Although the interests of Native Americans have often not been protected, these native people have fought on behalf of the U.S. military in every major war.
Being from a military family himself, and growing up around powwows, Dr. William Meadows became interested in the military experience of indigenous people very early in his career.
Meadows, professor of anthropology and Native American studies at Missouri State University, interviewed a Comanche veteran who was in his 70s. As he shared his stories, the man mentioned his role as a code talker in WWII.
Much of what the general public knows about the code talkers’ contributions to military action has only been exposed in the last 20 years. This coincides with Meadows’ publications and the production of the film “Wind Talkers.”
Native American Code Talkers Act
Meadows testified before Congress in 2004 which contributed to the passage of the 2008 Native American Code Talkers Act. This act awarded congressional medals for all code talkers of both world wars.
Lobbyists distributed Meadows’ books to senators and representatives to educate and persuade them to provide recognition for other tribes. After hearing sufficient evidence, Congress can honor other groups in the future under the same act.
Meadows evaluates more than how the tribes communicated. He also explores the ceremonies, myths, stereotypes and racism they experienced. He’s written many books and articles on the subject, but he does it to make sure these contributions don’t get erased from history.