The United States Government has recognized over 150 Native American Indian Tribes ranging from the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma to the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico. They have been granted the tribal right of self-governance, with the ability to set their own priorities and goals for the welfare of their nations. One of these rights, that has only recently been exercised, is the issuance of coins.
The Sovereign Nation of the Shawnee Tribe (Oklahoma), recognized by the United States under the Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000, authorized the historic first American Indian coins - featuring Shawnee heroes Chief Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, "The Prophet." These were followed by coins picturing Lewis and Clark, and the Indians who guided them.
In 2004, Tribal Chairman Eddie L. Tullis authorized the issuance coins to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Recognition of the Sovereign Nation of Poarch Creek Indians by the United States. These coins feature notable Tribal members such as Chief Menawa and Tchow-ee-pu-kaw, as well as enthusiastic Pow-Wow dancers.