needed now. HB 4544 and S 2681 would allow a gold medal to be presented to each tribe, with a silver duplicate medal presented to individual Code Talkers or their families. Bronze medals will be sold by the United States Mint, and all costs will come from the revolving fund for such activities of the Treasury, with no appropriations necessary.
Please contact your representatives and ask them to support these bills as a co-sponsor.
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