The University Libraries’ Indigenous Nations Library Program will host a talk “Growing Up with Heroes: The First Twenty-Nine Navajo Code Talkers of World War II” presented by author and historian Zonnie Gorman on Oct. 25 from 4–6 p.m. in the Willard Reading Room. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Zonnie Gorman is a recognized historian on the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II and has served as a consultant to numerous documentaries, museum exhibitions and authors. She is the daughter of the late Dr. Carl Gorman; artist, teacher and one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers who devised the Navajo code. She is also the youngest sister to the legendary and renowned Navajo artist, the late R.C. Gorman.

In 1989 Zonnie embarked on a journey to discover her father’s experiences as a Code Talker. Her journey has led her through fifteen years of in-depth research and interviews. Zonnie shares a touching story of young teenage boys seeking adventure and escape. Through lecture and multi-media presentation attendees will learn about the heroic and innovative young men who developed a code in their native language and utilized it effectively against the Japanese. The presentation will also cover living on the Navajo reservation in the 1940s and the social and economic hardships faced by a people struggling to survive despite, “America’s policies to absorb them.” 

The Code Talker story has been called the ultimate paradox—a shining achievement for Native Americans. 

For more information on the lecture contact Kevin Brown at