The United States Mint on Friday pulled away the curtains and revealed next year’s 2011 Native American Dollar coin design.
The reverse or tails side of the Native American $1 coin has changed annually since 2009 as mandated by the Native American $1 Coin Act (Public Law 110-82). Each year celebrates a unique historic contribution made by Indian tribes or individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States.
The theme of the 2011 Native American Dollar design is Diplomacy — Treaties with Tribal Nations, officially designated as Supreme Sachem Ousamequin, Massasoit of the Great Wampanoag Nation Creates Alliance with Settlers at Plymouth Bay (1621).
"Within most Native American cultures, the ability to make peace was historically as highly prized as leadership in war and often conducted by a separate peace chief, who stepped in when the time for the warriors had passed. For centuries, tribes created alliances with each other that spanned hundreds of miles," the United States Mint said in a statement announcing the design.
"One of the first treaties for a mutual alliance with settlers in what became the United States of America occurred between the Puritan settlers at Plymouth and the Massasoit of the Pokanoket Wampanoag in 1621. Historians credit the alliance with the Massasoit with ensuring survival of the Plymouth colony."
As such, the reverse 2011 Native American Dollar coin design features a ceremonial passing of a peace pipe following the 1621 treaty between the Wampanoag tribe and European settlers at Plymouth Bay. The hands holding the peace pipe represent Supreme Sachem Ousamequin Massasoit of the Great Wampanoag Nation and Governor John Carver of the Plymouth Colony. Reverse inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $1, and WAMPANOAG TREATY 1621.
The reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
Prior year reverse themes were:
- 2009 Native American $1 Coin: Three Sisters Agriculture
- 2010 Native American $1 Coin: Government — The Great Tree of Peace
The obverse or heads side of the dollar coin remains unchanged, portraying an image of Sacagawea that was first seen on $1 coins in 2000. It was designed by Glenda Goodacre and includes inscriptions of LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
Similar to the Presidential $1 coins, each Native American Dollar includes an edge-lettered inscription of E PLURIBUS UNUM, the year the coin was minted and a mintmark.
The US Mint has not announced when the 2011 Native American Dollar coin will begin to enter circulation or be available for purchase in rolls. This year’s issue kicked-off all US Mint product releases with its launch on January 4.
Like past years, the United States Mint will issue five distinct circulating dollar coins — four Presidential $1 Coins and one Native American Dollar. Also as mandated by law, at least 20 percent of all dollar coins minted and issued in any given year must be Native American Dollars.