95th Anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act

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Yesterday was a significant date in the history of the United States for Native Americans.

From the Library of Congress’ “Today and History” series:

“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.”

This date was 148 years after the Declaration of Independence (which refers to Native Americans as “merciless Indian savages") and 58 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1866 made Black people born in the US citizens. Note too that even though we were provided citizenship, as mentioned above Native Americans could not vote in every state until 1962 (57 years ago), we didn’t have Civil Rights until 1968 when President Johnson signed the Indian Civil Rights Act (51 years ago), and we didn’t have the right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise traditional religious rights and cultural practices [2] until President Carter signed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (41 years ago). All of this happened less than 100 years ago!

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these topics, please check out the links (the Library of Congress has lots of interesting information), or start a discussion! I’d be happy to continue this particular topic because the Religious Freedom Act is popular nowadays with all sort of folks attempting to “smudge” and Natives asking them to stop appropriating :) The US loves to capitalize on the romanticized image of Native Americans while simultaneously erasing us and causing serious harm to real, living Native people.

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