DASCHLE. Mr. President, Americans are united today in concern for
the safety and well-being of our men and women in uniform--especially
those who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives
to advance human freedom.
morning, I would like to speak about the extraordinary service of
a group of soldiers from two earlier wars.
know these men today as "the code talkers.''
were Native American soldiers who used the languages of their tribes
to send strategic military communications during World Wars I and
II. Their impenetrable codes saved the lives of countless American
troops in Europe and throughout the Pacific.
Navajo code talkers are the best-known of these men. Three years
ago, they were honored, rightly, with congressional medals.
the Navajo were not the only code talkers. Soldiers from at least
15 other Indian Nations--including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Comanche,
Pawnee, Seminole, Osage, Kiowa, Hopi and other nations--also served
as code talkers. And 11 code talkers came from the Lakota, Dakota,
and Nakota nations, known to many as the Great Sioux Nation.
those 11, nine--John Bear King of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe;
Simon Broken Leg and Iver Crow Eagle, Sr., of the Rosebud Sioux
Tribe; Eddie Eagle Boy and Phillip LaBlanc, of the Cheyenne River
Sioux Tribe; Bap-TEEST Pumpkinseed of the Oglala Sioux Tribe; Edmund
St. John of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe; and Walter C. John of the
Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska--have all passed on.
Whitepipe is one of the two surviving Lakota code talkers.
1941, he enlisted in the United States Army. He was already in training
in California when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The following day,
he shipped out to Hawaii.
Hawaii, his unit was sent to the Pacific island nation of New Guinea.
was in New Guinea that another soldier, from Sioux Falls, told his
commanding officer that Charlie Whitepipe would make a good forward
observer because--in his words--"the Sioux are stealthy, sneaky,
characterization angered Whitepipe, but it apparently impressed
his commanding officer.
Whitepipe spent the next 2 years in New Guinea as a forward observer
and radio man, moving ahead of his unit and communicating in Lakota
with a ship-based partner to direct artillery fire at enemy troops.
1944, he was shipped home, suffering from malaria and jungle rot,
the result of months spent in water-filled foxholes.
an honorable discharge, he returned to Rosebud, married, and raised
six children with his wife.
spent 30 years working as a lineman with the rural electric association,
helping to bring electricity to the Rosebud Reservation and other
parts of rural South Dakota. In his son's words, "He got up
and went to work 6 days a week and on the 7th day, he got up and
took his family to church.''
Whitepipe turned 86 this month. He suffers today from a profound
hearing loss caused in part by artillery explosions.
family remains the center of his life.
Wolf Guts is the other surviving Lakota code talker.
enlisted in the Army 7 months after Pearl Harbor with his friend
and cousin, Iver Crow Eagle, Sr.
Ranger training in Alabama, an officer discovered that the cousins
could both speak, read, and write Lakota. As Mr. Wolf Guts recalls
it, that officer "thought he'd hit the jackpot."
Wolf Guts was assigned to travel with a general in the Pacific,
and Iver Crow Eagle was assigned as a radio operator for a colonel.
the next 3 years, the cousins jumped from one Pacific island to
the next, pushing the Japanese back.
also helped develop a phonetic alphabet based on Lakota that was
later used to develop a Lakota code.
day, as bullets and shrapnel exploded around him, Clarence Wolf
Guts whispered a prayer in Lakota:
Bring me home, God, and I will praise your name always.
His prayer was answered.
Wolf Guts returned safely to Pine Ridge in 1946, married and--like
Charlie Whitepipe--raised six children.
at 80, he marches with veterans groups whenever he can.
Yankton Sioux were among the first Native American soldiers to use
a native language to confound enemy troops, in World War I. Through
two world wars, no native language or code based on an indigenous
American language was ever broken.
makes the code talkers story even more extraordinary to some is
the fact that these men chose to fight for the United States at
young boys, Charlie Whitepipe and Clarence Wolf Guts spoke only
Lakota. Like most of the code talkers, however, they were forced
to attend schools in which they were forbidden to speak their native
who broke the English-only rules were punished harshly; many were
beaten, some even to death.
was part of a sad, brutal chapter in our Nation's history in which
the United States Government and other institutions tried to strip
Indian children of their tribal identities.
that history, despite the failure of the United States Government
to honor its treaty obligations and other commitments to tribes,
Native Americans have long had a higher rate of military service
than any other group in America.
young Lakota soldier, Sheldon Hawk Eagle, was laid to rest in the
National Cemetery in the Black Hills just before Thanksgiving last
year. Like so many Lakota people before him, he died serving this
past Fourth of July, I was honored to march with other veterans
at a powwow at the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Reservation in South
Dakota. Among the veterans who marched with us that day were two
members of the tribe who were home on leave from Iraq.
evening, at our State's annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration
at Mount Rushmore, South Dakotans paid special tribute to the Lakota
have been other tributes as well. But there is at least one more
honor the Lakota code talkers are due.
strongly believe that Congress should pass the Code Talkers Recognition
Act this year to award our Nation's highest honor, the Congressional
Medal, to the Lakota code talkers and all Native American code talkers
who served in both world wars.
is a bipartisan bill. Senator Inhofe introduced it, and I am proud
to be a cosponsor, along with my fellow South Dakotan, Tim Johnson,
and others. A similar bill passed the House in 2002 but was blocked
in the Senate by members of the other party.
can debate which code talkers communicated in actual codes and which
communicated essential military information using only their native
languages. What is beyond debate, however, is the courage of veterans
such as Charlie Whitepipe and Clarence Wolf Guts and the extraordinary
value of their wartime service to our Nation. Let us work together
to pass the Code Talkers Recognition Act this year before we lose
any more of these heroes.
us also agree that we will honor the service of the code talkers
by funding veterans health programs adequately, and ensuring that
veterans in tribal communities have reasonable access to VA facilities.
Let us also honor our Government's treaty obligations to fund Indian
health care, so that tribal veterans and their families are not
denied essential care.
we should honor the code talkers by working to preserve the rich,
ancient languages they used to preserve our freedom.
of those languages are on the verge of extinction. Of the 300 indigenous
languages once spoken in America, only 150 are still spoken today.
Of those, only 20 are still spoken by several generations.
warn that without immediate, dramatic action by Native Americans,
tribal governments and schools, and the Federal Government to encourage
their preservation and perpetuation, Lakota and all of the native
languages of America will die by the year 2050.
is the most effective means we have to transmit our values, our
beliefs, and our collective memories from one generation to the
next. For that reason, Native Americans and tribal communities particularly
benefit from preserving the languages of their ancestors.
they are not alone. Imagine how World War II might have turned out
had we not had the code talkers.
1990, with Senator Inouye's leadership, Congress established the
Native American Languages Act to ``preserve, protect and promote
the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice and
develop Native American languages.''
year, Senator Inouye introduced amendments to that law to support
the creation within tribal communities of immersion schools and
language survival ``nests,'' to teach these languages to the next
pass those amendments this year. There is no time to waste.
also work together to adequately fund Indian schools and to include
in all Federal education policies the flexibility tribal educators
need to include native languages, history and culture in their curriculums.
parents, and tribal leaders and educators, in South Dakota care
deeply about this. And President Bush specifically called for such
flexibility in the Executive order on Indian education he signed
less than three months ago.
go to war to give their children the chance to live better lives.
What better way can we honor the code talkers than to support schools
in which their descendants can learn the native languages that helped
to save our Nation?
result of such efforts will be a healthier, happier Indian population.
And who knows what we will all learn in the process?
President, these remarks have been translated into Lakota by Elizabeth
Little Elk, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. I ask unanimous
consent that the Lakota translation of my words be printed in the
being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the
Record, as follows:
Honoring Native American Heroes, Preserving Native
Tunkasila Mila Hanska Oyate ki lel un gluwitapi. Na taku le ecunkupi
ke he, wiyan nahan wicasa le un okicize el un pelo. Iyotan winyan
na wicasa kowakatan unpi hel Iraq nahan Afghanistan. Takuwe heciya
unpi ki hena oyate ki nawicakinjin pelo.
hihani ki taku wan iwowablakin kte ehani wicasa eya makasitomani
okicize el apa pelo.
akicita ki tokeske wacinwicayau ki he ta wowiye ki un woglakapi,
ho nahan he un wicakpe ota nin pelo.
Gleska Oyate etan Wicasa eya makocesitomani slolwicaya pelo. Ehani
waniyetu yamni he han Tunkasila wicasa ki lena wicayuonihan pelo.
Gleska Oyate ki isnalapi sni, nainjeyan lena oyate ki pi Cherokee,
Choctaw, Comanche, Pawnee, Seminole, Osage, Kiowa, nahan Hopi akicita
he tanpi. Ho, nahan wicasa ake wanji Oceti Sakowin u pelo.
ake wanji ki he John Bear King of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe;
Simon Broken Leg and Iver Crow Eagle, Sr. of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe;
Eddie Eagle Boy and Phillip LaBlanc of the Cheyenne River Sioux
Tribe; Baptiste Pumpkinseed of the Oglala Sioux Tribe; Edmund St.
John of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe; and Walter C. John of the Santee
Sioux Tribe of Nebraska--numlala ni unpi. Charlie Whitepipe hecena
he han akicita el ic'icu, hetan California ekta iyeyapi nahan heceya
un he han Pearl Harbor tiektiyapi. He ihaniyuhehan Hawaii ekta iyeyapi,
ho nahan hetan New Guinea ekta iyeya pelo.
Guinea ekta un hehan wicasa wan Inyan oblecahan etanhan itancan
ki okiyaki na Charlie Whitepipe atunwan ki waste kte cin Lakota
ki lila wicasapi sni hanan waecun unspepi yelo. Le wicasa ki waeyo
hehan Charlie Whitepipe iyohpi sni cin Lakota ki hececapi sni, eyas
itacan ki hecetula ca Charlie Whitepipe waniyutu num atuwan wicasa
heca. Ho nahan, Lakota woiye un wata wan el Lakota wan kici woglake.
hehan lila kuje ca glicuyapi.
Whitepipe gli hahan taicutun na wakanyeja sakpe icahwice.
hetan waniyetu wikcemna yamni Rural Electric Association hel wowasecun.
Ta cinca wan atkuku ki anpetu ki oyohi wasecun, ho nahan anpetu
wakan canasna tiwahe tawa ki iyuha wakekiye awinca iye.
Charlie Whitepipe waniyetu saglokan ake sakpe. Lehanl wicasa ki
le nunhcan natakuni nahun sni icin okicize ekta un, hehanl wanapobiyab
ki nuge ki yusicapi. Wicasa ki let tiwahe tawa ki tehkila.
Wolf Guts injiyan nahahcini un, nahan injiya Lakota woiye nahan
woglake un okicize ekta wacinuanpi.
kola ku kici, Iver Crow Eagle, Sr., akicita el ici'cupi.
ekta eye wicayapi. Heciya itacan ki wanji ablezina Iver nahan Clarence
Lakota woglaka nahan wayawa okihipi. Mr. Wolf Guts oglakina akicita
itacan ki lila oiyokipi.
Wolf Guts akicita ota itacan ki omani. Ho nahan, Iver Crow Eagle,
Sr., injeyan akicita itaca wan ki cin
wasecun. Lena Wicasa ki tahansi kiciyapi.
yamni Iver nahan Clarence wita ecehcel manipi.
wowiye un wowapi wan kagapi. Le wowapi ki akicita ki unpi. Anpetu
wanji Clarence wacekiya, ``Wakan Tanka tanyan waki hantas ohihanke
wanjini cecicin kte.''
wacekiye ki he osi'icu.
Wolf Guts Pine Ridge ekta Tanya gli. Taicutun nainjiyan wakanyeja
waniyetu wikcemna saglokan. Akicita ki mani cansna el opa.
tokiya Lakol woiye un okicize el un ki he Ihuntuwan Dakota Oyate
ki epi. World War I nahan World War II Lakota woiye okicize el un
ki ogahniga sni ca, lial taku ota ecun na eyab okihipi.
wicasa ki toheki lila wohanke ki he lena wicasa ki okicize el unpi,
nahan iyeca hena hecunpi.
Whitepipe nahan Clarence Wolf Guts wakanyeja pu hehan Lakota ecela
unspepi. Ho eyas, wana wayapi hehan Lakota woglake okihip sni. Wasicu
ecela woglaka okihipi. Lakota woglaka hantas awicapapi naha tehiya
wicakowap. Nahan hunh t'api.
iwanglakap cansna lila oyohsice na waste sni. Hehan Mila Hanska
ki Oceti Sakowin Oyate tehkiya wicakowapi. Lakol wicoh'an ki unkip
oyate ki owicakowap eyas hecana wicasa na winyan ici'cu. Mila Hanska
Oyate okicize wanji el iyab canasna Lakota winyan na wicasa akita
wan Sheldon Hawk Eagle eciyapi ca He Sapa National Cemetary el eyonpap
le waniyetu hehan le koskalaka ki okicize el lecala t'e.
4th of July hehan akicita ki manipi ca ob wamani. Le Sisseton-Wahpeton
Reservation el mawani. Hehan wicasa num Iraq ekta okicize hetan
hanhepi hehan He Sapa ekta akicita wica uonihanpi ca el waun.
ki wica yuonihanpi ota, ho eyas, Lakota woiye akicita ki hena isnala
wan lila iblukcan ki he le akicita eya woiye ki hena Tunkasila wicayuonihan
ki waste kte. World War I na World War II makasitomani akicita eya
iwaglake ki lena woyuonihan wakantuye ic'u wacin.
wan lel awahi, le wowapi tuweki iyuha ikipi kte. Senator Inhofe
kici, nahan Tim Johnson awahi. Waniyetu nupa hehan wowapi lecel
unkohipi, eyas hunk sam kahinhpeya najinpi.
eya Charlie Whitepipe na Clarence Wolf Guts oyate ecetkiya waencunpi
le un wayuonihan wakantuya wicun'kup waste ke yelo. Lena wicasa
ki ecani el un kte sni, ca le waniyetu ki unkigluwitap na wowapi
ki le unyuwastepi ki waste ktelo.
taku ecun'kun kte ki he akicita ki lena taky ewojawab ki hena wicunkub
ki waste kte. Akicita okuju tipi hena muza ska iyena yuhap ki waste
kte. Lena oyate ki Wolakota wowapi waste kte. Lena oyate ki Wolakota
wowapi wanji kici unkagapi. Taku wowapi ki le na eya ki unkinyejan
ecunkun waste ke.
lena winyan na wicasa ki wicasyuonihanpi ki ta woiye ki un inipi.
lakol woiye ki lila oh'kankoya takuni sni ehani kohta yamni woiye
waglakapi le hanl wikcemna num woiye waglapi.
yuha takun ecunp sni tantas lakol wichoh'an nahan lakol woye ki
wicoh'an na lakol woiye ki un wakanyeja ki tan icagapi. Lena ungluzapi
ki waste kte. Lecel oyate ki niupi kte.
hehan Senator Inouye wowapi wan lel ahi, ho ca iyuha walakapi, na
luwastepi. He wowapi ki Lakota Oyate ki
makasitomni lakol wicoh'an na woiye yuwas'ake.
Inouye nakun wowapi lel ahi he owayawa tipi ki lena muza ska wicaku
hecel lakol wicoh'an ki wakanyeja ki unspe okte.
Bush wowapi wan caje ki owa. Wowapi wan woiye ke lena tanyan wacin
kte, ca wowapi yamni el caje ke owa. Le wowayepi ki waste.
ki okicize el yapi hecel ta wakanyeja ki tanyan unpi kte, na tiwahe
oyunihanpi uncinpi. Le wowapi ki unyunwastepi wacin.
ecunkunpi ki hanta taku unkablezap seca?
Mr. DASCHLE. I yield the floor.