Today, the Commission of Fine Arts will be reviewing proposals for the 2011 Native American Dollar reverse design. The theme for the reverse designs is Diplomacy: Treaties with Tribal Nations.
Since 2009, the Native American Dollar coin series has featured annually rotating reverse designs which celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans. These have been paired with an obverse design featuring Sacagawea and child, as depicted on the Sacagawea Dollar coin series from 2000 to 2008.
The 2009 Native American Dollar was based on a theme of agriculture and featured a Native American woman planting seeds in a field of corn, beans, and squash to represent the “Three Sisters” method of planting. The 2010 release had the theme Government- The Great Tree of Peace. The reverse design featured the Hiawatha Belt encircling five arrows as a representation of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy.
The 2011 Native American Dollar reverse design takes focus on the treaty between Sachem Ousamequin, Massasoit (title meaning head chief) of the Great Wampanoag Nation, and the English settlers in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. This represented the first written treaty between an Indigenous people and European settlers within what would become the United States of America.
Under the treaty, Massasoit promised to defend the settlers in return for their intervention if his people were attacked. Massasoit’s intermediaries also gave the settlers invaluable tips on survival. Later that summer, the Plymouth settlers honored the treaty by coming to Massasoit’s rescue when he was believed to have been captured by enemies. In mid-October, Massasoit and 90 of his tribesmen celebrated Harvest Feast at Plymouth, which served as inspiration for the legend of the First Thanksgiving.
A total of six design candidates have been prepared by the United States Mint.
Design NA-01 depicts the signing of the treaty between the Wampanoag and English settlers. The Massasoit and Governor John Carver are pictured.
Design NA-02 depicts the beginning of the first treaty encounters. The Massasoit and Governor John Carver are shown exchanging the Native American cultural offering of the peace pipe. Samoset, a bi-lingual familiar with European customs, looks on.
Design NA-03 depicts the Massasoit standing before Profile Rock, located in Freetown State Forest in Massachusetts. The Wampanoags believed that Profile Rock resembled the Massasoit. The image of Massasoit is based on a statue that overlooks Plymouth Bay.
Design NA-04 depicts the Massasoit and Governor John Carver having a discussion on a rug with Native foods before them.
Design NA-05 presents a close-up view of Massasoit. This image is also based on the statue that overlooks Plymouth Bay.
Design NA-06 represents the initiation of the initiation of the first formal written peace alliance. The hands of Massasoit and Governor John carver are shown exchanging a pipe during the peace pipe ceremony.