Randy ’L’s middle name Hedow means “meadowlark” in Shoshone and “Close to Ground” in Bannock language.
In the same spirit that Sacagawea helped guide explorers Lewis and Clark in their pioneering expedition during the winter of 1804 and 1805, Randy’L’s role as the model for Sacagawea on the U.S. Mint’s new gold dollar coin has added a new vitality to preserving the culture and traditions of indigenous people.
In much the same way that other models are discovered, Randy’L was chosen by New Mexico artist Glenna Goodacre as the model for sketches she would submit to the U.S. Mint for the new Sacagawea coin. The artist felt it was important to incorporate a young Shoshone Indian woman’s likeness to add depth of character to this important assignment. The minted golden dollar portrays Randy’L as Sacagawea in a three-quarter profile, highlighting classic Shoshone beauty—luminous large dark eyes, broad smooth forehead and soft smile.
The two women—Sacagawea and Randy’L—share an affinity and a great inner strength as quiet but forceful leaders, even though their lives are separated by nearly 200 years. As the model for Sacagawea’s likeness on the new coin, Randy’L believes she represents all Native American tribes across the United States (numbering in the thousands) who are bonded together by their unique heritage.
Randy’L grew up on the Ft. Hall Reservation in the Lincoln Creek District of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe in Southeastern Idaho. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she earned an Associate of fine arts degree in museum studies. She also studied at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she graduated in the Spring of 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art history with a minor in Native American studies.
Randy’L has worked with Museum of Idaho’s exhibit and Lecture Series on “Discovering Idaho—through the Lewis & Clark Expedition,“ in which she visited local school districts as the voice of Sacagawea. She continues today in this role, as she is able to promote the higher education and betterment of all Native peoples’ well-being. She was also selected as Curator for the “Poha Ba, Land of Healing Waters” exhibition in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, which recognized the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe’s culture and history.
Randy’L feels that “there is a great deal of Native American art in museums, but very few Native Americans who can adequately represent the significance of this art within the cultural context—and I want to be in a position to help educate the next generation.”
Currently, Randy’L resides with her fiancée and five children in Southeastern Idaho. Despite her ongoing schedule she holds a job in her community with a grassroots organization in helping to reduce poverty through workforce training and education in southeastern Idaho.
1994-1996 Associates of Fine Arts, Museum Studies, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
1998-2000 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art history/minor Native American studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1999 Golden Dollar Ceremonial Launch Event, United States Mint, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Sacajawea model.
2000-2001 Official United States Mint Tour; Washington, D.C., Philadelphia Mint, Pennsylvania; Denver Mint, Colorado; Sacajawea model.
2000-2001 ICG Sacagawea Signature Set, Englewood, Colorado.
2000 “Face of 21st Century Native America” Native Peoples Millennium Edition Magazine, front cover.
2001 New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women, Certificate of Recognition.
2001 Tournament of Roses Parade float, "Enchanted Expedition," awarded the prestigious Sweepstakes Trophy; special guest float rider.
2001 NASACT Annual Conference, Coeur d'Alene, ID; honored guest.
2001 National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Convention, Chicago, Illinois; special guest.
2000 Native American Heritage Month, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM; special guest.
2001 American Numismatic Association (ANA) Money Museum, Colorado Springs, CO; summer intern.
2001 ANA World's Fair of Money, Atlanta, GA. Special Guest.
2002 1st Annual Inaugural Day Powwow on the National Mall, National Museum of American Indian, Washington, DC; Head Lady dancer.
2002 Grand Marshall, Eastern Idaho State Fair Parade, Blackfoot, Idaho.
2002 "Cultural Integrity in Education: Our Path to Intellectual Sovereignty” The 27th Annual Northwest Indian Youth Conference (NIYC), Montana State Convention Center in Billings, Montana; keynote speaker.
2002 "Honoring Life, Honoring Elders, Honoring Heritage" National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, Department of Defense (DOD), Albuquerque, New Mexico; special guest speaker.
2002 Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, New Mexico; Higher Education speaker.
2001-2005 National Indian Women's Health Resource Center (NIWHRC), Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Young Woman Representative.
2003-2004 Miss Shoshone-Bannock Queen, Fort Hall, Idaho; tribal dignitary.
2004 “Shake, Giggle & Laff, A Night of Native Comedy Show” Pueblo Days Celebration, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Host.
2004 Ganondagan Native American Winter Festival, Eisenhart Auditorium at Rochester Museum & Science Center, Rochester, New York; special guest.
2003-2006 National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, the Circle of Tribal Advisors (COTA) Representative for Shoshone-Bannock Tribe of Fort Hall, Idaho.
2005 Cedar Rapids Coin Club/INA Coin Show, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; special guest.
2005 Idaho Environmental Education Summit, Pocatello, Idaho; speaker.
2005 “Po-Ha-Ba, Land of Healing Waters” Lava Hot Springs Museum, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho; Curator.
2006 “Discovering Idaho: The World of Lewis and Clark” exhibition, Museum of Idaho, Idaho Falls, Idaho; tribal consultant/special guest.
2006 “Corps of Discovery II Travelling Exhibit Tent,” National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior; Tribal Consultant/Speaker.
2006-2007 “Sole Stories: American Indian Footwear” The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona; exhibit participant.
2007 Bas Relief Bronze “We Proceeded On” Dedication and Unveiling Program, Montana State Capitol Senate Chamber, Helena, Montana; special guest.
2008 Women of Color Alliance (WOCA), Blackfoot, Idaho; Keynote speaker.
2006-2009 Idaho Falls Coin Show, sponsored by Eagle Rock Numismatic club, Idaho Falls, Idaho; special guest.
2009 Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Tribal Representative for Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall, Idaho.