US Mint rolls out coin honoring Wampanoag Tribe

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Federal and Wampanoag tribal officials Friday introduced the 2011 Native American $1 coin during a ceremony at the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth.

“The 2011 Native American $1 Coin celebrates the Wampanoag Treaty of 1621 that later led the English colonists and Massosoit and his men to join in a first harvest feast,” B. B. Craig, United States Mint associate director of sales and marketing, said in prepared remarks.

Joining Mr. Craig at the ceremony was Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head chairman; Cedric Cromwell, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe chairman; and Jim Adams, senior historian of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The United States Mint began minting and issuing the Native American $1 Coin in 2009, as required by Public Law 110-82, the “Native American $1 Coin Act,” according to a press release. “Each $1 coin issued in the program will feature a design celebrating the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States.”

The reverse (tails side) of the 2011 coin 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. Inscriptions are: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $1 and 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 coin’s obverse (heads side) design continues to feature the familiar “Sacagawea” design by sculptor Glenna Goodacre. Inscriptions are LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold, and platinum bullion coins.