Model for Sacajawea coin, new UI statue to speak on campus Friday

Model for Sacajawea coin, new UI statue to speak on campus Friday
Randy’L Teton

The model for the Sacajawea dollar coin will speak Friday, Sept. 30, at the University of Idaho in Moscow, when the school dedicates the sculpture “Sacagawea and Jean Baptiste,” also modeled after her.

Randy’L Teton, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe, will speak at a 3 p.m. ceremony at the Bruce M. Pitman Center’s Tribal Lounge.

Teton, who is traveling the country representing Sacajawea and her story, is the “youngest and only living model” on U.S. currency, according to the U.S. Mint.

“I’m happy to be part of this unveiling of the beautiful Sacajawea and to share with the faculty and students that this young lady served as a white flag to the U.S. expedition,” Teton said, in a UI news release. “Her role at a young age of 14 was invaluable. This statue is a reminder of her knowledge and strength to endure two years of hard travels with a baby on her back.”

The sculpture, a gift from 1973 UI graduates Rich and Sharon Allen, is one of 12 similar sculptures created by the late artist Glenna Goodacre, who also designed the Sacajawea gold dollar coin. The 7-foot-tall, 600-pound bronze sculpture depicts Sacajawea looking up and holding a walking stick as her baby son, Jean-Baptiste, rests on her back, according to the news release.

The statute is being temporarily housed in the Pitman Center’s Tribal Lounge. An internal committee will decide its permanent location on campus.