Happy birthday, Elizabeth Peratrovich.
A U.S. Mint program could soon bring $1 gold coins bearing a likeness of the civil rights leader born July 4, 1911, to Alaska financial intuitions, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alaska Native Sisterhood announced Friday.
Peratrovich, who was chosen to adorn the 2020 Native American $1 Coin, was a Tlingit woman and former ANS grand president, whose advocacy for Alaska Natives and famous speech to the Alaska Territorial Legislature are widely credited with helping to pass the territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945. The law predated the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 by 19 years.
The U.S. Mint has designed a special program to sell the Peratrovich coins to Alaska financial institutions. The program makes the coins available to financial institutions in rolls of 25, bags of 100 and boxes of 250. The minimum order is four boxes of 250, and there is a daily maximum order limit of four boxes per day.
Paulette Moreno, ANS grand president, said in a phone interview she and her organization hope people who want their financial institutions to carry the coins will let their local banks know.
“It’s nice to have a symbol of something that’s so powerful and accessible to everybody,” Moreno said.
The new program is in part the result of the passage of House Joint Resolution 9 by the Alaska State Legislature. The resolution, sponsored by state Rep. DeLena Johnson, R-Palmer, requested the U.S. Secretary of Treasury not mint fewer than five million of the coins.
The resolution received widespread and bipartisan support.
Moreno worked with Alaska 4H groups to present this idea, according to an ANB and ANS news release. They received support from both ANB and ANS members, the Peratrovich family, Sealaska and others.
Moreno said she was especially proud of the initiative the 4H kids showed. She is glad the coin could become more common in Alaska.
“Elizabeth and many other Alaska Native Leaders have contributed to anti-discrimination, and the $1 gold coin is (an) opportunity to the world to show our support for equality, in all aspects of our society,” Moreno said in a news release.
Individual people are still able to purchase the coins by calling the mint’s customer care center at 1-844-467-1328.
“We encourage all Alaskans to join us in lifting up this important part of our Alaska Native history, through supporting education and awareness of the historical and contemporary issues faced by Alaska Natives,” said ANB Grand President Heather Gurko in a release.
• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt