President Calvin Coolidge with Sioux chiefs. Photo from Flicker
Published June 2, 2016
WASHINGTON – On this date 91 years ago, Congress passed — and President Calvin Coolidge signed — the Indian Citizenship Act, which stated “all noncitizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby declared to be, citizens of the United States: Provided that the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Indian to tribal or other property.”
Prior to this act, about two-thirds of American Indians were already citizens by other provisions. Today, there are over two million single-race American Indians possessing this full citizenship, and 566 federally recognized tribes. The Indian and Alaska Native population, including people of more than one race, numbers 5.4 million.