The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II will be the subject of a free multimedia lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 5, at Montana State University Strand Union Building ballrooms. Zonnie Gorman, historian and daughter of one of the code talkers, will discuss “Growing Up with Heroes: A Daughter’s Journey with the Navajo Code Talkers.”
Gorman will share her father’s story as a Code Talker who worked to develop the code that helped shape the outcome of World War II. Gorman will share seldom heard stories of the first 29 Navajo Code Talkers. She will also discuss the Navajo reservation of the 1940s, the historic Native American boarding schools for Indian children and governmental policies of assimilation that she says were designed to destroy Indian culture and languages.
Gorman will also discuss the importance of role models and mentors for Native American communities as well as the importance of fostering cultural pride and educating both Navajos and non-Navajos about the history of her tribe.
Gorman earned a master’s degree in history from the University of New Mexico and is currently working on her doctorate. A recognized Code Talkers historian, Gorman has appeared in documentaries and spoken extensively on the topic. She is also a project coordinator for the Circle of Light Navajo Educational Project.
Doors open at 7 p.m. A reception will follow the event. Free tickets are available at EventBrite at tinyurl.com/Zonnie-Gorman-at-MSU.