Mohawk Indian, 94, Gets Congressional Medal for Code-Talking

AKWESASNE, N.Y. (AP) -

A 94-year-old Native American who used the Mohawk language to transmit secret messages during World War II has been honored with a Congressional Silver Medal.

Code talker Louis Levi Oakes was honored Saturday at the Mohawk Indian reservation in New York, where he lives.

The medal also was awarded to several Mohawk code talkers who are now deceased. They were accepted by surviving relatives at a ceremony attended by around 900 people.

The Congressional Silver Medal is the second-highest civilian honor that can be awarded to an individual by Congress.

Oakes grew up in Akwesasne (og-wuh-SAHZ’-nee) and served in the Army. He received his assignment to work with codes at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

During the war, Native American languages were used to send messages that were never deciphered by the enemy.