At their most recent meeting, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) reviewed the seven design candidates provided by the United States Mint for the reverse of the 2014 Native American Dollar. The theme for the design is the Native American hospitality which helped to ensure the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The Native American $1 Coin Program was authorized under Public Law 110-82 and requires coins to be issued with annually rotating designs honoring of Native Americans and the important contributions made by tribes and individuals to the development and history of the United States. For each year of the series, the Glenna Goodacre depiction of Sacagawea and child has appeared on the obverse, while the reverse has carried the design for the given theme.
While introducing the design candidates, a representative for the United States Mint informed the CCAC of the preferences of other groups who had previously reviewed the candidates. The National Congress of the American Indian (NCAI) had expressed their preference for both design candidates #1 and #2. The first design commemorates the relationship between the Nez Perce and Lewis and Clark through the offer of horses. The generosity and hospitality were instrumental in the expedition's quest to explore the American west. The second design depicted the friendship and mutual respect that developed between Lewis and the Mandan Chief. The NCAI did recommend some alterations to the designs. For #1, they requested that the link of the horses ears be corrected. For #2, they recommended that the pipe be removed, based on its relation to ceremonial and religious use.
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs had preferred design #5, which depicts a Mandan woman offering provisions of fish, corn, roots, and gourds with her village in the background. The concept is intended to symbolize the Native people's hospitality and willingness to provide aid and support for the expedition.
The Commission of Fine Arts had recommended design #6. This features a depiction of Chief Cameahwait warning Captain Lewis of the unpassable river route through the mountains and instead recommending a land route further north. The designer took artistic license in portraying both figures in more formal clothing to emphasize the importance of the occasion to the expedition.
Within the CCAC's discussions, there was support expressed for design #1, although some members expressed misgivings about the lack of a specific link to Lewis and Clark. Early within the discussions, problems were noted with design #6, which might be difficult to understand on the smaller size of an actual coin. Support coalesced around design #3, which depicts a Native American man offering a pipe and his wife offering provisions. The background includes a stylized image of the face of Clark's compass, highlighting the "NW". The concept symbolizes the unity of families in offering aid, support, and friendship to those of the expedition.
In the end, the voting was as follows, with design #3 representing the official recommendation of the CCAC for the 2014 Native American Dollar:
Design 1: 17 points Design 4: 4 points Design 8: 5 points Design 2: 4 points Design 5: 2 points Design 3: 23 points Design 6: 6 points
The authority to make the final decision for the reverse design of the coin rests with the Secretary of the Treasury. He will consider the recommendation of the CCAC, as well as the input and recommendations provided by 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, and the Commission of Fine Arts.