Posts Tagged ‘Navajo Code Talkers’

Navajo Code Talker Frank Chee Willeto autographs a new sign marking the Highway 264 as Navajo Code Talkers Highway at a dedication on Wednesday in Yatahey, N.M.  (Times photo – Leigh T. Jimmie)

Navajo Code Talker Frank Chee Willeto autographs a new sign marking the Highway 264 as Navajo Code Talkers Highway at a dedication on Wednesday in Yatahey, N.M. (Times photo – Leigh T. Jimmie)


Navajo Times staff report:

On Dec. 31, 1945, Jean Whitehorse’s father, the late Edmund Henry Sr., was paid a $147 stipend by the Marines and provided a one-way bus ticket from Camp Pendleton, Calif., to Gallup.

As a member of a small band of warriors now known as the Navajo Code Talkers, Henry arrived home to little fanfare.

On Wednesday, his daughter said he would have been proud to know that a portion of State Route 264 now honors their memory.

In a ceremony that took place on the eve of Veterans Day, President Joe Shirley Jr., New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and officials of the New Mexico Department of Transportation were on hand for the dedication of Navajo Code Talkers Highway, which stretches from Yah-Ta-Hey to Window Rock.

“What we are doing is a small token of appreciation to the brave men who answered the call to service,” said Jackson Gibson, New Mexico state highway commissioner. “If it wasn’t for the code talkers, I don’t know what language we would be speaking today.”

Gibson said when the men were called to service they were not even eligible to vote and most lied about their ages so they could enlist.

“They volunteered so that we could practice the freedom we have today,” he said. “In fact, we practiced it the other day when we went to the polls to vote.”

The effort to designate a Navajo Code Talkers Highway began in 1998 when Navajo Nation Council Delegate Ronald Gishey (Lower Greasewood) presented the request to the State Highway Commission, but the commission did not act.

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American Indian artists participating in a show at Zuni, N.M., last month talk with potential buyers about their jewelry and other arts. The show was held a month after Congress toughened enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, designed to fight fake Indian crafts. (AP Photo/Sue Major Holmes) Summary

American Indian artists participating in a show at Zuni, N.M., last month talk with potential buyers about their jewelry and other arts. The show was held a month after Congress toughened enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, designed to fight fake Indian crafts. (AP Photo/Sue Major Holmes) Summary



New regulation takes aim at fake Native American arts and crafts

“Falsely suggesting goods are Indian- or Alaska Native-made could be harder to get away with now that Congress has approved changes to the 1990 Indian Arts and Crafts Act,” Associated Press reporter Sue Major Homes writes. The revisions are part of the Tribal Law and Order Act, and expand the number of agencies that can investigate suspected violations.

First Nations leaders heading for Washington, D.C., to protest tar sands development

Tomorrow, a number of First Nations leaders from Canada will meet with officials in Washington, D.C., “to persuade officials to reject a pipeline project they say would pump more ‘dirty oil’ from Alberta into the United States,” the Canadian Press reports. “Francois Paulette, of the Smith’s Landing Treaty 8 First Nation, says he wants to talk to U.S. politicians about pollutants from the oilsands.”


One of original Navajo Code Talkers dies

Indian Country today has an Associated Press story reporting the death of Allen Dale June, one of the 29 original Navajo code talkers who confounded the Japanese during World War II by transmitting messages in their native language, has died. He was 91, and died of natural causes at a veterans hospital on Sept. 8, according to the story.



Thousands take part in annual Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride

Actually, make that tens of thousands, according to Trevor Stokes of the Times Daily in Alabama’s Tennessee Valley. The ride memorializes the forced, deadly relocation of Cherokee people who lived east of the Mississippi River in 1838.


Early voting on Pine Ridge Reservation faces roadblocks

The issue actually involves Shannon County, S.D., but of course that’s where the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is located. The Rapid City Journal reports that voters cannot cast an early ballot without traveling to Hot Springs in Fall River County or applying by mail for an absentee ballot. Voting in Shannon County has been the focus of controversy in recent years, especially after 2002, when Democrat Tim Johnson wrestled a Senate race away from Republican John Thune by just over 500 votes – with Shannon County votes being the last counted, prompting allegations of fraud.

Gwen Florio

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Joe Yazzie, a Vietnam veteran, is the artist-in-residence at the Trickster Gallery, the only Indian-operated art institute in Illinois. (Chicago Tribune photo)

Joe Yazzie, a Vietnam veteran, is the artist-in-residence at the Trickster Gallery, the only Indian-operated art institute in Illinois. (Chicago Tribune photo)


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Earlier today, we blogged about the objections to a memorial honoring Medal of Honor winners that unfortunately was erected on the site of a Native American village. Some groups would like to see the memorial moved to a different part of Los Angeles.

From the Chicago area comes a much more upbeat story, about the recently opened Native American Wall of Honor at Trickster Gallery.

As this Chicago Tribune story reports, it’s the second memorial to American Indian veterans in the Midwest. And, Trickster is the only arts institute in Illinois operated by Native Americans.

Joe Yazzie is the artist-in-residence this year. His stint as the gallery is fitting, given his military background: Yazzie, who grew up in New Mexico, is an Army veteran, while his brother Harold served in the Marines.

“It’s just in our blood,” he tells the Tribune. “We want to be warriors, and we tend to join the military.”

In fact, some of Yazzie’s family members are on the Wall of Honor.

“Right here, this guy, he’s my grandfather,” he tells the Tribune’s Dan Simmons, pointing to a framed photo of 37 Navajo scouts who served as military police alongside Army forces during the late-1800s campaign against Geronimo.

“And this guy here, that’s my uncle Frank,” he says, pointing to another photo on the wall of Navajo code talkers.

Some of Yazzie’s paintings feature veterans and military themes.

“They could have been doctors or lawyers,” he says of those killed in various wars. “They could have discovered things to improve our lives. But they sacrificed. Ever since, I’ve had this guilty feeling. Why them and not me?”

Gwen Florio

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12
Nov

Ya’ah’tee from the Oakland Raiders

   Posted by: admin    in Code Talkers, Navajo

That will be the message Sunday when the Raiders commemorate Native American Heritage Month with a radio broadcast in Navajo, a performance by a Native dance group, and a ceremony honoring Code Talker and former Navajo Nation leader Peter MacDonald.

Raiders“We salute the Navajo Nation and the Navajo Code Talkers and we are proud to broadcast Raider games in Navajo for the fifth consecutive season,” Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask says in this story on the team’s Web site. “We are committed to reaching our global fan base in a variety of languages and through a variety of multimedia options. Broadcasting our games in Navajo allows us to do this and also presents another opportunity to preserve the Navajo language and to salute the Navajo Code Talkers.”

MacDonald, from Teec Nos Pos, Ariz., will be honored during pregame on-field ceremonies, and Native Boogie and Beats will present a traditional dance performance.

The Raiders report that Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs will air in Navajo through an agreement with KTNN 660 AM. Ten Raider games have been broadcast in Navajo in conjunction with KTNN over the past four seasons – two in 2008, four in 2007, two in 2006 and two in 2005. L.A. Williams and Samuel Boyd, both veteran broadcasters, will call the action.

If you’re out of range, KTNN streams online here.

Some of the profits from ticket sales of Sunday’s game will go the American Indian Child Resource, Inter-tribal Friendship House, Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley and Lovelock Paiute Tribe.

Gwen Florio

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