Daines Honors Montanans of the Week: Crow Tribe Code Talkers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today honored Samson Birdinground, Cyril Not Afraid, Barney Old Coyote and Henry Old Coyote of the Crow Indian Nation for their exceptional service to our country during World War II.

These four men were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for serving in our armed forces as “code talkers,” speaking their native Apsaalooké (Crow) language during wartime in order to transmit and receive military intelligence and successfully avoid disclosing information to enemy forces.

Through his “Montanan of the Week” initiative, Daines each week will highlight a Montanan by submitting a statement of recognition in the official Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.


Daines’ recognition in the Congressional Record is available here.

Daines welcomes anyone to nominate fellow Montanans for Daines’ “Montanan of the Week” program by calling Daines’ office at 202-224-2651 or by filling out the contact form on Daines’ website: http://www.daines.senate.gov/content/contact-steve.


     Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, I wish to recognize four American heroes who exemplify the best Montana has to offer: Samson Birdinground, Cyril Not Afraid, Barney Old Coyote and Henry Old Coyote.

     These men selflessly served our country during World War II by offering up the Apsaalooké (Crow) language as part of a national “code-talk” program. This program used the unique style of several Native American languages to transmit and receive military intelligence, providing crucial communication to forces overseas.

     These four brave gentlemen sacrificed much to defend their homeland during the war. Using skilled knowledge of the Apsaalooké tongue, they worked closely with American defense forces. The beautiful complexity of the Crow language allowed it to be processed without fear of enemy breach, leading the program to successfully save countless lives.

      All four heroes were recently awarded Congress’ most prestigious honor: the Congressional Gold Medal. Their families will ceremoniously accept the medals on behalf of their forefathers this week. 

     Apsaalooké, or Crow, Nation has a rich heritage of members going above and beyond the call of duty, and these men are decidedly no exception. We Montanans are proud of our diverse heritage, and it is truly an honor to celebrate individuals who so humbly embody the spirit of patriotism.