Category Archives: Code Talkers

“Levi Oakes, last WWII Mohawk Code Talker, dead at 94”

“Canadian Second World War veteran Levi Oakes, who was the last survivor of the men identified as Mohawk Code Talkers, has died. He was 94 and died at home with his family at his side, his daughter Dora said.” The Globe

Levi Oakes, from Akwesasne, receives a standing ovation after being recognized by the Speaker of the House of Commons Tuesday, December 4, 2018 in Ottawa. A. Wyld, Canadian Press

Excerpt: Levi Oakes, last WWII Mohawk Code Talker, dead at 94, The Globe

“Though born in Canada, Mr. Oakes had enlisted in the U.S. military. He became a Code Talker, one of the indigenous servicemen who used their native languages to stymie the enemy’s attempts to eavesdrop on their units’ communications.

Louis Levi Oakes registered for the U.S. Army at the age of 18.

He was one of 17 Mohawks recognized under the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008, an American law that granted Congressional Medals to First Nations and individuals who participated in those programs.

‘He bravely served in the Second World War … Thank you for your loving grace and service to our people,’ Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a Tweet. ‘These were immense contribution by indigenous people to the war effort,’ Liberal MP Marc Miller, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, said.

“We’ve lost a hero. We’ve lost someone who selflessly served.’

Mr. Bellegard and Mr. Miller were among the people who in recent years paid tribute to Mr. Oakes. Two years ago he received the Congressional Silver Medal. Last December, he was introduced in the House of Commons, met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and was honoured at a meeting of the Assembly of First Nations…

Louis Levi Oakes was born on Jan. 23, 1925, on the Canadian side of Akwesasne, the Mohawk reserve that straddles Quebec, Ontario and New York State. He was the second of the five children of Angus Oakes and Mary Porke.

He left school early and, since many Akwesasne Mohawks move freely across the U.S.-Canada border, he went to work in a steel plant in Buffalo, N.Y.

In an interview with the U.S. Congress’ Veterans History Project, Mr. Oakes recalled that after the war started, he never considered serving with the Canadian army. He said that was because one of his brothers had been handcuffed and roughed up by Canadian police for failing to report for military induction… Instead, shortly after Mr. Oakes turned 19, in January 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. military. ‘I didn’t mind it, I was young,’ he said…’They found out I was a Mohawk,’ he recalled. ‘The top commander gave me a piece of paper I had to translate to Mohawk.’

That steered him towards the signal branch and a Code Talker position so that, before he boarded a troop transport in San Francisco, he took the secrecy oath that he would heed for seven decades…Following Japan’s surrender in August 1945, Mr. Oakes spent four winter months there with the occupation forces. Eventually, his unit was disbanded, he was sent back to the Philippines before shipping back to the U.S. Back home, he married Annabelle Mitchelle and they raised seven boys and three daughters.

Like many other Mohawk men, he became an ironworker, commuting to construction sites across the continent to erect the metal skeletons of bridges and skyscrapers. He said he worked on bridges in Buffalo and New York City.”

At The Navajo Code Talker Ceremony Trump Demonstrates A Higher Level of Stupid!

On Monday, Trump hosted three Navajo Code Talkers at the White House, troops who used a secret, unbreakable code language to send vital information during World War II. The afternoon should have remained focused on the veterans, their sacrifice and bravery, but it instead became yet another quintessentially nasty Trump moment when, amid some rambling commemorative speech, he went off script and threw an elbow at Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.” S.Moya-Smith, CNN

Photo-Santa Fe New Mexico

Excerpt: Trump’s disrespect for Native Americans is nothing new- By Simon Moya-Smith, CNN

“And here’s another thing: Even if Trump hadn’t used Native Americans as fodder to attack Warren, if he hadn’t used the name of Pocahontas as a slur, the day still would’ve been a hostile display of arrogance and ignorance. In a video of the occasion, you can see him standing just below a painting of President Andrew Jackson, the architect of the Trail of Tears, when 17,000 Native Americans were forced to march from their ancestral homeland in Georgia through freezing temperatures and snow all the way to Oklahoma during the 1830s.

Photo- Perez Hilton

But I still wonder if Trump, who stood beneath the portrait of an Indian killer, made a faux pas prompted by naiveté. Or was this intentional? I wouldn’t put it past him.

The President has a long record of attacking Native Americans… He pushed through the Dakota Access Pipeline, which violates the Native American land and threatens indigenous lives and water. And while that pipeline was already leaking like a garden hose with bullet holes, he resurrected the Keystone XL Pipeline, which again is in direct violation of our sovereign treaty rights. That pipeline, too, has also gushed, seriously impacting Indian country.

Navajo code Talkers. CNN

But what does he care? He doesn’t. That’s the point. No, he doesn’t care about Native Americans. Not me. Not you — unless you’re a billionaire reading this screed, in which case he probably cares a lot about you.

During World War I, Choctaw Telephone Squad consisted of 19 tribal members.

Trump is no Andrew Jackson, but one thing they do have in common is a complete lack of respect for Native Americans. That is incontrovertible. And there’s no sign Trump will cease his anti-Native American tantrums anytime soon.

Category: Code Talkers