Today, the United States Mint announced the reverse design selection for the upcoming 2011 Native American Dollar.
The design depicts the hands of Supreme Sachem Ousamequin Massasoit and Governor John Carver exchanging the ceremonial peace pipe after the initiation of the first formal written peace alliance between the Wampanoag tribe and the settlers at Plymouth Bay. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
The obverse of the coin will continue to feature the portrait of Sacagawea and child, designed by Glenna Goodacre.
Under the authorizing legislation for the series, the final design selection is made by the United States Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate, the Congressional Native American Caucus of the House of Representatives, Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), the National Congress of American Indians, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC).
Both the CFA and CCAC had recommended the selected design, out of the six design candidates originally prepared by the US Mint. The design featuring hands exchanging a peace pipe is more symbolic and less literal than the other design candidates. This is a direction that has been urged by the CCAC in their earlier critiques on the quality of the US Mint’s coin designs.
It is worth noting that the CFA had recommended studying the text and placement of the “$1” inscription on the selected design, noting that it “may convey an inappropriately commercial association with the coin’s theme of diplomacy.” The US Mint did not make any modification to the design from the original presented.