2016 $50 Wanduta: Portrait of a Chief, 5 oz. 99.99% Pure Silver Color Proof Coin

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Composition – 99.99% pure silver

Finish – color proof

Weight (g) – 157.6 (five troy ounces)

Diameter (mm) – 65.25

Edge – serrated

Certificate – serialized (serial numbers will vary)

Face value – 50 dollars (a legal tender Canadian coin)

Artists – Darlene Gait (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)


As a spiritual healer, Wanduta was a leading defender of traditional Indigenous practices. He travelled to Ottawa to protest the federal government’s restrictive policies; but upon his return, Wanduta was arrested for “hosting” the dance in Rapid City and was convicted for this violation of the giveaway ban. On January 26, 1903, he was sentenced to four months of hard labor and imprisonment at the Brandon Jail.

Attempts to secure clemency proved futile as Wanduta served his entire sentence, but he remained undeterred. He continued his spiritual practices after his release; in doing so, Wanduta cemented his reputation as a heyoka, a respected member of sacred Dakota societies,who was revered for his abilities to help his people, and is remembered today for his efforts to keep tradition alive.

This coin commemorates one person’s courage and dedication to preserving the cultural traditions of his community.

Special features:

•BEAUTIFUL COLOR AND ENGRAVING! The full application of color over the engraving captures the beautiful complexities of Wanduta’s traditional regalia, circa 1913.

•LOW MINTAGE: Only 1,200 coins will be made worldwide.

•KING GEORGE III MEDAL WORN AROUND HIS NECK! Around the spiritual healer’s neck is a King George III medal — a symbolic display of a Dakota leader’s peaceful intentions and a reminder of the historic alliances with the British.

•FIVE OUNCES OF 99.99% PURE SILVER! For our Canadian customers, this coin is GST/HST exempt!

About the Design:

Designed by Canadian artist Darlene Gait, the coin features a full-face portrait of Wanduta (Red Arrow), a Sioux Valley Dakota Chief who defended the community’s ceremonial dance rites when such activities were prohibited under the Indian Act. The full application of color over the engraving captures the beautiful complexities of Wanduta’s traditional regalia, circa 1913. Finely detailed engraving adds texture to the eagle feathers that adorn the full headdress, as well as the beautifully colored beads that are woven in a geometric design on the headband above Wanduta’s brow.

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