Code Talkers Recognition Congressional Medals Program: Oneida Nation (Wisconsin)

Medals

Background

The Program

The Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 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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Coin Characteristics

Obverse

The obverse design features an Oneida Nation code talker with eagle feathers, positioned similar to those in the Oneida Gustoweh (head dress) in the background.

Reverse

The reverse design features the Great White Pine Tree of Peace with four white roots atop a turtle. To the left of the tree is the foot print of a bear. To the right of the tree is the foot print of a wolf. The turtle, bear and wolf represent the clans of the Oneida Nation. Atop the tree is an eagle, vigilant over the nation and warning members of any imminent danger. The symbols near or under the turtle are a war club and six arrows bound tightly together to indicate the unified strength of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. An image of the two-row wampum belt, constructed of quahog beads, is at the bottom of the design.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • ONEIDA NATION WARRIORS
  • ODE TALKERS

Reverse Inscriptions

  • WORLD WAR II
  • ACT OF CONGRESS 2008
  • LATIWɅNATÉNYESHSE (“They change their words.”)

Mint and Mint Mark

Artist Information

Obverse
  • Sculptor: Charles L. Vickers
  • Designer: Donna Weaver, Artistic Infusion Program
Reverse Content last reviewed June 1, 2016

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