Success For Oneida Code Talkers’ Families Against Oneida Business Committee’s & Oneida Nation Veterans Affairs Committee’s Bungling Of Oneida Code Talker’s Families Travel Reservations

Following our previous post, Delgado Dishonors Veterans & Their Families, an Oneida Eye editor attended a meeting of the Oneida Nation Veteran Affairs Committee (ONVAC) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 where the issues regarding the ability of family members of Oneida code talkers to attend the November 20, 2013 Code Talker Coin ceremony in Washington D.C. was discussed,

ONVAC voted to propose changes which will allow Oneida code talker Rupert S. Adams’ daughter, Dorothy Skenandore, and son, Marine Veteran Gary M. Adams, to attend both the ceremony where a gold version of a medal honoring the code talkers will be presented to the Oneida Tribe as well as another ceremony where family members will receive a silver version of the medal from a Senator of Wisconsin.

The Business Committee voted to support ONVAC’s proposed changes at their November 13, 2013 Regular Meeting.

One of the things that came to light at the Tuesday November 12 ONVAC meeting was that not all ONVAC Board members had been privy to email correspondence between U.S. Treasury representatives, ONVAC Chair Loretta Metoxen and Dorothy Skenandore, which made it very clear that the ability of the surviving code talkers and their families to attend was paramount to the ceremonies as planned.

How the previous exclusion of code talkers’ families came about is something that needs to be examined, but we are glad to know that at least eight family members of the four identified Oneida code talkers have now been availed of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend this historic occasion.

As we noted, there will also be a special presentation made at an upcoming Oneida Tribal powwow, and the Powwow Committee will need to consider what extra efforts to host the ceremony may be required given the overwhelming interest and support code talkers have received in Wisconsin from the public and the media.

For example, a recent appearance made by sole surviving Navajo code talker Chester Nez in Wausau, Wisconsin drew a crowd of over 800 people:

Special thanks to Policy Advisor Linda Dallas for taking up the slack in the Chairman’s office and successfully assisting the code talkers’ families in securing arrangements for their travel and attendance.


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As It Happens

November 2013
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