JANUARY 13, 2005

SAA.AAT’, KEET W’ OODEE’ISHK’ADUNEEK, GUSTEIHEEN (MARK JACOBS) DIED–TLINGIT LEADER & ALASKA NATIVE CODE TALKER

Born on November 28, 1923, in Sitka, Alaska, Jacobs grew up at family camps.  His schooling was interrupted by World War II.  Joining the Navy with his brother Harvey, he served on the USS New Mexico in the Aleutians, the USS Newberry, and 2 years with amphibious forces in the South Pacific.  He and Harvey were used as Code Talkers.  After the war, he finished high school and became active in the Alaska Native Brotherhood, Alaska Federation of Natives, and National Congress of American Indians.  He served for over 34 years on Executive Council of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska and on the Sealaska board of directors, and Sitka Civil Air Patrol.  He was engaged in construction and was a union steward.  Nationally, Jacobs was appointed to the Native American Veterans Advisory Commission and helped Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) draft the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. 

Sources:  “Tlingit Code Talkers: The warriors who helped end World War II,” Sealaska Heritage.  Retrieved 6/28/2020, https://www.sealaskaheritage.org/node/659
 “Mark Jacobs, Jr., Tlingit and civic leader dies at 81,” Alaska Web, 1/18/2005.  Retrieved 6/28/2020, http://www.alaskaweb.org/obits/jacobsmjr.html
Medal:  U.S Mint, 2008.  Tlingit Code Talker Congressional Medal.  Designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Joseph Menna.  Public Domain.   

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