Indian Citizenship Act Recognized, June 3

OR Secretary of State’s Office release – SALEM, OR — Sunday, June 2, Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade recognized the 100-year anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act. On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed into law the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted United States citizenship to all Indigenous people living in the U.S., granting them the right to vote in local, state and federal elections. “We tend to think of progress as a steady forward march, but the reality involves quite a bit of stumbling,” Secretary Griffin-Valade said. “The Indian Citizenship Act was important legislation with many benefits, but it’s not without complications. The best way for us to truly honor this landmark legislation is by recognizing all of the complexity — the good and the bad.” Before 1924, approximately 175,000 Native Americans had already been granted citizenship through a number of avenues, including marrying U.S. citizens, military service, or those who opted to “assimilate” under the 1887 Dawes Act. The Indian Citizenship Act granted U.S. citizenship to the remaining 125,000 Indigenous people. Ostensibly, granting citizenship also granted all Native peoples the right to vote in U.S. elections. However, voting rights for Native Americans remained contested in many areas until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A full accounting of the complicated history behind the Indian Citizenship Act is available through the White House Historical Association. In Oregon, some elections had been open to local indigenous peoples well before the federal act. According to the Oregon State Archives, newspaper accounts from as early as 1896 document a controversy over voting irregularities on the Siletz Reservation. A 1906 newspaper references an opinion by Oregon Attorney General Andrew ​​Crawford for the Indian Agent on the Klamath Reservation stating that individuals with allotments would be considered eligible to vote. “In recognizing this anniversary, I want to encourage Oregonians to check their voter registration to make sure they are able to get a ballot in November,” Secretary Griffin-Valade said. “It’s easy to take democracy for granted, but I believe civic engagement through voting is a core part of our national identity.” Learn more about the history of indigenous suffrage in Oregon through the Oregon State Archives exhibit, “On Her Own Wings: Oregon Women and the Struggle for Suffrage,” available online. The Oregon Blue Book, published by the Secretary of State’s Office, includes further information about Oregon’s federally recognized Tribes and other Native peoples.

The post Indian Citizenship Act Recognized, June 3 appeared first on Community Plus.


Share this post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Related Posts
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore