Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Code Talkers… | South Dakota Community Foundation

To provide financial support for the creation of a memorial on the State Capitol Grounds to honor the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Code Talkers.

Fund Details

During World War I and World War II, over two hundred tribal members from South Dakota served in the U.S. military, using their language to send covert messages in the heat of battle. Code created with the use of tribal languages were never cracked by enemy forces and remained a secret of the military after the fighting ended.

Upon leaving the military, Code Talkers were instructed not to talk about their unique roles in the war. All written reports about the Code Talkers were classified. Veterans who served as Code Talkers, returned to their homes, raised families, and led their communities, never disclosing their roles in changing the course of history.

In 2008, Congress adopted the Code Talker Recognition Act requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to strike Congressional Medals in recognition of the dedication and valor of the Native American Code Talkers to the United States Armed Forces. Thirty three tribal nations were recognized in this process.

It is the goal of the Code Talker Memorial Planning Committee to recognize and celebrate this incredible legacy. The Committee has selected Sioux Falls based sculptor Darwin Wolf to create two bronze figures that will be placed at Capitol Lake in Pierre as part of the memorial. The Memorial would serve to remind visitors of this unique service and be a source of pride for the descendants of those who served and their tribal communities.