WASHINGTON — The United States Mint today announced the reverse design for the 2011 Native American $1 Coin. The theme for the design is “Supreme Sachem Ousamequin, Massasoit of the Great Wampanoag Nation Creates Alliance with Settlers at Plymouth Bay (1621).”
The 2011 reverse (tails side) design depicts hands of the Supreme Sachem Ousamequin Massasoit and Governor John Carver, symbolically offering the ceremonial peace pipe after the initiation of the first formal written peace alliance between the Wampanoag tribe and European settlers. The design includes the required inscriptions, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and $1, along with the additional inscription WAMPANOAG TREATY 1621. The reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Joseph Menna.
The obverse (heads side) design remains the familiar “Sacagawea” design, introduced in 2000, by sculptor Glenna Goodacre. Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST. Like the Presidential $1 Coins, the Native American $1 Coins are minted in the distinctive golden color with the year, mint mark and E PLURIBUS UNUM edge–lettered.
An image of the 2011 Native American $1 Coin is available at
Within most Native American cultures, the ability to make peace was historically as highly prized as leadership in war and often conducted by a separate peace chief, who stepped in when the time for the warriors had passed. For centuries, tribes created alliances with each other that spanned hundreds of miles. One of the first treaties for a mutual alliance with settlers in what became the United States of America occurred between the Puritan settlers at Plymouth and the Massasoit of the Pokanoket Wampanoag in 1621. Historians credit the alliance with the Massasoit with ensuring survival of the Plymouth colony.
The Native American $1 Coin Program (Public Law 110–82) requires the United States Mint to mint and issue $1 Coins featuring designs celebrating the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States. The United States Mint issued the first coin in the program in 2009.
The United States Mint will issue five distinct circulating $1 Coins each year – four Presidential $1 Coins and one Native American $1 Coin. The total quantity of $1 coins minted and issued into circulation will be sufficient to meet the needs of the Nation. The law requires that at least 20 percent of all $1 coins minted and issued in any given year be Native American $1 Coins.
Until the conclusion of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, the United States Mint will issue the Native American $1 Coins, to the maximum extent practicable, in chronological order of the events or lives of the persons being featured in the reverse design.
At the end of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, the Native American $1 Coin Program will continue to feature designs determined to be appropriate by the Secretary of the Treasury after consulting with the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the Congressional Native American Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, the National Congress of American Indians, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.