The City of Flagstaff will celebrate Indigenous Code Talkers Day with an event on Monday, Aug. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Aquaplex Community Room (1702 N. Fourth St). Members of the public are welcome to attend.
The event will feature a variety of speakers, including Keynote Speaker Ms. Jamescita Peshlakai, U.S. Army Veteran, Persian Gulf War, former Arizona State Senator, former member of the Arizona House of Representatives, and member of the Navajo Nation. The event will also feature youth ambassadors and the Yoyhoyan Hopi youth dance group, which will provide a cultural share. A pre-event 2K honor walk/run (in-person/hybrid) will be held near the Aquaplex at 8:30 a.m.
It is critical to acknowledge that members of over 30 Indigenous Nations from the United States participated as Code Talkers in both World War I and World War II. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed August 14 as National Navajo Code Talkers Day. The year 2023 marks the 81st anniversary of the over 400 young Navajo men recruited during World War II as Code Talkers. These young men made up an elite group of U.S. Marines who developed an unbreakable code using their native language. In March 2021, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation making National Navajo Code Talkers Day a legal state holiday every year, honoring the courage of the Code Talkers and their critical role in the Allied victory of WWII.
For questions related to the Code Talkers event, please contact Rose Toehe, City of Flagstaff Coordinator for Indigenous Initiatives at Rose.Toehe@flagstaffaz.gov. For registration or questions related to the 2K honor walk/run event, email JMockta@nacainc.org.