A first, three Indigenous artists create design for $2 commemorative

For the first time on a Canadian circulation coin, three artists have collaborated on a single reverse design for a $2 commemorative circulation coin celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.

The design, unveiled by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) and Indigenous representatives on June 20 in Ottawa, captures the three Indigenous artists’ “personal visions of their respective cultures to create a unique perspective of First Nations, Inuit and Métis heritage that all people living in Canada can honour and celebrate on National Indigenous Peoples Day.”

The artwork appearing on the reverse of the 2023 $2 circulation coin is the creation of three women artists, each one representing the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities residing in Canada. They are: Megan Currie, English River First Nation, Myrna Pokiak (Agnaviak), Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Jennine Krauchi, Red River Métis. The RCM says “it is the first time that multiple artists have collaborated on the design of a single Canadian coin.”

The new $2 commemorative will enter Canadian circulation on June 21, with two million coloured and the remaining one million non-coloured.

The creative intent behind each artist’s personal choice of symbolism is explained in their own words at www.mint.ca/nipd.

“Though each two-dollar coin is only 28 millimeters in diameter, this coin will have an immeasurable impact on Indigenous Peoples and other Canadians today and beyond. Congratulations to Myrna, Megan, and Jennine on making their indelible marks on Canadian history,” said Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “At Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, unity is the foundation of our work, and we hope that all Canadians can feel united with us on National Indigenous Peoples Day in celebrating these artists, our distinct cultures and histories, and our efforts in building better futures for our children.”

Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council., said “National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity to both celebrate and honour the diverse cultures of Métis, Inuit and First Nations. This new coin designed by Indigenous artists does an excellent job of recognizing and celebrating our respective cultures. The Métis Nation is one nation of many stories, and on National Indigenous Peoples Day, I encourage Canadians to take the time to learn more about Métis culture.”

From left to right: Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council, Dylan Whiteduck, chief, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, English River First Nations artist Megan Currie, Red River Métis artist Jennine Krauchi, Natan Obed, president, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Marie Lemay, president and CEO, Royal Canadian Mint unveil the National Indigenous Peoples Day $2 commemorative circulation coin at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa June 20.

National, Chief RoseAnne Archibald said “truth and Reconciliation must include economic reconciliation. I’ve raised this in my conversations with our Canadian federal partners, member states at the United Nations, and King Charles III. First Nations must move from intergenerational poverty to multi-generational wealth and prosperity. Meegwetch to the Royal Canadian Mint for this symbolic gesture by commemorating our partnership on the healing path forward with this inspiring new $2 circulation coin.”

Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minister of finance said, “since 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day has been an opportunity to celebrate First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. Our government is proud to honour the history, art, traditions, and cultures of Indigenous Peoples as we continue walking the path of reconciliation together.”

“Creating coins that tell diverse and inclusive stories is a priority for the Royal Canadian Mint the sharing of Indigenous stories is key to that effort,” said Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the RCM. “We are delighted that we could collaborate with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis artists on a single circulation coin that will inspire millions to discover the wonderful knowledge and experiences that National Indigenous Peoples Day is meant to celebrate.”

Limited to a mintage of three million coins, of which two million will be coloured, the new $2 coin will begin circulating on June 21, to correspond with National Indigenous Peoples Day. It will reach Canadians through their change as bank branches and businesses replenish their inventories of $2 coins.

The coloured and uncoloured circulation coin are also available as collectibles in a six-piece Collector Keepsake coin set of uncirculated versions of classic 2023-dated circulation coins, from five cents to one dollar. Other collector products adding to the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day include: special wrap rolls of 25 two-dollar circulation coins, in coloured and uncoloured versions;  a special wrap roll set of both rolls; and a one-ounce fine silver version of the circulation coin design.


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