2012 Native American $1 Coins

in Native American Dollars

Appearing as the fourth year in a series of strikes containing new annual reverse designs from the US Mint is the 2012 Native American $1 Coins.

2012 Native American $1 Coins (US Mint image)

2012 Native American $1 Coins, Obverse - Click to Enlarge

The series debuted in 2009 but actually served as a continuation of a program started by the Mint in 2000 – The Sacagawea $1 Coin. However, from 2000-2008, the reverse of the Sacagawea Coin contained a static design showing an eagle soaring.

Congress directed the Mint to change the reverse of these coins beginning in 2009 with the passage of the Native American $1 Coin Act. This Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 20, 2007 and became Public Law 110-82.

"Images celebrating the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the development of the United States and the history of the United States," were to be placed on the reverse of the coins, according to the Act. To the best extent possible, these images were to be used in as close to chronological order as possible to the actual occurrence of the events showcased.

One has to go back to around 1000 A.D. to see the first examples of Native Americans performing the "Three Sisters" method of planting that they developed, and which is depicted on the reverse of the 2009 Native American strike. Then, for the 2010 release, the Mint depicted the Iroquois Confederacy with a design on the reverse of the coin. The Confederacy was a loose alliance developed between five Native American tribes in the 1400’s.

The 2011 strike evokes the theme of treaties between Native Americans and the first European settlers. It does this by showing the hands of Supreme Sachem Ousamequin Massasoit and Governor John Carver exchanging the peace pipe in 1621.

Shown on the obverse of the 2012 Native American $1 Coin is the same portrait featured on the golden dollars since 2000. It is of the famous Shoshone woman Sacagawea who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition into the wilderness of the United States in the early 1800’s.

The reverse of the coin will contain a design emblematic of the contributions of Native Americans to the United States.

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