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Alaska Native Civil Rights Leader to be Featured on One-Dollar Coin

Front and back of 2000-era US dollar coin, featuring Sacagawea
The Sacagawea US dollar coin, circa 2000. Image by Arun Kumar Singh from Wikimedia Commons, shared via Creative Commons 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The United States Mint has announced that a prominent Alaska Native will be featured on a new coin, set to be released in 2020. Elizabeth Peratrovich, who influenced the passage of Alaska’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, will be part of the design on the $1 coin.

According to a statement from Senator Lisa Murkowski, Peratrovich “stood up for those who needed a voice, when she witnessed significant discrimination against Alaska Natives. Her message… (was) that we must strive for equal rights for all citizens.”

An Alaska Native civil rights leader, Peratrovich advocated in the Alaska Territorial Legislature for full and equal accommodations, facilities, and privileges for all citizens in public places throughout Alaska. As such, the Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945 provided for all of these things and was one of the first anti-discrimination laws in the U.S.

The new $1 coin, named the Peratrovich, will retain the “Sacagawea” design on the heads side, while Elizabeth Peratrovich will be featured on the reverse side.

Image at top: the 2000-era US dollar coin, featuring Native American historical figure Sacagawea on the front (“obverse”) side of the coin. The 2020 dollar coin will retain Sacagawea’s likeness on the front while replacing the eagle on the back with a likeness of Peratrovich. Image by Arun Kumar Singh from Wikimedia Commons, shared via Creative Commons 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

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