The United States Mint began issuing Native American $1 coins in 2009, to recognize and honor the many contributions and accolades of the Native American community towards the development of the United States. Beginning in chronological order from the time in which they lived and the major events in which the individuals or groups participated, is the order in which have and will be released.
The coins are much like presidential coins, which are always golden in color and feature an edge design unto themselves. While the obverse design will forever honor Sacagawea by featuring her and her infant son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the reverse design changes each year.
The reverse designs that have been created pay homage to not only the development and western expansion over the course of our nation's history but also to significant key roles Native Americans played historical events that helped shape our country. One such group are the Code Talkers during World War I and World War II. Specially recruited by the Armed Forces for their bilingual capabilities during the aforementioned wars, Navajo (WWII), Cherokee (WWI), and Choctaw (WWI) men served their country by using their respective tribe's languages as “code” to help defeat enemies and bring the Allies advancement and ultimately success. These major contributions towards defeating our enemies during a radical time were kept secret for decades but released toward the end of the 20th century.
Other such contributions which have been highlighted by the United States Mint are the Kahnawake Mohawk and Mohawk Akwesasne ironworkers who helped build the majority of the New York skyscrapers we know today, Sequoyah, the Cherokee man who developed the Cherokee Syllabary. Also featured, as reverse designs are the Wampanoag Treaty, The Delaware Treaty of 1778, Trade Routes in the 17th Century, and Native American hospitality amongst others.
Each coin bears the edge inscription of “E Pluribus Unum” and the obverse inscriptions of “Liberty” and “In God We Trust.”
The Native American community has played a vital role in the development and sustainability of the United States for centuries. Whether advancing west, risking their lives for the land they love in combat or high above the ground, these men and women have displayed loyalty and dedication to their country for centuries without hesitation. Commitment, which has been rightfully honored each year since 2009, by the United States Mint and will hopefully continue for years to come.
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