Cree Code Talkers: Documentary Explores Role of Canada’s Unsung WWII Heroes

Code talkers in the United States have been storied, honored and lauded for their military contributions. But much less known, and barely recognized for their service by the Canadian government, were Cree code talkers from Canada who assisted the Allies in World War II.

A documentary is in the works that would tell their story and explore the power of language through the lens of one such warrior, Charles “Checker” Tomkins, a Cree soldier from Grouard, Alberta, Canada. He enlisted to escape the Great Depression but ended up with a career in the military, serving 25 years with the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment, the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, according to the South Peace News.

During World War II, the Métis soldier was stationed in Britain and was one of hundreds called upon to use his Cree language—he grew up hearing it from his grandparents on the Pine Acres Reserve in Saskatchewan, according to the South Peace News—to befuddle the Germans.

Read more: Indian Country Today

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