Designs proposed for congressional gold medals honoring Native
American Code Talkers from the Pueblo of
Laguna and Saint Regis Mohawk tribes were recommended Oct.
7 by the Citizens
Coinage Advisory Committee.
The medals are among 33 to be issued under provisions of the Code
Talkers Recognition Act of 2008, Public Law 110-420. Code Talkers were members of
the U.S. military who used their Native American languages during
World Wars I and II to send coded messages that the enemy could not decipher.
In addition to 3-inch gold medals to be awarded to designated tribes
who had members who served as Code Talkers, 3-inch silver versions are
also to be struck for distribution to surviving Code Talkers or their
families. Three-inch and 1.5-inch bronze duplicates of the gold medal
will be struck by the U.S. Mint and offered for sale to the general
public at the discretion of the Treasury secretary.
The obverse design recommended by the CCAC for the Pueblo of Laguna
medal depicts a Code Talker in combat fatigues with rifle, on a field
radio unit strapped to his back, his left foot stepping out of an
interior serrated-design circle. K'AWAIKA (Laguna) CODE TALKERS is
inscribed around top border and PUEBLO OF LAGUNA below.
The recommended reverse is inscribed 43RD BOMBARDMENT GROUP along
the top border above a serrated-edge arc. In the center is a dancing
tribal member in eagle costume, with PUEBLO OF / LAGUNA below, along
with the military unit's patch and WORLD WAR II in the field.
To the left is a turkey with its feathers fanned out with TSINA /
HANU for "Big Turkey Clan" below. To the right of PUEBLO OF
LAGUNA are ears of corn, with Y'AAK'A / WAASCH'I for "Little Corn
The recommended obverse for the Saint Regis Mohawk medal depicts a
Code Talker on the radio, his rifle strapped over his left shoulder
and a knife in a Native American sheath attached to a strap across his
chest. In the field are a bear, wolf, and snapping turtle representing
the tribe's clans, with a snipe perched on the turtle's shell.
Inscribed along the top border is AKWESASNE MOHAWK CODE TALKERS.
The recommended reverse depicts a tribal warrior wearing a variation
of the Mohawk kustowa headdress. Other devices are a bear claw
necklace, war clubs, Mohawk Wolf Belt and a Hiawatha Belt. Inscribed
in the field is WWI / WWII and around ACT OF CONGRESS 2008.