Model for the Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coin

Randy'L He-Dow Teton: The only living person whose image appears on American currency


Last updated 5/25/2014 at 2:15pm

K.B. Schaller

When Teton was a 22-year-old student at the University of New Mexico, the U.S. Mint invited internationally renowned Texas-born sculptor Glenna Goodacre to submit designs for the new Sacagawea dollar coin. No contemporary portraits exist of Sacagawea, so Goodacre visited the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. When she asked at the front desk if anyone knew of a young Shoshone woman she might contact, Teton's mother, who worked at the Institute, showed the sculptor pictures of her three daughters. The same night, Goodacre contacted Randy'L.

Many little girls wish to grow up to be fashion models, but how many aspire to sit for hours as the model for a historical figure on a coin?

Randy'L He-Dow Teton (Shoshone-Bannock/Cree) did just that when she was chosen as the depiction of Sacagawea, the legendary guide and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Born in southeastern Idaho in the Lincoln Creek district of the Fort Hall Reservation, she is the daughter of Randy Leo Teton and Bonnie C. Wuttunee-Wadsworth. Her mother is Shoshone-Cree descent. Both parents are members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe.

Randy'L is the sec...

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