SAINT REGIS MOHAWK TRIBE OBSERVES PASSING OF AKWESASNE MOHAWK CODE TALKER LOUIS LEVI OAKES

  
Via:  kavika  •  3 weeks ago  •  17 comments

SAINT REGIS MOHAWK TRIBE OBSERVES PASSING OF AKWESASNE MOHAWK CODE TALKER LOUIS LEVI OAKES

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Levi-Oakes-600x400.jpg

Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talker Louis Levi Oakes receiving the Congressional Silver Medal from U.S. Congresswoman Elise Stefanick (NY-21)


Published May 29, 2019

AKWESASNE — It is with a heavy heart that the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has joined in sharing condolences for the loss of a beloved Akwesashró:non — Louis Levi Oakes. Oakes was an enrolled tribal member and the last remaining Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talker who served during World War II. He touched the lives of everyone who met him and will be missed by many, particularly by his loved ones.

Louis Levi Oakes was born on the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne in 1922 and, following the onset of World War II, registered for the U.S. Army at the age of 18. He received his formal military training as a code talker while stationed in Louisiana, along with other Akwesasne Mohawks. He was assigned as a Technician 4th Grade with Company B’s 442nd Signal Battalion in the U.S. Army.

During his six years of military service, TEC 4 Oakes saw action in the South Pacific, New Guinea and Philippines theatres in World War II. For his exemplary service, he received the third-highest military combat decoration for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States — The Silver Star. He served with distinction and received an honorable discharge onEnníska/February 15, 1946.

Throughout World War II, Louis Levi Oakes’s knowledge and usage of Kanien’keha (Mohawk language) was used to send communications between U.S. forces. It was one of 33 Native languages used during World War II to code important messages, which became known the world over as the only unbroken military code in history.

To recognize their role in helping the Allied Forces to be victorious, in 2008 the U.S. Congress passed the Code Talkers Recognition Act to honor every Native American Code Talker who served in the U.S. military, including Louis Levi Oakes. As a result, Oakes was one of 17 Akwesasne Mohawks to receive the Congressional Silver Medal for his military contributions as a Native American Code Talker on Onerahtohkó:wa/May 28, 2016.

Louis Levi Oakes received further recognition for his valor as an Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talker at the 2017 United South and Eastern Tribes Impact Week, Rochester Nighthawks Native American Night (Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 7, 2017), 2018 Salamanca Powwow, 2018 Hopi Code Talkers Recognition Day, 2018 Special Chiefs Assembly of the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian House of Commons, among others.




On Ohiarí:ha/June 8, 2018; Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talker and Congressional Silver Medal Recipient Louis Levi Oakes was presented with the New York State Liberty Medal — the highest civilian honor bestowed by New York State upon individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements. The award follows his induction on Onerahtohkó:wa/May 15, 2018 into the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame.

With the passing of Mr. Oakes the number of code talkers from all tribes is quite small. 

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Hoka Hey

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Kavika
1  seeder  Kavika     3 weeks ago

33 tribes sent code talkers into the war. Only a very small number remain. 

As time passes and the remaining men pass into history we can be assured that they wrote a magnificent chapter in the history of the United States. 

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Hoka Hey

 
 
 
Kavika
1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @1    3 weeks ago

A list of the tribes/nation/bands that received the Congressional Gold Medal in the 2013 ceremony. 

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013    


YouTube: Gold Medal Ceremony for Native American Code Talkers

In a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Congress bestowed its highest honor on 33 tribes whose languages helped the United States defeat its enemies.

The Code Talkers developed and transmitted unbreakable codes during World War I and World War II. Their participation remained a secret for decades even as their own government carried out policies that attempted to stamp out their languages, ancestry and tribal nations.

That changed with the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008. The law authorized the Congressional Gold Medal for the 33 tribes, with each medal featuring a design unique to each tribe.

The law also authorized the Congressional Silver Medal for 216 individual Code Talkers from the tribes. Although most have passed, one of them -- Edmond Harjo, a 96-year-old member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma -- was able to receive his award in person at a follow-up ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Harjo also accepted the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Seminole Nation at the U.S. Capitol. His participation was singled out by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker of the House.

"Edmond and his brothers were at Normandy. They were on Iwo Jima," Boehner said. "They mobilized the simplest weapon: language."

The list of tribes recognized by Congress follows:
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes
Cherokee Nation
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Choctaw Nation
Comanche Nation
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Crow Tribe
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes
Ho-Chunk Nation (Wisconsin)
Hopi Tribe
Kiowa Tribe
Laguna Pueblo
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
Menominee Nation
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
Muscogee Nation
Oglala Sioux Tribe
Oneida Nation (Wisconsin)
Osage Nation
Pawnee Nation
Ponca Tribe (Oklahoma)
Pueblo of Acoma
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Sac and Fox Tribe (Iowa)
Santee Sioux Tribe
Seminole Nation (Oklahoma)
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Tonto Apache Tribe
White Mountain Apache Tribe
Yankton Sioux Tribe
 
 
 
Enoch
1.2  Enoch  replied to  Kavika @1    3 weeks ago

Dear Brother Kavika: We are all diminished with the loss of each one of these heroes.

We can never repay the debt owed them for the freedoms they granted us with their risk taking and sacrifice.

We can use their work and lives as role models so future generations can enjoy the freedoms we have. 

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

It is so sad to lose these special men to time. They will be remembered always for their bravery and unique skills. The one code that no one could break. 

Rest in peace brother.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3  Trout Giggles    3 weeks ago

RIP, Sir.

I'm sad to see another one go

 
 
 
Raven Wing
4  Raven Wing    3 weeks ago

Another of our brave Warriors who did what no others could in helping to protect our military forces against our enemies, has now rejoined his Brothers. He, like the Worriers before him, was willing to sacrifice his life to help save so many others.  

As Brother Oakes now moves on the the next steps of his own eternal journey, may the Creator hold him in His loving hands. 

You will never be forgotten.

nv-wa-do-hi-ya-dv (Peace)

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago

It hasn't been that many years since lost the last veterans of WWI left us.

It won't be many years......

***  sigh  ***

 
 
 
Steve Ott
6  Steve Ott    3 weeks ago

The passing of an elder is always sad. But they move on to a greater peace.

 
 
 
Kavika
6.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Steve Ott @6    3 weeks ago
The passing of an elder is always sad. But they move on to a greater peace.

That they do Steve. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
7  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

They were special, did what only they could do - so few are left. We all lose a bit of ourselves when they pass on.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
8  dave-2693993    3 weeks ago

Rest In Peace Cousin.

 
 
 
Kavika
9  seeder  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Canada had their code talkers as well. Using the Cree language they were the unbreakable code for the Canadian army.

The story of Canada’s code talkers

https://www.cbc.ca/kidscbc2/the-feed/the-story-of-canadas-code-talkers

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
9.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @9    2 weeks ago

I assumed so.  China won't let me open CBC.

On reading these stories I thought that if code is ever again needed, the cat has been let out of the bag.  Of course whoever the enemy is most likely would not understand the language either.  But was it true or false that if a code-talker was about to be captured they should be killed because with torture they could reveal the code to the enemy?

 
 
 
Kavika
9.1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @9.1    2 weeks ago
But was it true or false that if a code-talker was about to be captured they should be killed because with torture they could reveal the code to the enemy?

I've read a couple of articles on this by code talkers and they say it was false. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
9.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @9    2 weeks ago

I assumed so.  China won't let me open CBC.

On reading these stories I thought that if code is ever again needed, the cat has been let out of the bag.  Of course whoever the enemy is most likely would not understand the language either.  But was it true or false that if a code-talker was about to be captured they should be killed because with torture they could reveal the code to the enemy?

 
 
 
Kavika
9.2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @9.2    2 weeks ago

Here is the copy and paste of the Canadian Code Talkers, Buzz.

The story of Canada’s code talkers

codetalkers_headers.jpg

 

Infantrymen from the Loyal Edmonton Regiment wait for information to come in on the No. 18 wireless (radio) outside Regimental Headquarters in Ortona, Italy (1934). Wireless messages could be easily intercepted by other armies, so it had to be in code. (Photo by Library and Archives Canada licensed CC BY 2.0)

You may have learned or heard about American code talkers, but the story of Canadian code talkers is mostly unknown.

What is a code talker?

codetalkers_code-compressor.jpg

The English sentence was translated into Cree before it was read out — you can see a sample of Cree syllabics (letterforms) and how they are pronounced right below them. (Photo by Ferrous Büller licensed CC BY-SA 2.0)

Code talkers were First Nations soldiers in World War II who spoke Cree. They were the Canadian military’s secret weapon: when the military needed to communicate sensitive or secret messages, they would use code talkers to send the message in Cree to another code talker who would translate it back into English. If the message was heard by the German army, they wouldn’t be able to understand the message because they had no idea what language the code was in!

Who were the code talkers?

codetalkers_charles.jpgBecause the code talkers were sworn to secrecy about their jobs, no one really knows much about who they were. But the most famous Canadian code talker was a man named Charles Tomkins, whom everyone called Checker.

Checker was a Metis man from Alberta who spoke Cree. He joined the military in 1940 and after six months of training, was sent to Britain. One day, he was summoned by the Canadian High Command and not even his commanding officer — his boss — knew why! Checker was told about a top secret, new mission that they wanted him to be part of — The Cree Code Talker Program for the Air Force.
 

codetalkers_brothers.jpg

Charles' brothers, Smokey and James Tomkins. (photo provided courtesy of Cree Code Talker / Tomkins Family)

The Cree language didn’t have words for things like tank or machine gun so new words had to be made up. Like calling a Mosquito bomber a sakimes (Cree for mosquito). Code talkers were so top secret that their own families didn’t even know what they were doing! Checker didn’t tell anyone (including his brothers) until he was interviewed about it at the age of 85.

Share the story

codetalkers_movie.jpg

There's a documentary about Charles Tomkins that you can watch with your guardians called Cree Code Talker. It deals with events of World War I so guardians should screen it first for older kids.

It has been more than 70 years since Charles Tomkins served as a code talker and for most Canadians, his top-secret job is still a secret. Maybe this Remembrance Day you can share Checker’s story.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
9.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @9.2.1    2 weeks ago

I had read previously that the Navajo word for "turtle" was used for "tank" - because of its shell it was the perfect description.

Thanks for posting the story.

 
 
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