Almost two weeks ago I provided a look at the 2010 Platinum Eagle design candidates and mentioned another post coming with more coin design candidates. Plenty of news happened in the interim delaying a look at the leading 2011 Native American Dollar candidate design.
The Native American Dollar series began in 2009, replacing the Sacagawea Dollar series, but using a modified version of the obverse design. The reverse of each coin would feature an annually rotating design celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of Native Americans. The first design featured an agriculture theme with a depiction of the “Three Sisters” method of planting. The second design released in 2010 featured the theme “Government- The Great Tree of Peace” and depicted the Hiawatha Belt, a visual representation of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy.
The theme for the 2011 Native American Dollar is “Diplomacy- Treaties with Tribal Nations”. The design candidates focus on the treaty between Massasoit (head chief) of the great Wampanoag Nation and the English settlers in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The United States Mint provided a total of six design candidates to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for review and recommendation. Three of the designs are somewhat literal, in that they depict the treaty encounter, discussion, and signing between the Massasoit and Governor John Carver. Two of the designs are depictions of the Massasoit. One final design is more symbolic and shows the hands of the Massasoit and John Carver exchanging a pipe during the peace pipe ceremony.
Both the CFA and CCAC recommended the design showing the exchange of the peace pipe. The CFA commented that the design was the simplest and “uncluttered in comparison to the other alternatives and legibly conveys the theme of Native American diplomacy.” They did recommend study of the “$1” text, commenting that its size and placement “may convey an inappropriately commercial association with the coin’s theme of diplomacy.”
The CCAC stated, “Members of the Committee who favored the design considered the simplicity of the image of two hands and a peace pipe as the most effective way to depict the design theme.”
For the Native American Dollar series, there are additional consultations on the reverse design candidates with the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate, the Congressional Native American Caucus of the House of Representatives, and the National Congress of American Indians. The final design will be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury after weighing the input provided by the various consultations and reviews.