Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty blasted President Trump following a November 27th White House ceremony honoring Navajo code talkers. The three elderly Navajos being honored had assisted the U.S. Marine Corp. in developing a secret code during World War II that saved countless lives. Their exploits were memorialized in the 2002 movie Windtalkers.

During the ceremony, Trump made a disparaging quip about Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) calling her “Pocahontas,” referring to Warren’s disputed claim to Native American heritage. Trump said the Navajo’s ancestors had been here long ago while implying Warren’s claims of similar ancestry were false.

Crotty’s statement said that Trump’s “careless” comment exposed his “deep-seated ignorance of Native Americans.” She also said the reference to Pocahontas disregarded her experience as a “sexual assault survivor” as a result of colonization. Crotty said the historical Pocahontas symbolized the ongoing victimization of Native American women and children.

Trump’s comment was called “problematic,” “reckless” and “deeply offensive.” Crotty concluded by stating the Navajo code talkers aren’t pawns to be used in a personal grudge and were dishonored as national heroes by such pandering. The Navajo code talkers should be honored and respected.

Later in the day, Warren fired back concerning Trump’s comment, saying she was a victim of a “racial slur.”

Thomas Begay, one of the three Navajo code talkers honored by Trump, was later reported to be “puzzled” by Trump’s comment but not offended. Begay said, “The Marines made us yell ‘Geronimo’ when we jumped out of planes and that didn’t offend me either.”

Categories: Native American, Native American Culture, Native American History, Navajo Nation Council

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