Carl Gorman was a Navajo artist, philosopher, historian, teacher, and World War II veteran. Born in 1907 and raised on the Navajo reservation, Carl attended U.S. government and mission boarding schools where Native American students like himself were compelled to give up their cultural identity and forsake their native tongues. Yet, it would be his Navajo language and cultural uniqueness that would later help to win a world war and lead Carl to pursue his passion for art. The oldest member of the First Twenty-Nine Navajo Code Talkers, Carl held true to his roots. A renaissance man, after the war, he utilized his unwavering belief in the power of culture, the emotion of art, and the beauty of words to break stereotypes and build avenues of understanding between his people and the world.
Zonnie Gorman, Carl's youngest daughter and a noted historian on the Navajo Code Talkers will share how the Navajo Code Talker program began with twenty-nine Navajo men, including her father, in the spring of 1942 and how Carl, following the war, emerged as an advocate for cultural understanding and dialogue through art and teaching.