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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.

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

  1. Anonymous says:

    The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is expanding & seeking info & donations. Be sure this info is included. Send info & names to www.nationalww2museum.org

  2. They all deserve recognition and medals!

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