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Depiction of Indians on currency dates to the Indian medals the government would give to cooperative chiefs, which would show the face of the chief on one side. The first Indian cent appeared in 1859, breaking with the tradition of depicting Lady Liberty on the front. The five-cent piece was introduced in 1866, but the buffalo nickel, with an Indian's face on the reverse, was not minted until 1913. Shown here is Two Guns White Calf, a Blackfoot chief, who was chosen as a model for the coin.
White "Buffalo" Calf, Piegan Chief, died at Washington in 1903. He was almost 80 yrs old. He was chief of his tribe for about a generation. In 1855, known as "Feather", he signed a treaty negotiated by Gov. Stevens. As a warrior, White Calf was famous among the tribes. With the passing of inter tribal warfare he peacefully worked for the good of his people.
Northern Aboriginal Festival11 by Tracey Sanders photographic Arts 2009 via Flickr.com photosharing.