FORT HALL, Idaho (AP) -- If Randy'L Teton's portrait is accepted, her image will be minted onto the Sacajawea dollar coin that replaces the Susan B. Anthony coin in 2000.
But the Teton family is not celebrating yet.When people on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation found out last week that Teton posed for the portrait, some began speaking out against it.
Rose Anne Abrahamson said she does not think the 23-year-old Shoshone Bannock woman should represent Sacajawea, who was a Lemhi Shoshone.
"I wept for joy when I found out that Sacajawea was going to be on the coin, but now I weep because she's being misrepresented," Abrahamson said.
If a Lemhi Shoshone had modeled for the portrait, then the woman's face would have higher cheekbones and a thinner face, Abrahamson said. Teton also is not dressed like a Lemhi Shoshone in the portrait, she said, and appears older and more masculine than the 15-year-old Sacajawea.
Abrahamson and about 300 other Lemhi Shoshone on the Fort Hall Reservation have sent a petition to the U.S. Mint that asks for changes in the portrait, she said.
News of the protest has made the coin's designer, Glenna Goodacre, very nervous. She worries that if too many people disagree with the portrait, the U.S. Mint may decide to put the Statue of Liberty on the dollar coin instead.
The Statue of Liberty was one of the original images the Department of Treasury had toyed with for the new dollar coin.
Teton's coin portrait was chosen from more than 100 Sacajawea portraits presented to the U.S. Fine Arts Commission in December.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin is expected to give final approval of the portrait this week, said Michael White, U.S. Mint spokesman.