U.S. Mint unveils coin with Alaska Native civil rights icon Elizabeth Peratrovich
Alaska Native civil rights icon Elizabeth Peratrovich is joining the likes of Jim Thorpe and Sacagawea on the back of the U.S. Mint’s latest $1 coin.
The design was unveiled on Oct. 5 at a ceremony at Alaska Pacific University with the theme of “Elizabeth Peratrovich and Alaska’s Anti-Discrimination Law” referring to Peratrovich’s work passing an anti-discrimination law in 1945. A bill designating November as
was signed at the same event.
Peratrovich, a Tlingit from Southeast Alaska, encountered open discrimination against Natives while living in Juneau in the 40s, where many business hung signs saying “No Natives Allowed.” As a leader of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, Peratrovich pushed a bill through the territorial legislature barring such forms of discrimination, nearly 20 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned such forms of discrimination nation-wide.
The idea for a new coin was passed in a joint resolution from the Alaska Legislature in May, petitioning the U.S. Mint to include her in its Native American $1 Coin Program, which puts a new Native American design on its coin each year.