Program to launch in 2009
Another popular design, which came in second place, featured three female Indians surrounded by squash, corn and beans. It represented the traditional Native "Three Sisters" system of planting the crops, which tend to supplement each other when grown in the same location.
In consultation with the National Museum of the American Indian and other Native groups, the Mint decided to focus on Indian agricultural achievements for the first year of its Native American $1 coin program, which will officially launch in 2009.
The winning choice has a good concept: an Indian woman tending her crops. This might be the first US coin ever with women on both sides. But the actual picture of the woman in profile is kind of bland. A figure on a novel's or comic book's cover would never be positioned so passively.
I'm not crazy about the second choice. The three women look too similar (perhaps they're supposed to be actual sisters, not symbolic sisters). They don't have strong Indian features, and the features they do have are somewhat indistinct. The woman with the flower in her hair says "Hawaiian" to me.
For more on the subject, see Native Agriculture on Dollar.