Meeting with a Navajo Code Talker

by Daniel Alexander

Theresa meets Navajo Code Talker

Recently, Amizade volunteer Theresa Ferraro alongside her friends from Weatherby Healthcare traveled with Amizade to the Navajo Nation for a week of service and learning. In this article, she shares some stories such as meeting experience with a Navajo Code talker on the sacred ground. Special thanks to Theresa for letting us republish the article on the Amizade blog.

Just returned from a company-sponsored Amizade Humanitarian trip in Tuba City, AZ.  It was truly a cultural emergence and the experience was priceless.

This was a service trip but the amount of work we did on the farms didn’t compare to the amount of knowledge and understanding we gained.  We learned the history of the Navajo Native Americans and how they survived some of the most difficult persecutions the world has seen. Through it all, they remained loving human beings without prejudice.  I felt loved and welcomed into their hearts and homes.

They shared all their cultural beliefs starting with Mother Earth and their gratitude for what it provides.  The equality between men and woman and respect for each other and community. The importance of organic farming and taking care of their family, friends and all of our brothers and sisters of the community.

One of my favorite interactions was with a 90-year-old Navajo Code Talker.  He told us his entire experience from being recruited to the marines and going through boot camp and combat training to finally be asked to come up with a communication system that could not be broken.  It was so instrumental in WWII and specifically in the Pacific war.

While they were given a 75-year lease on the land the economy is in trouble.  They do need help with the uranium mining that could lead to long-term health defects.  If you’re interested in helping I have listed below a few ways to being a part of the solution.

  • Write to Secretary Ryan Zinke, Department of the Interior at 1849 C. Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20240.  Let him know they need to uphold the ban on new uranium mines in the Grand Canyon region to prevent contamination to drinking water.
  • Support the new museum by reaching out to – Peter MacDonald Sr. 928-283-5476  Which will also create and provide jobs for the locals.
  • Community Action for Children and Youth (CACY) donations can be sent to P.O. Box 677 Tuba City, AZ 86045 or call (928) 856-4057 – Vanessa.  You can also send slightly used work boots for the men of the community so they can go to work.

Amizade volunteers working at a local farm in the Navajo Nation