Historian & Lecturer
Recognized historian of the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, Zonnie Gorman is an expert in her field and a dedicated teacher. She has served as a consultant to numerous documentaries, museum exhibitions and authors. Gorman is currently the Project Coordinator for the Circle of Light Navajo Educational Project (CLNEP), a nonprofit organization founded in May 2001 and located in Gallup, New Mexico. CLNEP offers a variety of Navajo role models to youth and fosters cultural pride and self worth, while educating them along with non-Navajos about the rich history, culture, language and contributions of the Navajo people. Read More >
A Navajo Code Talker's Journey
Zonnie’s presentation is a touching and riveting story about the original famous Navajo Code Talkers. This very first group – the First Twenty-nine – was the pilot project in 1942 who created the first Navajo code. As a historian and the daughter of the oldest member, Carl Gorman, Zonnie expertly weaves her personal connection and intimate knowledge with thirty years of archival research and collected first account stories. You will experience the Navajo reservation of the 1940s, the federal boarding schools, and learn about the devastating U.S. Government policy of Assimilation designed to destroy Indian lifeways and languages. Most importantly, you will discover how the First Twenty-nine created the initial Navajo code and how their life experiences, cultural upbringing, and sheer ingenuity helped secure America’s freedom in the Pacific.
"She was outstanding, gracious, and engaging. We had a nice crowd. Despite her early flight to get here and her early flight to get home today, she stayed until the last person had the chance to chat with her. Thanks for aiding us in bringing her to our campus."
"Zonnie was wonderful. Her visit exceeded expectations in every regard."
“Zonnie has become the foremost Code Talker scholar in the world…and her lecture reflects this!”
“Ms. Gorman kept the audience of 150 lawyers and judges from across the nation captivated and hanging on her every word.”