On the eve of the Summer Solstice, a day of great significance for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people across Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint honored their rich and diverse cultural heritages with a $2 commemorative circulation coin celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day. For the first time on a Canadian circulation coin, three different artists have collaborated on a single reverse design. Together, they have fused 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 honor and celebrate on National Indigenous Peoples Day.
This coin will enter circulation on June 21, 2023.
“Since 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day has been an opportunity to celebrate First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people,” said The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. “Our government is proud to honor 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 Royal Canadian Mint. “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.”
The artwork appearing on the reverse of the 2023 $2 circulation coin celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day 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. It is the first time that multiple artists have collaborated on the design of a single Canadian coin. The creative intent behind each artist’s personal choice of symbolism is explained in their own words here.
“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.”
“National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity to both celebrate and honor 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,” said Cassidy Caron, President of the Métis National Council. “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.”
“Truth and Reconciliation must include Economic Reconciliation,” said National Chief RoseAnne Archibald. “I’ve raised this in my conversations with our Canadian federal partners, member states at the United Nations, and His Majesty 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.”
Limited to a mintage of three million coins, of which two million will be coloured, this new $2 circulation 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 colored and uncolored circulation coin are also available as collectibles in a six-piece Collector Keepsake coin set. They are packaged in a richly illustrated collector card that contains 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 colored and uncolored versions;
- A Special Wrap Roll Set featuring a coloured and uncoloured coin roll; and
- A 1 oz. fine silver version of the circulation coin design.
These collectibles can be ordered as of today by contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or online at www.mint.ca/nipd. They are also available at the Royal Canadian Mint’s Winnipeg boutique, as well as through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.
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About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. The Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high-quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca.