A museum dedicated to studying and celebrating the history of the World War II Navajo Code Talkers could be going up along the New Mexico/Arizona border.
Members of the Senate Indian and Cultural Affairs Committee have unanimously voted in favor of approving some $1 million in state funds to build the facility.
The legislation, proposed by Senate John Pinto of Gallup, is now on its way to the Senate Finance Committee.
If approved, the project, which would also include a veterans center, would most likely go up on a 140-acre site in the town of Tse Bonito, which is also the seat of the Navajo Nation government.
How much money the project will ultimately require remains an open question, although some additional funding support is already coming from the Winslow, Arizona-based Navajo Code Talkers Foundation.
A report filed by the Legislative Finance Committee said the “the costs for infrastructure design and construction are unknown; infrastructure development could limit the amount of funds that remain for the museum and veterans center structures.”
The report adds that “subsequent appropriations or other mechanisms of funding” will most likely be required.
Navajo soldiers serving in the Marine Corps during World War II transmitted vital tactical and military information using a code based upon their native language.
After the use of that code was disclosed in late 1945, a reporter for the International News Service described it as the “only foolproof, unbreakable, code in the history of warfare.”
By Garry Boulard
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