THIS DAY IN HISTORY — JUNE 2, 1924: CONGRESS ENACTS THE INDIAN CITIZENSHIP ACT

  
Via:  1stwarrior  •  3 weeks ago  •  24 comments

THIS DAY IN HISTORY — JUNE 2, 1924: CONGRESS ENACTS THE INDIAN CITIZENSHIP ACT

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


On June 2, 1924, Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. The right to vote, however, was governed by state law; until 1957, some states barred Native Americans from voting. In a WPA interview from the 1930s, Henry Mitchell describes the attitude toward Native Americans in Maine, one of the last states to comply with the Indian Citizenship Act:


One of the Indians went over to Old Town once to see some official in the city hall about voting. I don’t know just what position that official had over there, but he said to the Indian, ‘We don’t want you people over here. You have your own elections over on the island, and if you want to vote, go over there.’

Just why the Indians shouldn’t vote is something I can’t understand.

The Life of Henry Mitchell.” Robert Grady, interviewer; Old Town, Maine, ca. 1938-1939. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940. Manuscript Division

Previously, the Dawes Severalty Act (1887) had shaped U.S. policy towards Native Americans. In accordance with its terms, and hoping to turn Indians into farmers, the federal government redistributed tribal lands to heads of families in 160-acre allotments. Unclaimed or “surplus” land was sold, and the proceeds used to establish Indian schools where Native-American children learned reading, writing, and the domestic and social systems of white America. By 1932, the sale of both unclaimed land and allotted acreage resulted in the loss of two-thirds of the 138 million acres that Native Americans had held prior to the Dawes Act.

In addition to the extension of voting rights to Native Americans, the Secretary of the Interior commissioned the Institute for Government Research to assess the impact of the Dawes Act. Completed in 1928, the Meriam ReportExternal described how government policy oppressed Native Americans and destroyed their culture and society.

The poverty and exploitation resulting from the paternalistic Dawes Act spurred passage of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. This legislation promoted Native-American autonomy by prohibiting allotment of tribal lands, returning some surplus land, and urging tribes to engage in active self-government. Rather than imposing the legislation on Native Americans, individual tribes were allowed to accept or reject the Indian Reorganization Act. From 1934 to 1953, the U.S. government invested in the development of infrastructure, health care, and education, and the quality of life on Indian lands improved. With the aid of federal courts and the government, over two million acres of land were returned to various tribes.

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1stwarrior
1  seeder  1stwarrior    3 weeks ago

So, if nothing else, Happy Anniversary Native Americans on becoming citizens of your own lands after living here for tens of thousands of years.

Ain't it great - such a great gift, eh???

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  1stwarrior @1    3 weeks ago

1924?  Wow!  Relatively recent history!

 
 
 
Kavika
2  Kavika     3 weeks ago
The right to vote, however, was governed by state law; until 1957, some states barred Native Americans from voting. 

And after 1957 in many states it was next to impossible for  an Indian to vote..

 
 
 
1stwarrior
2.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @2    3 weeks ago

Native Americans were only able to win the right to vote by fighting for it state by state. The last state to guarantee voting rights for Native people was New Mexico in 1962. Despite these victories, Native people were still prevented from voting with poll taxes, literacy tests and intimidation—the same tactics used against black voters.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped strengthen the voting rights that Native people had won in every state. However, the act is no longer fully intact. In 2013, the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder dismantled one of its key provisions, which required that states with a history of racial bias in voting get permission before passing new voting laws. Just before the 2018 midterm elections, North Dakota’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of a new voting requirement that may prevent hundreds of Native residents from voting.

'Course, everyone knows ND always adheres to the law, right?  DAPL anyone???

 
 
 
pat wilson
3  pat wilson    3 weeks ago

384

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  pat wilson @3    3 weeks ago

That was kinda rude and uncalled for.

 
 
 
pat wilson
3.1.1  pat wilson  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    3 weeks ago

Its a joke...from a Native American. Sheesh.

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    3 weeks ago
That was kinda rude and uncalled for.

Actually it wasn't at all...It was a joke, but a damn poignant one.

Understanding it would require a modicum of historical knowledge...

 
 
 
Dulay
3.1.3  Dulay  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    3 weeks ago

Here's another trigger:

Overheard at a grocery store by someone waiting in line behind a woman speaking on her cellphone in another language. Ahead of her was a white man. After the woman hangs up, he speaks up.

Man: "I didn't want to say anything while you were on the phone, but you're in America now, you need to speak English."

Woman: "Excuse me?"

Man: *very slowly* "If you want to speak Mexican, go back to Mexico. In America we speak English."

Woman: "Sir, I was speaking Navajo. If you want to speak English, go back to England."

 
 
 
Freefaller
3.1.4  Freefaller  replied to  Dulay @3.1.3    3 weeks ago

Damn funny

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1.5  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dulay @3.1.3    3 weeks ago

Those were both priceless. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  pat wilson @3    3 weeks ago

Perfect Pat - perfect jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Dulay
4  Dulay    3 weeks ago

Mighty 'white' of them wasn't it. 

My people weren't 'given' the right to full citizenship until 1952. My grandfather had been here for almost 20 years and his oldest child, an American citizen, was 15 by then. He still had to apply for naturalization. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
4.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Dulay @4    3 weeks ago

Just out of curiosity Dulay - where is your family from?  I "think" you implied, or I misinterpreted, that they were from Asia?

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.1  Dulay  replied to  1stwarrior @4.1    3 weeks ago

My grandfather immigrated from Asingan, Pangasinan, Philippines in the 30's on his own @ about 16 years old. He sent money home to help support his sisters. Although an 'American National' he wasn't a citizen and didn't vote until 1956 after being allowed to be naturalized. He was proud as hell BTW. I have all the paperwork that he had to submit. Testimony about his character from people in the PI and all...

The rest of my ancestors are Lilly white, some here since the 1600's. No worries, I'm still brown as an almond nut...MUCH darker in the summer. 

Asian is what they say now, it used to be 'Oriental'. I got called 'chink' in grade school, kids are stupid. Now I check the 'Pacific Islander' box instead of 'other'. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
4.1.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Dulay @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Awesome - and I mean that seriously.

When I was in 'Nam of the LHD USS Iwo Jima, we would send our 'copters to Manila for upgrades - 'bout five at a time.  Mine never got to go dammit.  The fellas who went with their birds would rave about the culture and how most of them would live off the economy by renting a small house to stay in during their 30 days there.  The food, according to them, was out of this world and the folks outside of Manila were some of the most down home folks you'd wanna meet.

Sadly, dominant society views folks who are NOT of the caucasian persuasion as outsiders, no matter where they are.

A belated welcome to your ancestors and your heritage/culture.

Thanks for the personal info Dulay.

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.3  Dulay  replied to  1stwarrior @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

In the 80's I met my ex- GF's dad, an Black/Creole who had been stationed in PI during WWII. He recognized me as Filipino immediately and told me many a story about his time there. There was no race discrimination and the way he told it, Filipino women LOVED him. He talked me into cooking Adobo and Lumpia for him. Kinda spoiled the old man but he earned it...miss him. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
4.1.4  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Dulay @4.1.3    3 weeks ago

Lucky man - and definitely deserved to be spoiled jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Kavika
5  Kavika     3 weeks ago

I know that this is off topic but here goes...

Hawaii has a large population of Pacific Islanders beside the Hawiian people...Samoan, Tongan, Fijian etc. That said every year on the Big Island there is a Native American Pow Wow...It' quite large and all the PI's flock to it. 

Since we're all indigenous it makes sense. There is also on on Oahu every year. 

 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
5.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @5    3 weeks ago

The fry bread - saw some Acoma pottery (I think) - the kids - oh, yeah, the kids - and, of course, the dancers (some Cherokee Stomp dancers???)

That is marvelous Kavika - thanks.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
5.2  Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika @5    3 weeks ago

A truly great video, Kavika. Thank you for sharing it with us. Some really lovely Jingle Dance regalia, and some great dancing going on. Lots of beautiful jewelry and pottery. And of course, lots of Fry Bread. YUM!

 
 
 
Kavika
6  Kavika     3 weeks ago

There is a story that goes with this....Some years back I was visiting Samoa on business and staying a few extra days to enjoy a friends wedding. (actually 5 extra days)....

Since I spend a lot of time in Samoa and speak the language fairly well I was invited to most all celebrations that the locals had...Anyhow on my way back to the mainland I had to go through Hawaii where I had more Samoan/Tongan/Hawaiian/Filipino friends. I was staying at the Hyatt in Oahu when one of them said, ''hey uso (brother) you going to the Pow Wow''...What Pow Wow, this is Hawaii not the mainland. Yo uso, you sounding like a palangi (white guy)...we be indigenous so there is a big Pow Wow in Hilo in a couple of days...I was wearing my fia lava lava and had an umbrella drink in my hand....Throwing good sense to the wind I said...''let's go uso''....Next thing I known we're headed by puddle jumper to Hilo on the Big Island and before I know it I was in the middle of a NA Pow Wow...Aiiiiee, I had to teach the PI's about 49 and tipi crawling but being indigenous they caught on quickly...

If you've never seen an NDN in face paint and regalia with the final touch being a lava lava, you ain't lived...LOLOLOL

As they say on ''da rock''....Fa'a Samoa, sa ou maua se taimi lelei.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
6.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika @6    3 weeks ago

Sounds like a great time was had. When I lived in No Virginia I attended the POW WOW's in Fairfax, Fredericksburg and Winchester. They were really exciting with lots of various Tribe representation. I really miss them. They have some POW WOW's here in SoCal, but, it is hard from me to attend anymore. Yet, I have my memories and that is good too. This video brings them home very well. (smile)

 
 
 
dave-2693993
7  dave-2693993    3 weeks ago

This situation is another one of those things that makes you go hmmmm?

I spent enough time on my soap box on another article. I'll leave it at this.

 
 
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