RT @BeschlossDC: Calvin Coolidge signed act granting US citizenship to “non citizen Indians” born on US terrritory, this day 1924:

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, also known as the Snyder Act, was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder ® of New York and granted full U.S. citizenship to America’s indigenous peoples, called “Indians” in this Act. (The Fourteenth Amendment already defined as citizens any person born in the U.S., but only if “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”; this latter clause was thought to exclude certain indigenous peoples.) The act was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge on June 2, 1924.[1][2][3] It was enacted partially in recognition of the thousands of Indians who served in the armed forces in WWI.


June 2nd 1924: Indian Citizenship Act

On this day in 1924, the Indian Citizenship Act was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge. This act, proposed by Representative Homer Snyder (R - NY), conferred citizenship on all Native Americans born in the United States. After decades of brutal Indian warfare, the 1870s had seen an attempt to establish a Peace Policy, which intended to start Native Americans on a route to citizenship. However, indigenous Americans were explicitly excluded from national citizenship in the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868. Several developments were made towards citizenship in the next few decades, including being extended to Native American World War One veterans in 1919. Despite the passage of the 1924 act, many Native Americans continued to be denied suffrage until 1948.


/ 08 NOV 2016

Therese Martin

Therese Martin Reflects on Life of Faith and Government Oppression

by Darren Thompson

STANDING ROCK – On Sunday, November 6 the Standing Rock community gathered for food, song, gifts, speeches and prayer to give Therese a party a lifetime in the making. Therese Martin is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s oldest living member and celebrated 100 years of life on November 3, 2016.

A life-long Lakota woman of faith received good words, countless cards and gifts, a custom hand-sewn Star quilt from the Sitting Bull College, stirring speeches by many people of various walks of life, songs presented in the Lakota language, a performance by a Native American flute player, and even a birthday commemoration from His Holiness Pope Francis.

She has lived through every foreign war the United States has participated in, the Great Depression and more than 15 Presidents. She has witnessed some of this country’s most historical pieces of legislation including the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978.

Although born in the United States, it wasn’t until she was 16 that she was considered a citizen. And it wasn’t until she was 60 that she was able to legally witness the ceremonies and hear the language of her people.

“When I realize I am still here at 100 years old, I think to myself: this must be a mistake!” laughed Therese Martin. “They must have recorded it wrong.”

Experiencing a lifetime of suppression of language and culture, she expressed multiple times that one of her life’s greatest experiences was to teach her own people about the Lakota language and culture. When Sinte Gleska University first opened its doors on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, she attended as an undergraduate student in the 1970’s to relearn her language so she could teach the next generation.

“She was one of the very few role models in Indian education and it was through her work that inspired much of this community,” said Sitting Bull College President Dr. Laurel Vermillion. “She is one of the kindest women you could ever meet and was one of the first Lakota language teachers.”

“She is one of our community’s greatest treasures,” added Dr. Vermillion.

Born and raised in a community on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation known as Mad Bear Camp, her childhood home is now 40 feet under Lake Oahe, the man-made reservoir created by the Army Corps of Engineers in the late 1950’s. With the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline encroaching just north of the reservation, it is not Therese’s first encounter with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Government’s attempt to interrupt her people’s way of life.

A product of government boarding schools, Therese gave an emotional speech that will live on for generations among her people and community. She expressed her gratitude, humor and her life’s most memorable experiences.

“Some of the happiest moments of my life were when I was a teacher, being able to speak and share our language once again,” shared Therese. “But since I can remember our people have been under the thumb of the government.”

“She used her knowledge to teach the next generation to learn about her people’s ways,” continued Father Basil of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Ft. Yates, ND. “There isn’t a single person in this community that can’t learn from the life of Therese.”

No doubt a Lakota woman of great generosity, kindness, love and faith, Therese shared her life’s journey on faith: “There is a heaven for all of us and I’m looking forward to that. I feel I can pray better in my own language. It seems like God understands more and I talk to him like I’m talking to a friend and it seems like he hears me. He has kept me well all these years. I want to stay healthy so I can pray to the Creator, to be good to people—I love all people.”

“I love everyone who has come here to help us in Standing Rock,” continued Therese. “To see our people standing up for our rights, makes me so proud. When I read about those in camps, I hope they fight to the bitter end.”

She closed: “We are still under the Government’s thumb and it is time to save what little we have left.”

You can wish Therese Martin a wonderful life by sending gratitude, cards, and gifts to PO Box 439, Ft. Yates, ND 58538.

Info: The cultural assimilation of Native Americans was an effort by the U.S. to force European-American culture on Native Americans between the years of 1790-1920 (with lasting impact on many cultures in the present). “The government took our children away from our families and forced them to go to boarding schools, cut our hair off, gave us English names, punished us for speaking our languages, and tried to take away our ceremonies and traditional ways of life,” said Alayna Eagle Shield of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. With increased immigration to the US, European immigrants forced “standard” cultural values and practices, partially responsible for the isolation of Native Americans on reservations. The government outlawed traditional Native religious ceremonies and established boarding schools. In these schools children were forced to speak English, study “American” subjects, and attend church. This acculturation process has been experienced by many cultures throughout the U.S., including African Americans. “The biggest thing I’m proud of is our children are revitalizing the language for us,” said Alayna. “In our little communities the fight to preserve the essential components of who we are is real.”

For more info search: Dawes Act of 1887; Indian Citizenship Act of 1924; American Indian Wars; Trail of Tears

anonymous asked:

Correct me if im wrong, Native Americans, including native women, didn't get the right to vote in 1920. It wasnt until after 1924 when the Indian Citizenship Act was passed granting natives citizenship they were given voting rights, prior to that they weren't considered naturalized citizens so thats why they were not allowed to vote. So to say that all women were allowed to vote in 1920 isnt really true and the fact is that only white women were allowed to freely practice their voting rights

I think you’re referring to the ask I just answered, so I’m really confused

The entire ask was literally me saying that the 19th Amendment, in reality, only ensured that white women could vote. I re-read the ask multiple times and have edited near a sentence where I think might have been unclear. But overall my point was very explicit and had lots of resources that show that the second half of this ask is agreeing to what I wrote out. Please read what we post in context. 

For the first part of your ask - technically you’re right, but again (like my entire ask) this is a case of what passes legally vs. what’s happening in reality. There was a Tumblr post going around a while ago, where user chalkunderstars talked about this briefly

The Native American Civil Rights Wikipedia page  explains in a bit more detail that most Native Americans also didn’t get the right to vote until 1965. Some of the key dates from this page are:

  • 1924: the Indian Citizenship Act grants Native people citizenship without having “to give up being a Native to be a citizen” but does not explicitly grant the right to vote, and in fact, many states disenfranchise Native voters.
  • 1936: Colorado’s attorney general declared Native people can’t vote because they’re not state citizens. Other common tactics to stop Native folks from voting include: reservation residency, taxation, having to “abandon their tribal ties,” English literacy
  • 1940: Congress passes the Nationality Act of 1940, ensuring Native people are citizens, and so can/will be drafted into WWII, but ~surprise~ this doesn’t guarantee the right to vote.
  • 1965: the Voting Rights Act is passed: “No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure, shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” Native people technically, legally have the right to vote. 
  • 1965 - Present: there have been about 74 reported cases of Native people being denied their right to vote through voter restrictions and intimidation. 

Indian Country Today Media Network also has a number of articles talking about current Native voting rights, though I’m sure there are many, many more resources (and if any Native followers want to give them a shout out or expand/correct on anything I’ve written, please do!)

- Jennifer