The Commission of Fine
Arts Oct. 15 parted with the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee over what
designs to recommend for the reverses of the Native American dollars
in 2017 and 2018.
For the 2017 dollar, which carries an obverse featuring Sacagawea,
the guide who led Lewis and Clark across the newly acquired Louisiana
Purchase, the CFA recommends a design showing a tightly cropped image
of Sequoyah creating the written Cherokee syllabary.
It became the script for writing the language of the Cherokee Nation
and ranks as one of the great contributions made by a Native American.
The CCAC had selected another design showing Sequoyah depicted
within an inner circle on the coin creating the written language.
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For the 2018 dollar, the CFA rejected a CCAC-based design some
members of that panel had predicted could become a celebrated image —
one that showed Olympic athlete Jim
Thorpe against a silhouetted Chief Black Hawk, one of Thorpe’s ancestors.
Instead the CFA backs an image endorsed by Thorpe’s sons that shows
an image of their father in the background with smaller images of his
as an Olympic runner and a football player.
It contains the inscription JIM THORPE around the top border and
BRIGHT PATH on two lines in the field. The CFA recommended replacing
BRIGHT PATH with WA-THO-HUK, Thorpe's Native American name that
translates in English to "Bright Path."
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