The Commission of Fine
Arts Oct. 15 endorsed recommendations from its staff that support
tribal selections for congressional gold medals honoring Native
Americans from two tribes who served as Code Talkers during World War II.
The two medals are among 33 to be struck and issued under provisions
of Public Law 110-420.
The panel agreed with the choices of the Citizens Coinage Advisory
Committee a week earlier about the medal for members of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York.
For that medal, the obverse design shows a code talker with tribal
animals symbols in the background and a reverse showing a Mohawk
warrior wearing a bear claw necklace, with war clubs and a headdress
and a belt in the surrounding design.
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For the Pueblo Laguna of New Mexico, though, the CFA
differs somewhat from the CCAC, backing an obverse design showing a
kneeling soldier holding a rifle and a walkie talkie, with tribal
symbols of a turkey and ear of corn in the background. The CCAC
selected an obverse design showing the soldier, but with those symbols
placed to the soldier’s left.
For the reverse, the CFA endorses a design showing the tribal seal
and a shoulder patch for the 43rd Bombardment Group in which its members
served. The CCAC also backed this design.
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