When did Native Americans become US citizens?
The date that Native Americans became US Citizens
was June 2, 1924
Not all Native Americans
viewed citizenship as something wonderful. Their experiences in dealing with Washington and the states did not give them much confidence
in the government or desire to participate in it. Some tribes feared they would have to give up their own sovereignty and
the federal government would deny its treaty obligations. In the words of one Native American:
"United States citizenship was just another way of absorbing us and destroying our
customs and our government. How could these Europeans come over and tell us we were citizens in our country? We had our own
citizenship. By its [the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924] provisions all Indians were automatically made United States
citizens whether they wanted to be so or not. This was a violation of our sovereignty. Our citizenship was in our nations."
On the other hand, there
were Native Americans who saw voting as a right that had been denied to them too long. Maine
was one of the last states to overturn state legal barriers to Indian voting. That rankled Henry Mitchell, an Indian canoe
"The Indians aren't allowed
to have a voice in state affairs because they aren't voters. All they [the politicians] have to do out there is to look out
for the interests of the Indians. Just why the Indians shouldn't vote is something I can't understand. 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.'"
Did the 1924 Act really mean the
end of the journey in the Native American's march to equality or was it merely a rest stop? By the time the 1924 Citizenship
Act was passed, two-thirds of all Indians had already gained citizenship. And while all Native Americans were now citizens,
not all states were prepared to allow them to vote. Western states, in particular, engaged in all sorts of legal ruses to
deny Indians the ballot. It was not until almost the middle of the 20th century that the last three states, Maine,
Arizona and New Mexico,
finally granted the right to vote to Indians in their states. And the policies of the federal government towards American
Indians continued to change and evolve.
Viewing: 500 Nations
(372 minutes). Description: 500 Nations is an eight-part documentary (more than 6 hours and that's not including its interactive CD-ROM
filled with extra features) that explores the history of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian
times through the period of European contact and colonization, to the end of the 19th century and the subjugation of the Plains
Indians of North America. 500 Nations utilizes historical texts, eyewitness
accounts, pictorial sources and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations which flourished
prior to contact with Western civilization, and to tell the dramatic and tragic story of the Native American nations' desperate
attempts to retain their way of life against overwhelming odds. Continued below...
word "Indian," and most will conjure up images inspired by myths and movies: teepees, headdresses, and war paint; Sitting
Bull, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, and their battles (like Little Big Horn) with the U.S. Cavalry. Those stories of the so-called
"horse nations" of the Great
Plains are all here, but so is a great deal more. Using impressive computer imaging, photos, location film footage
and breathtaking cinematography, interviews with present-day Indians, books and manuscripts, museum artifacts, and more, Leustig
and his crew go back more than a millennium to present an fascinating account of Indians, including those (like the Maya and
Aztecs in Mexico and the Anasazi in the Southwest) who were here long before white men ever reached these shores. It was the
arrival of Europeans like Columbus, Cortez, and DeSoto that marked the beginning of the end for the Indians. Considering the
participation of host Kevin Costner, whose film Dances with Wolves was highly sympathetic to the Indians, it's no bulletin
that 500 Nations also takes a compassionate view of the multitude of calamities--from alcohol and disease to the corruption
of their culture and the depletion of their vast natural resources--visited on them by the white man in his quest for land
and money, eventually leading to such horrific events as the Trail of Tears "forced march," the massacre at Wounded Knee,
and other consequences of the effort to "relocate" Indians to the reservations where many of them still live. Along the way,
we learn about the Indians' participation in such events as the American Revolution and the War of 1812, as well as popular
legends like the first Thanksgiving (it really happened) and the rescue of Captain John Smith by Pocahontas (it probably didn't).
Reading: Atlas of the North American Indian.
Description: This unique resource covers the entire history, culture, tribal locations, languages,
and lifeways of Native American groups across the United States, Canada, Central America, Mexico,
and the Caribbean. Thoroughly updated, Atlas of the North American Indian combines clear
and informative text with newly drawn maps to provide the most up-to-date political and cultural developments in Indian affairs,
as well as the latest archaeological research findings on prehistoric peoples. The new edition features several revised and
updated sections, such as "Self-Determination," "The Federal and Indian Trust Relationship and the Reservation System," "Urban
Indians," "Indian Social Conditions," and "Indian Cultural Renewal." Continued below...
information includes: a revised section on Canada, including Nunavut, the first new Canadian territory created since 1949,
with a population that is 85% Inuit; the latest statistics and new federal laws on tribal enterprises, including a new section
on "Indian Gaming"; and current information on preferred names now in use by certain tribes and groups, such as the use of
"Inuit" rather than "Eskimo."
Reading: 1491: New Revelations
of the Americas Before Columbus.
Description: 1491 is not so much the story of a year, as of what that year stands for: the long-debated
(and often-dismissed) question of what human civilization in the Americas
was like before the Europeans crashed the party. The history books most Americans were (and still are) raised on describe
the continents before Columbus as a vast, underused territory,
sparsely populated by primitives whose cultures would inevitably bow before the advanced technologies of the Europeans. For
decades, though, among the archaeologists, anthropologists, paleolinguists, and others whose discoveries Charles C. Mann brings
together in 1491, different stories have been emerging. Among the revelations: the first Americans may not have come over
the Bering land bridge around 12,000 B.C. but by boat along the Pacific coast 10 or even 20 thousand years earlier; the Americas
were a far more urban, more populated, and more technologically advanced region than generally assumed; and the Indians, rather
than living in static harmony with nature, radically engineered the landscape across the continents, to the point that even
"timeless" natural features like the Amazon rainforest can be seen as products of human intervention. Continued below...
Mann is well
aware that much of the history he relates is necessarily speculative, the product of pot-shard interpretation and precise
scientific measurements that often end up being radically revised in later decades. But the most compelling of his eye-opening
revisionist stories are among the best-founded: the stories of early American-European contact. To many of those who were
there, the earliest encounters felt more like a meeting of equals than one of natural domination. And those who came later
and found an emptied landscape that seemed ripe for the taking, Mann argues convincingly, encountered not the natural and
unchanging state of the native American, but the evidence of a sudden calamity: the ravages of what was likely the greatest
epidemic in human history, the smallpox and other diseases introduced inadvertently by Europeans to a population without immunity,
which swept through the Americas faster than the explorers who brought it, and left behind for their discovery a land that
held only a shadow of the thriving cultures that it had sustained for centuries before. Includes outstanding photos and maps.
Recommended Reading: Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World:
15,000 Years of Inventions and Innovations (Facts on File Library of American History) (Hardcover). Editorial Review from Booklist: More than 450 inventions and innovations that can be traced to indigenous peoples
of North, Middle, and South America are described in this wonderful encyclopedia. Criteria
for selection are that the item or concept must have originated in the Americas,
it must have been used by the indigenous people, and it must have been adopted in some way by other cultures. Continued below...
Some of the
innovations may have been independently developed in other parts of the world (geometry, for example, was developed in ancient
Greece, and the Middle East as well as in the Americas) but still fit all three criteria. The period of time covered is 25,000
B.C. to the twentieth century. Among the entries are Adobe, Agriculture, Appaloosa horse breed, Chocolate, Cigars, Diabetes
medication, Freeze-drying, Hydraulics, Trousers, Urban planning, and Zoned biodiversity. Readers will find much of the content
revealing. The authors note that the Moche "invented the electrochemical production of electricity" although they used it
only for electroplating, a process they developed "more than a thousand years" before the Europeans, who generally get the
credit. The Aztec medical system was far more comprehensive than anything available in Europe
at the time of contact.
of American Indian Contributions to the World
is an "Eyeopener to the innumerable contributions of the American Indian to our nation and to world civilizations...."
it has won and some of the print reviews this book has received are listed below.
Winner 11th Annual Colorado
Book Award, Collections and Anthologies
Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Writer of the Year, Creative Reference Work, 2002
Selected by Booklist as Editors Choice Reference Source,
"This is a well-written book with fascinating information
and wonderful pictures. It should be in every public, school, and academic library for its depth of research and amazing wealth
of knowledge. We've starred this title because it is eye-opening and thought-provoking, and there is nothing else quite like
it." Booklist Starred Review
"[An] interesting, informative, and inspiring book." Native
"I would strongly urge anyone with a kernel of intellectual
curiosity: teacher, administrator, researcher, lawyer, politician, writer, to buy this book. I guarantee it will enlighten,
stimulate and entertain...Native students and indigenous instructors must obtain their own copies of the Encyclopedia. Whether
Cree, Mayan or Penobscot they will find a deep source of pride on each and every page. I can well imagine the excitement of
Native teachers when they obtain the book followed by an eagerness to share its contents with everyone within reach."
"I hope the Encyclopedia will serve as the basis for an
entirely new approach to Native history, one in which the scholar is liberated from the anti-Indian texts of the recent past.
Ideally, a copy of the Encyclopedia should be in every class in every school across the hemisphere." Akwesasne Notes-Indian
Time–Doug George-Kanentiio, Akwesasne Mohawk, co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association and the Akwesasne
"Highly recommended for academic libraries keeping collections
about American Indians." Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
"Native accomplishments finally get their due in this award-winning
book." American Indian Report
"A treasure trove of information about the large range
of technologies and productions of Indian peoples. This is indeed the most comprehensive compilation of American Indian inventions
and contributions to date. It is most worthwhile and should be on the bookshelves of every library and home in America." Indian Country Today
"This large, well-illustrated volume is an excellent reference.
One of the important strengths of the encyclopedia is that the information provided is balanced and rooted in facts, not speculation.
Highly recommended." Multicultural Review
"Far from the stereotypical idea that Native Americans
were uncultured and simple, possessing only uncomplicated inventions such as bows and arrows or canoes, these varied cultures
donated a rich assortment of ideas and items to the world. This book can be recommended to libraries that support an interdisciplinary
approach to student learning, such as units that integrate biology and culture studies projects." VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates
"...a comprehensive, unique A to Z reference to the vast
offerings made by the American Indians throughout history." Winds of Change (American Indian Science and Engineering Society)
one for each center. It is a GREAT resource." Ann Rutherford, Director Learning Resources Center,
Oglala Lakota College
"As I travel
to conferences and host presentations, I take your book as a reference and to show individuals. It allows science, engineering
and math students to gain insight into the traditional knowledge held about these and related subjects. I believe it empowers
them to know this knowledge is already within. To balance contemporary knowledge within that context creates a student who
can experience a topic from a number of perspectives." Jacqueline Bolman, Director, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Scientific Knowledge for Indian Learning and Leadership (SKILL)/NASA Honors Program
three page introduction alone makes this book a valuable resource as it sets forth the circumstances which led the invaders
to change their initial writings of wonder at the advanced native societies…I hope a way can be found to put this book
in the hands of our youth and all who touch them." Carter Camp, American Indian rights activist, Ponca tribal leader and founder
of Kansas/Oklahoma AIM