"Vine Deloria Jr. was the scholar who most greatly influenced the discipline of American Indian studies," she said.
Amanda LeClair, Eastern Shoshone, an English student, says Mankiller "is just a really good example of not only a strong Native American but also a strong Native American woman."
Native writers Sherman Alexie, Spokane/Coeur d'Alene, and N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa, winner of the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, are contemporary figures whom finance student Crystal C'Bearing, Northern Arapaho, would like to see on the coin.
Using their writing to show what life is like for Natives today is not only an enjoyable read, C'Bearing said, but also sheds light on a group of people usually unnoticed. "They contributed to the awareness that we still exist," she added.
For Felicia Antelope, Northern Arapaho, an anthropology and history student, Sioux Chief Sitting Bull would be perfect for the coin because his is one of history's most recognizable faces and because he fought for survival of his people's way of life, land and beliefs.
"He was part of the resistance against colonization," Antelope said. "He would be a good one."
But it would be interesting to see a US coin with Sitting Bull or Geronimo on it. I.e., someone who wasn't a good Indian who helped the white man. Someone who actively opposed the US government and all it stood for, including its currency. Alas, I don't expect that to happen anytime soon.