Born on this land but Native Americans had to be granted the right to citizenship

My first blog post was on 2 June 2007. My life has been blessed with many freedoms and passions. Today I choose not to recap past blog posts, but to talk about something that still blows my mind. As many of you know, I have been involved in deep research in original records related to many Native American Tribes in the U.S. I have worked with Tribes, individuals, law firms, and in Tribal offices. I have spent many weeks at the National Archives in D.C and other locations and at many state archives uncovering materials long ignored. The information from many of these is heartbreaking to read. Today also marks a sad anniversary.

It was 2 June 1924 when the Snyder Act granted full U.S. citizenship to Native Americans born in the U.S. Absorb that for a few minutes. Native Americans born on the land where they had lived before others invaded their land, were granted citizenship on that land. Even though the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution gave all U.S. citizens the right to vote no matter their race, it didn’t apply to Native Americans. Even after 1924, not all states allowed Native Americans that granted right. Those are the basics of this. but please read more on these websites:

https://www.narf.org/cases/voting-rights/

https://news.asu.edu/20191009-arizona-impact-little-known-snyder-act-completed-work-19th-amendment

https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/elections/right-to-vote/voting-rights-for-native-americans/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Citizenship_Act

Here we are in 2021 and many Native Americans still struggle for the right to vote, access to voting, and to receive ballots. Stupid. Shameful. Awful. Illegal. Biased. Hateful. I will stop there, but there are many stronger words I have uttered.

© 2021, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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2 comments on “Born on this land but Native Americans had to be granted the right to citizenship

  1. I wonder if we as Americans will ever learn from our many, many mistakes in the way we have treated not just our Native American but other ethnic groups as well. It just tears at my heart.

    1. Jacqueline, I agree we need to learn. I had a conversation earlier today with some colleagues about the lack of humaneness (a word?) in paving or building over Native American or African American burial sites. If we keep teaching and sharing, maybe more will “get it.”

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