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News Director Reen Cook brings you the latest local and regional news report live from the CKON News Center.
Akwesasne – The White House hosted Tribal Leaders at the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC on November 13, 2013. Chief Beverly Cook represented the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe at an event leading to President Obama committing to visit Indian Country next year. The President recognized the “unique legal and political relationship, one that’s been affirmed many times in treaties, in statutes and in the Constitution”. In the President’s opening statement, he acknowledged members of the Iroquois Nation remarking, “We could learn from the Iroquois Confederacy, just as our Founding Fathers did when they laid the groundwork for our democracy.”
Chief Beverly Cook shared her sentiments, “It was a powerful sight to see so many Tribal Nations and governments represented at the Conference. Their concerns reflected the challenges we all face dealing with the complexities of our community relationships and responsibilities. Providing for the needs of our people in terms of health, safety of our women and children, environmental justice and economic development were only a few of the issues at the top of everyone’s list for discussion and happily they were echoed by the President in his address.”
Washington, DC – Native American Code Talkers played a significant role in Allied victories during the major campaigns of World War I and World War II. While Navajo Code Talkers have been acknowledged and awarded Congressional Gold Medals for their service, what is not known widely is the extensive participation for these purposes by Native Code Talkers from dozens of tribes.
Today these courageous warriors will be honored with presentation of Congressional Medals for their valor and service to this nation. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) joins the nation in honoring these daring and humble warriors who played a critical role in preserving and protecting this country, our freedoms, and our way of life.
Code Talkers from various tribal nations served as highly classified specialists on dangerous battlegrounds. These soldiers were so valuable to the war effort that their commanding officers were ordered to kill the Code Talkers in the event of imminent or actual capture. The Code Talkers were aware of this added risk to their lives and continued to face that threat every day in action.
The Congressional Gold Medal is awarded as the “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions” made by an individual or institution. Other recipients include: George Washington, Thomas Edison, Jonas E. Salk, Rosa Parks, and Navajo Code Talkers. Thirty-three tribes will be recognized in today’s ceremony and the families of deceased Code Talkers will be honored with silver medals.
NCAI is extremely proud to have contributed to the effort to recognize these distinguished men and wish to express appreciation to tribal leaders, tribal community veterans, and the congressional sponsors with whom we have worked for many years to accomplish this long overdue recognition for these war heroes.