Like the National Aboriginal Veterans monument itself which stands in Ottawa, this 2014 $30 fine silver coin honours the military contributions that Canadian aboriginal men and women have made throughout Canadian history to the present. The design on this coin is a graphic interpretation of the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument by Lloyd Pinay, a First Nations sculptor whose father took part in the D-Day assault in World War II. This coin is struck in two troy ounces of 99.99% fine silver, with a large format diameter of 54mm, and a low limited mintage of only 5,000 coins worldwide. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is GST/HST exempt.
The design depicts a golden eagle (or Thunderbird) which stands as a symbol for the Creator, and as a symbol of the Aboriginal people. Underneath this Thunderbird are four human figures, facing the four points of a compass and representing the First Nations people, the Inuit people, and the Metis people. The artist incorporated a female figure into the sculpture to acknowledge not only the efforts of Aboriginal nurses during wartime, but of the women who maintained their families alone while the men were at war.
The figures seen on the monument, and subsequently on the coin, hold not only weapons, but spiritual objects: an eagle feather fan and a peace pipe. The four animal figures along the bottom of the sculpture in each corner represent spirit guides, each with special symbolism: the wolf represents family values; the buffalo stands for tenacity; the elk for wariness; and a bear symbolizing healing powers. The word "CANADA" and the year "2014" are nestled between the outstretched wings of the Thunderbird, which also extend beyond the frame of the image. The face value of "30 DOLLARS" follows the curve of the lower rim.