Choctaw Nation code talkers from World War I

New Exhibits at the Heard Museum Honor American Indian Soldiers


Two just opened exhibits at the Heard Museum in Phoenix honor our American Indian soldiers, complementing one another by highlighting different aspects of Native language usage in military codes during wartime. Navajo Code Talkers: Photographs by Kenji Kawano is a collection of poignant photographs of Navajo Code Talkers, who, despite distinguishing themselves in World War II, remained unknown and unrecognized for many years due to the secretive nature of their work.

Paired alongside the portraits will be the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service exhibit Native Words, Native Warriors, which tells the broader (yet lesser-known) story of other Native peoples and the role their languages played during both World War I and World War II. Many of us know bits and pieces about this part of our nation’s history; this is a great opportunity to explore and learn more about our American Indian war heroes. The Smithsonian has an extensive companion website for Native Words, Native Warriors:

Both exhibits will be on display until March 31, 2013. For further information, visit

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