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Bozho Readers,

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, Native News Online will devote the month of June to reflect upon the complex journey of Native American citizenship over the past century in a campaign we have entitled “Heritage Unbound: Native American Citizenship at 100.”

On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, also known as the Snyder Act. On that day, about 125,000 of the estimated 300,000 Native Americans alive became U.S. citizens. The majority had gained citizenship through intermarriage and/or land ownership. 

The Act read that “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.”

Most Americans are unaware that women gained the right to vote before Native Americans became U.S. citizens. Studies have also shown that U.S. citizens know little, if anything, about Native Americans — 4 in 10 don’t even think Native Americans still exist. These facts underscore the need for greater awareness of our history and the present-day realities we face.  

Native News Online is committed to bridging this gap. To mark this centennial, we’re launching a month-long commemoration — publishing essays, reporting stories, producing a video, and hosting a livestream — that will showcase the diverse and thriving Native American communities of today. Through these and other efforts, we hope to bring more awareness to our citizenship and the invaluable contributions we continue to make in this modern era.

We hope you will learn from our reporting during “Heritage Unbound: Native Citizenship at 100 and pass on this coverage so that more people become acquainted with how the first people of this continent became the last people to gain citizenship on Turtle Island.

Please join us tomorrow, Sunday, June 2, 2024 at 12 noon - EDT, for a stream to learn more about the significance of Native American citizenship on Native News Online's Facebook, X (Twitter), or YouTube channel to be inspired.

Chi Megwetch (a big thank you) for your continued readership and support.

Levi Rickert 

Publisher/Editor

 

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Join us in celebrating 100 years of Native citizenship. On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting Native Americans US citizenship, a pivotal moment in their quest for equality. This year marks its centennial, inspiring our special project, "Heritage Unbound: Native American Citizenship at 100," celebrating their journey with stories of resilience, struggle, and triumph. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive.

About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].