2016 Code Talkers Front Web
2016 Code Talkers Front Web

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Responds to President Trump’s Remarks

Nov 28, 2017

Commends Military Service of Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talkers

AKWESASNE — On Kentenhkó:wa/November 27, 2017; The White House convened a ceremony intended to recognize and honor Native American Code Talkers for their contributions in helping the United States and its allies to be victorious in World War II. During the ceremony however, which was held in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump used it as an opportunity to verbally abuse U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). In response, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council has issued the following statement:

"The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is disappointed, but not altogether surprised that President Trump would take advantage of yesterday’s White House Ceremony that was intended to honor Native American Code Talkers to disparage a female member of Congress. The Tribe holds our own Onkwehonwe (Native) veterans in high esteem, particularly members of our own Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talkers and their military achievements and contributions have helped enrich the history of the United States. To use the event; again while disappointing, but not surprising; to insult a Senator is an insult to the proud military service of all Native American Code Talkers.

The use of the term Pocahontas as a means to verbally abuse a female adversary adds insult to injury, as the reality is that Native American women experience a disproportionate high level of violence. To capitalize on an event to cast aspersions on a Senator is as inappropriate as trying to justify the use of the pejorative term by prefacing it as “they.” We find it equally inappropriate for others following the event to determine what they think is disrespectful for us.

The fact that President Trump is unaware of the connotations associated with the term Pocahontas speaks volumes with regard to the manner in which Native American people are viewed generally. The additional fact that he chose to conduct the ceremony in front of Andrew Jackson’s picture speaks to his lack of understanding about this country’s history toward Native Americans. As the signer of the Indian Removal Act, Jackson has been solely responsible for the forced relocation and death of countless Native peoples along the Trail of Tears.

To accomplish what yesterday’s event was intended to do, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe takes pride in acknowledging the important military service of all Native American Code Talkers. It is the Tribe’s distinct honor to recognize their significant and historic achievements as proud members of the United States Armed Forces.”


The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.