September 13, 2009

Chickasaw area on state quarter

Chickasaw National Recreation Area to be Featured in United States Mint America the Beautiful QuarterThe United States Mint announced today that the nation will honor Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma through its new quarter-dollar coin program. The Chickasaw design will be the tenth to be featured on coins released under the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, and will be issued in 2011.

A landmark in natural resource conservation, Chickasaw National Recreation Area is the first and only national park area in the United States established at the request of an Indian Tribe, the Chickasaw Nation. For over 100 years the park has been a refuge for outdoor tradition, a protected niche of parkland. Native Americans, early settlers of the surrounding plains, and present day Americans all have sought recreation here in shaded woodlands threaded by clear-running streams and dotted with mineral and freshwater springs. It was established as a national site in 1902.

The United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program is a multi-year initiative authorized by Public Law 110-456--the America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. The Act directs the United States Mint to mint and issue 56 circulating quarter-dollar coins with reverse (tails side) designs emblematic of a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
Comment:  This state-quarter program will do a better job of representing Natives than the last state-quarter program.

The list of America the Beautiful quarters includes a couple of parks directly connected to Native cultures:

  • Iowa--Effigy Mounds National Monument
  • New Mexico--Chaco Culture National Historical Park

  • Several parks with strong ties to Native cultures--parks that were or are home to Natives--including:

  • Arizona--Grand Canyon National Park
  • California--Yosemite National Park
  • Florida--Everglades National Park
  • Oklahoma--Chickasaw National Recreation Area

  • And a couple of parks that might offend some Natives:

  • South Dakota--Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Texas--San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

  • Note:  Are the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore going to be in every set of state quarters? Perhaps the rules should say that no image can appear twice.

    For more on the subject, see Ken Burns and Indians, Again and Review of American Indians and National Parks.

    Below:  The present South Dakota quarter.


    Anonymous said...

    Some of the names of certain parks, peaks, mtns, etc can also be offensive. It was too long ago when the famous "Squaw Peak"(Phoenix Area) was re-named to Piestewa Peak. Which was named after the first Native American woman(Hopi) killed in combat in Iraq. Sadly, though folks who lived here long enough are still referring the peaks as "Squaw". The new name hasn't really kicked in despite changing the peaks' signs/name.


    dmarks said...

    Geno: The Squaw Peak name lives on, and it lives on strongly. I saw a golf tournament recently where the name was mentioned extensively and repeatedly. And officially.

    Rob said...

    Right, but as far as I can tell, the places chosen for this program don't have offensive names. There's no "squaw" or anything similar.

    Anonymous said...

    Oops, a typo in my comment above should read as "not" too long ago.
    Anyway, Dmarks is right. I live in Maricopa County, and sometimes(but not always) on the local news, a reporter would occasionally mention "Squaw" peak but lately most of them are now referring to it as Piestewa Peak. It takes time for the new name to kick in. Most Natives are already calling it Piestewa Peak because they know "Squaw" is a derogatory term. The racist inbreeds, however are still using the term. And yes, they are the majority here, which is why they're opposed to the name change. The day when Piestewa was iniatated, many of these antequated racist KKKrackers voiced their opposition to the name change. Eventually it was approved by the state, regardless of what the inbreed thinks. But the local Natives will never recognize the name "Squaw" when mentioning the peak.


    Marie Curious said...

    Apostle Islands Nat'l Lakeshore is also going to be on a quarter - it's got an interesting history with the local tribes. The whole area has used by Ojibwe people for centuries, but when the Nat'l Lakeshore was established there was a lot of fighting about whether or not to include the local tribal lands in it, and ultimately they were not included.