Designs proposed for two congressional gold medals honoring members
of two Native American tribes whose members served as Code Talkers
during World War I and World War II were recommended Oct. 7 by the
Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The medals are among 33 to be produced by the Mint under provisions
of the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008.
In addition to the gold medals presented to each tribe recognized,
the U.S. Mint will also strike silver versions for presentation to
surviving Code Talkers or family members. The Treasury secretary will
also likely approve production of 1.5-inch and 3-inch bronze
duplicates of the gold medals, as he has for previous Code Talkers medals.
The designs recommended Oct. 7 by the CCAC would give the Saint
Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York a medal that features on the obverse a
soldier talking on a radio and surrounded with images of the tribe’s
symbols, a bear, wolf and snapping turtle, and on the reverse a Mohawk
warrior wearing a bear claw necklace, with war clubs, a headdress, and
a Mohawk Wolf belt completing the design.
New Mexico’s Pueblo of Laguna secured backing for its preferred
designs of a crouching infantryman holding a gun and radio for the
obverse, and a reverse featuring the tribal seal and turkey and corn symbols.
The committee had at first endorsed other designs that it believed
the tribe had approved, but once a tribal representative urged a
change via telephone, the panel quickly agreed to change its first recommendations.
The CCAC had initially favored a different design with a soldier
holding a gun and radio for the obverse and another version of the
dancing eagle tribal symbol and the arm patch of the 43rd Bombardment
Group in which tribal members served.