By definition, a “code talker” refers to a Native American who served during a foreign conflict and transmitted a secret coded message in their traditional tribal language for military operations during World War I and World War II.

In 2000, Navajo Code Talkers were honored with Congressional Gold Medals for their services in developing and implementing their traditional Dine’ language as a secretive code of communication on the battle fields in both WWI and WWII.

“However, many Americans do not know that members of nearly 32 other Indian tribes served as codetalkers in World War I and World War II and have never been formally recognized for their service to our country,” said Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado at the Senate Hearing on Code Talkers

During this hearing on the “Contributions of Native American Code Talkers in American Military History, Senator Campbell lists 32 other tribes to serve as code talkers during both the Pacific and European campaigns as; Comanche, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Osage, Lakota, Dakota, Chippewa, Oneida, Sac and Fox, Meskwaki, Hopi, Assiniboine, Kiowa, Pawnee, Akwesasne, Menominee, Creek, Cree Seminole Tribes and Other unlisted tribes...

Clarence Wolf Guts, last surviving Lakota code talker who passed away in 2010, testified at the 2004 Senate Hearing, “I am a full-blood Indian, and we do whatever we can to protect the United States because we love America… I was sitting there in the foxhole with a radio, trying to give the orders that were given to us to pass on to the chief-of-staff… We used our own code and we did whatever we could to protect our country… When I see young children playing without supervision, I realize why we’re over there.”

It was during World War II when many of the other Oceti Sakowin tribal groups served as code talkers. This would include the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, with Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe continuing research to confirm code talkers.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) has the largest number of code talkers for any tribe across the country to receive the Congressional Gold Medal; including Navajo code talkers.

Despite not becoming citizens of the United States until June 2, 1924, the first reported use of Native Americans as code talkers was on October 17, 1918 during World War I. This was nearly 24 years after the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Walter "Cody" John served as a code talker during World War II. 

The Native American code talkers took great pride in the oath of secrecy for their service as military instruments which helped to defeat the enemies of the United States on many battle fields.


Responses to "Honoring 33 Native Tribes who Served As Code Talkers to Save the U.S"

  1. They all deserve recognition and medals!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to a group of men who used their personal skills to aid this country in such a valuable way!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I'm not an American but have always respected the native Indian Tribes for not only what they did during WW2 but now have found out what they did in WW1 as well.The native tribes are to America what the Gurkha people of Nepal are to us British people completely loyal and should be honored that way.

  4. Anonymous says:

    now look at what they're doing at Standing Rock... ungrateful

  5. Just taking care of our country! I'm so proud of all that helped win the war. May you all walk with the Creator. Rest in peace. Thank you. ❤️

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you all for serving our country & our people! You honor us all, even though I did not know you personally! Now you have taken your places beside The Great Spirit & continue to be a Blessing to all of us ♡♡♡

  7. More information like this NEEDS to be shared with more americans, in the U.S.A. especially.. Even teenagers in schools do not know of the long dedicated services that the First Nations Indigenous People have sacrificed to help keep this country safe!

  8. mscurry50 says:

    What a unique way of using your own language to help keep this country and soldiers safe. I applaud you and the work you have done. Thank you for your service and may you always remembered with honor for doing an outstanding job. It shouldn't of taken so long for Native Americans to be recognized for their unique abilities. I understand why it had to be secret though. The fact that the language of each tribe is
    different definitely made a bigger challenge for the enemy.

  9. 1sbwa says:

    Of course that would lead to needing so.e answers to the claims by natives that the US Government wiped out all native languages by forbidding them.

  10. When there is no more water, land, food, the circle of life has a code , and to all wars the language of the universe can only see to it that original people of "turtle Island" and granted that of the man and women with the gift of language. Then being said, it is not to forget to the begotten people. Honor is Victorious, dishonor is a rude awakening. Always know your path of life, for choices of riches is not always the protection of spiritual being, however you will always be victorious that you walk humble. Protect Mother Earth and her children for the blood will soon appear to be showing its true colours. -endensum 777-17

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you all for your service to America.You are true American heroes that our childern ought to be learning about in schools.You have alot of repect from me.

  12. Yatee he ...I was lucky to meet a Navajo code talker and thank him personnally during a pow-wow.
    As a tour guide I always talk about that story during my stay in Dine nation. I have lots of respect for the Indian nations that survived today. They have so much to teach us ...

  13. Anonymous says:

    Aho,from Korean war UNSMC,Winchester,NH


  15. In the world today, greed and disrespect rule our society. Does anyone remember when dedication to America as a nation of fellow citizens was our standard? Our Native American citizens have NEVER forgotten. There is a cost to the wonderful membership we enjoy as American citizens!

  16. neache says:

    Every Native American Tribe and its members and their respective Nations, should receive the respect that was taken from them. Thank you all for winning the wars this country has fought, for without you, many more lives would have been lost. I salute you all.

  17. Is Very Very importan Heart is Mhoter-

  18. The statement "This [1918] was nearly 24 years after the Battle of the Little Big Horn" is incorrect. That battle took place in 1876, 42 years before.

  19. I realize that the Navajo completed a great service to a country they owed nothing to. The 2 original Choctaw code Talkers and their brothers that made up a total of 26 languages in the 36 th Division in World War I,need more recognition in my (doesn't matter) opinion. Without these men, would the U.S. military have actually thought of using languages they were trying to destroy?

  20. Thom Faircloth says:

    It is a shame that Ben Nighthorse Campbell did not mention the Dine' (Navajo). As a chief of the Northern Cheyanne who served Colorado which borders on Navajo lands in both Arizona and New Mexico he should know better. The Navajo Code Talkers memorial at Window Rock Arizona is breathtaking.

  21. Unknown says:

    The land is still theirs, the minds and souls of the occupiers will not return to connectivity with the earth and skies until they can understand what they have done with repentance and humility and return to equality and respect for all life

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