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Coin of the Month

2010 Native American $1 Coin

This coin's design features a beaded belt.  One of the figures on the belt is a tree known as the Great Tree of Peace.  Here is the tree's story:

Several hundred years ago, long before there were states, five tribes in the northeastern part of the North American Continent were constantly at war with each other.  These five tribes were the Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga, Mohawk, and Oneida.

The tribes suffered greatly because of lives lost in the fighting.  Families missed their lost members.  Tribes went hungry as there were fewer men to gather food.

But then, according to legend, a man called Peacemaker brought a message of peace.  Hiawatha, a good man of the Onondaga nation, carried the Peacemaker's words to the five tribes.

One day, Hiawatha taught a practical lesson about unity.  He gathered all the chiefs of each of the tribes and took one arrow from each chief.  He held up one arrow and broke it.  He told them that it is as easy to break the rest of the arrows as it is to break the first one. He explained that tribes working together in peace makes all of the tribes strong.

He then asked the chiefs if they would help their tribes to stop fighting.  When each chief agreed, Hiawatha gave him a new arrow.  Then he took all their new arrows and tied them together in a bundle.

He then passed the bundle around and asked each chief to try to break the bundle of arrows.  They could not break the bundle.  Hiawatha then said that the nations working together in peace are like the bundle and cannot be broken.

The chiefs sealed their treaty by burying weapons under a white pine tree.  This tree has come to be called the Great Tree of Peace.

You can find out more about why this design was created for this coin on the Native American $1 Coin page.

—Bill

Bill, the Mint Buffalo

Teacher Feature

Image shows the front of the 2010 Native American $1 Coin
Obverse:  Sacagawea carries her infant son in a sling on her back.

Image show the back of the 2010 Native American $1 Coin.
Reverse:  The Hiawatha Belt wrapped around 5 arrows bound in the center is underlined with the words "Haudenosaunee" and "Great Law of Peace."


Image shows the incused edge of the coin.
Edge:  The edge of the coin is incused with normal inscriptions (year, mint mark, and "E Pluribus Unum").


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