The 2016 Native American Dollar will feature a reverse design recognizing the contributions of the Native American Code Talkers of World War I and World War II. The Code Talkers had served in the United States Armed Forces and used their tribal languages as a means of secret communication, which proved to be unbreakable.
Code Talkers from individual tribes have previously been honored with the award of Congressional Gold Medals. In 2001, Navajo Code Talkers were recognized for their contributions during World War II. Late last year, an additional 25 tribes with members who had served as Code Talkers during a foreign conflict in which the United States was involved were to be similarly honored. An additional eight tribes will be honored at a later date.
The US Mint created almost entirely unique obverse and reverse designs for each of the Congressional Gold Medals awarded. As customary, bronze duplicate versions were also made available for sale to the public. Images and descriptions of the medals can be found here.
For the reverse design of the upcoming 2016 Native American Dollar, the US Mint recently provided 18 different design candidates. These will be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, Commission of Fine Arts, 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, who may each provide their feedback and recommendation. The final design will be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Detailed coverage of the CCAC and CFA discussions and recommendations will be forthcoming on Coin Update News.
For now, here is a look at the design candidates. Click any image for a larger version.