Beginning in 2009, the United States Mint began minting and issuing $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. This program was created by the Native American $1 Coin Act (Public Law 110-82).
Timeline of Events
The United States Mint will prepare a timeline of events and personal contributions for the program until at least 2016. This timeline will be used to create candidate designs for consideration. At various stages in the evaluation process, the United States Mint will consult with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Congressional Native American Caucus, National Congress of American Indians and U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee is responsible for reviewing proposed themes and designs. The Department of the Treasury makes the final selection of designs to be minted and issued.
The obverse (heads side) design remains the central figure of the "Sacagawea" design first produced in 2000 and contains the inscriptions LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST. The reverse (tails) design changes each year to celebrate an important contribution of Indian tribes, or individual Native Americans, and contain the inscriptions $1 and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Like the Presidential $1 Coins, the Native American $1 Coins maintain their distinctive edge and golden color and feature edge-lettering of the year, mint mark and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The 2009 Native American $1 Coin reverse features a Native American woman planting seeds in a field of corn, beans and squash.
The 2010 Native American $1 Coin reverse features an image of the Hiawatha Belt with five arrows bound together and the additional inscriptions HAUDENOSAUNEE and GREAT LAW OF PEACE.
The 2011 Native American $1 Coin reverse features the 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 the European settlers. The additional inscription is WAMPANOAG TREATY 1621.
The 2012 Native American $1 Coin reverse features the profile of a Native American and a horse with more horses running in the background.
The 2013 Native American $1 Coin reverse features a turkey, howling wolf and turtle (all symbols of the clans of the Delaware Tribe), and a ring of 13 stars to represent the Colonies.
The 2014 Native American $1 Coin reverse commemorates how Native American hospitality ensured the success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Its reverse design depicts a Native American man offering a pipe while his wife offers provisions of fish, corn, roots and gourds. In the background is a stylized image of the face of William Clark's compass highlighting “NW,” the area in which the expedition occurred.
The 2015 Native American $1 Coin reverse commemorates the contributions of the Kahnawake Mohawk and Mohawk Akwesasne communities to “high iron” construction work and the building of New York City skyscrapers. The reverse design depicts a Mohawk ironworker reaching for an I-beam that is swinging into position, rivets on the left and right side of the border, and a high elevation view of the city skyline in the background.
The 2016 Native American $1 Coin reverse commemorates the contributions of the Native American Code Talkers in World War I and World War II. The reverse (tails side) design features two helmets—one in the shape of the U.S. helmets used in World War I and the other in the shape of a World War II helmet. Next to them are the inscriptions "WWI" and "WWII". Behind the helmets are two feathers that form a "V", symbolizing victory, unity and the important role that the code talkers played in both world wars.
The 2017 Native American $1 Coin reverse commemorates the contributions of Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary. The reverse (tails) design features a profiled likeness of Sequoyah writing “Sequoyah from Cherokee Nation” in syllabary along the border of the design. Inscriptions are "UNITED STATES of AMERICA" "$1" and "Sequoyah" written in English in the field of the design.
Overall $1 Coin Production
In general, five distinct $1 coins will be issued each year—four Presidential $1 Coins and one Native American $1 Coin. The United States Mint will continue to produce Presidential $1 Coins and Native American $1 Coins so that the total quantity of $1 coins minted and issued for circulation is sufficient to meet the needs of the Nation. The law requires that at least 20 percent of all such $1 coins minted and issued in any year be Native American $1 Coins.
Until the conclusion of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, the Native American $1 Coins will be issued, to the maximum extent practicable, in chronological order of the events or lives of the persons being featured on the reverse design.
After the completion of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, the Native American $1 Coin Program will continue. It will feature designs in any order determined to be appropriate by the Department of the Treasury after consultation with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the Congressional Native American Caucus, the National Congress of American Indians and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Source: Wikipedia and US Mint