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Code Talkers Recognition Congressional Medals Program

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On November 20, 2013, in Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol, 33 tribes were recognized for the dedication and valor of Native American code talkers to the U.S. Armed Services during World Wars I and II. Of the tribes recognized, 25 were presented with their Congressional Gold Medals.

Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma) Code Talkers Medal Obverse

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Obverse (above)
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Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma) Code Talkers Medal Reverse

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Reverse (above)
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Cherokee Nation


Designer: Donna Weaver
Engraver: Michael Gaudioso

The obverse design features a code talker communicating on a field phone and writing in the Cherokee language. Inscriptions are CHEROKEE NATION and CODE TALKERS in both Cherokee Syllabary and English.


Designer: Joseph Menna
Engraver: Joseph Menna

The reverse design features a variation of the Cherokee Nation seal. Inscriptions are WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II and ACT OF CONGRESS 2008.

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The Program

The Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 (Act) (Public Law 110-420) requires the Secretary of the Treasury to strike Congressional Medals in recognition of the dedication and valor of Native American code talkers to the U.S. Armed Services during World War I and World War II. “Code talkers” refers to those Native Americans who used their tribal languages as a means of secret communication during wartime.

Under the Act, unique gold medals are struck for each Native American tribe that had a member who served as a code talker. Silver duplicate medals are presented to the specific code talkers, their next of kin, or other personal representatives. In addition, bronze duplicates are available for sale to the public.

The Navajo Nation was awarded Congressional Gold Medals in 2001 under Public Law 106-554.

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