Tag Archives: Navajo

Transnational Debts: The Cultural Memory of Navajo Code Talkers in World War II

Even 70 years after it ended, World War II continues to endure in the global imagination. In the United States, images of the “Good War” prevail, and memories of the soldiers have been widely translated into displays of national heroism and glorification. At the same time, the celebratory narrative of national unity and democratic triumph is undercut by the counter-histories and experiences of the 44,000 Native American soldiers who served in this war. Their experiences and memories challenge the narrative of a glorious nation in unison, especially in light of the historical conflicts between American nationalism and Native American political sovereignty. This paper investigates the specific memorial debt owed to the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II.

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