|Other short titles||Indian Freedom Citizenship Suffrage Act of 1924|
|Long title||An Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue certificates of citizenship to Indians.|
|Enacted by||the 68th United States Congress|
|Effective||June 2, 1924|
|Statutes at Large||43 Stat. 253|
|Titles amended||8 U.S.C.: Aliens and Nationality|
|U.S.C. sections amended||8 U.S.C. ch. 12,subch. III § 1401b|
The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, also known as the Snyder Act, was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder (R) of New York and granted full U.S. citizenship to the indigenous peoples of the United States, called "Indians" in this Act. While the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution defines as citizens any persons born in the U.S. and subject to its jurisdiction, the amendment had been interpreted to not apply to Native people. The act was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge on June 2, 1924. It was enacted partially in recognition of the thousands of Native Americans who served in the armed forces during the First World War.
Homer Peter Snyder was a United States Representative from New York.
Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation.
Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".
The text of the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act (43 U.S. Stats. At Large, Ch. 233, p. 253 (1924)) reads as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all non citizen 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.
Approved, June 2, 1924. June 2, 1924. [H. R. 6355.] [Public, No. 175.]
SIXTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS. Sess. I. CHS. 233. 1924.
See House Report No. 222, Certificates of Citizenship to Indians, 68th Congress, 1st Session, Feb. 22, 1924.
Note: This statute has been codified in the United States Code at Title 8, Sec. 1401(b).
Under Article One of the United States Constitution, "Indians not taxed" were not counted in assessing the population of a state for purposes of apportionment. Some Native people could become citizens. The Dred Scott decision acknowledged thatbut linked it to naturalization:
Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress. Under Article One, Congress is a bicameral legislature consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Article One grants Congress various enumerated powers and the ability to pass laws "necessary and proper" to carry out those powers. Article One also establishes the procedures for passing a bill and places various limits on the powers of Congress and the states.
Naturalization is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a statute, i.e., without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application or a motion and approval by legal authorities. The rules of naturalization vary from country to country but typically include a promise to obeying and upholding that country's laws, taking and subscribing to the oath of allegiance, and may specify other requirements such as a minimum legal residency and adequate knowledge of the national dominant language or culture. To counter multiple citizenship, most countries require that applicants for naturalization renounce any other citizenship that they currently hold, but whether this renunciation actually causes loss of original citizenship, as seen by the host country and by the original country, will depend on the laws of the countries involved.
They [the Indian tribes] may without doubt, like the subjects of any foreign government, be naturalized by the authority of Congress and become citizens of a state and of the United States, and if an individual should leave his nation or tribe, and take up his abode among the white population, he would be entitled to all the rights and privileges which would belong to an emigrant from any other foreign people.
In 1868, under the 14th Amendment, all persons "born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" were declared citizens. However, the jurisdiction requirement was interpreted to exclude most Native Americans, and in 1870, the Senate Judiciary Committee further clarified the matter: "the 14th amendment to the Constitution has no effect whatever upon the status of the Indian tribes within the limits of the United States".
About eight percent of the Native population at the time qualified for U.S. citizenship due to being "taxed". (1884), when the Court held that a Native person born a citizen of a recognized tribal nation was not born an American citizen and did not become one simply by voluntarily leaving his tribe and settling among whites. The syllabus of the decision explained that a Native person "who has not been naturalized, or taxed, or recognized as a citizen either by the United States or by the state, is not a citizen of the United States within the meaning of the first section of the Fourteenth Article of Amendment of the Constitution".Others obtained citizenship by serving in the military, marrying whites or accepting land allotments, such as those granted under the Dawes Act. The exclusion of Native people from US citizenship was further established by Elk v. Wilkins , 112 U.S. 94
The Dawes Act of 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Native Americans. Those who accepted allotments and lived separately from the tribe would be granted United States citizenship. The Dawes Act was amended in 1891, in 1898 by the Curtis Act, and again in 1906 by the Burke Act.
Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884), was a United States Supreme Court case respecting the citizenship status of Indians.
The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, orders, case tables, in alphabetical order both by the name of the petitioner and by the name of the respondent, and other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Reports, once printed and bound, are the final version of court opinions and cannot be changed. Opinions of the court in each case are prepended with a headnote prepared by the Reporter of Decisions, and any concurring or dissenting opinions are published sequentially. The Court's Publication Office oversees the binding and publication of the volumes of United States Reports, although the actual printing, binding, and publication are performed by private firms under contract with the United States Government Publishing Office.
The Indian Citizenship Act granted citizenship to about 125,000 of 300,000 indigenous people in the United States. To put the numbers in perspective, the U.S. population at that time was less than 125 million. The indigenous people who were not included in citizenship numbers had already become citizens by other means; entering the armed forces, giving up tribal affiliations, and assimilating into mainstream American life were some ways that was done. 121 Citizenship was granted in a piecemeal fashion before the Act, which was the first more inclusive method of granting Native American citizenship. The Act did not include citizens born before the effective date of the 1924 act, or outside of the United States as an indigenous person; however, and it was not until the Nationality Act of 1940 that all born on U.S. soil (with limited exceptions such as the children of foreign diplomats) were deemed citizens. :16 :29:
The Nationality Act of 1940 revised numerous provisions of law relating to American citizenship and naturalization. It was enacted by the 76th Congress of the United States and signed into law on October 14, 1940, a year after World War II had begun in Europe, but before the U.S. entered the war.
Even Native Americans who were granted citizenship rights under the 1924 Act may not have had full citizenship and suffrage rights until 1948. According to a survey by the Department of Interior, seven states still refused to grant Indians voting rights in 1938. Discrepancies between federal and state control provided loopholes in the Act's enforcement. States justified discrimination based on state statutes and constitutions. Three main arguments for Indian voting exclusion were Indian exemption from real estate taxes; maintenance of tribal affiliation; and the notion that Indians were under guardianship, or lived on lands controlled by federal trusteeship. 121 By 1947 all states with large Indian populations, except Arizona and New Mexico, had extended voting rights to Native Americans who qualified under the 1924 Act. Finally, in 1948, the states withdrew their prohibition on Indian voting because of a judicial decision.:
Under the 1924 Act, indigenous people did not have to apply for citizenship, nor did they have to give up their tribal citizenship to become a U.S. citizen. Most tribes had communal property, and to have a right to the land, individual Indian people needed to belong to the tribe. Thus, dual citizenship was allowed. Earlier views on granting Indian citizenship had suggested allocating land to individuals. Of such efforts, the Dawes Act was the most prominent. That Act allocated once-tribally-owned land to individual tribal members, and because they were landowners and eventually would pay taxes on the land and become "proficient members of society", they could be granted citizenship. This idea was presented by a group of white American citizens, called "Friends of the Indian", who lobbied for the assimilation of indigenous people into American society. They specifically hoped to do that by elevating indigenous people to the status of US citizens. Though the Dawes Act allocated land, the notion that this should be directly tied to citizenship was abandoned in the early 20th century in favor of a more direct path to American citizenship.
Although some white citizen groups were supportive of Indian citizenship, Indians themselves were mixed in the debate. Those who supported it considered the Act a way to secure a long-standing political identity. Those who rejected it were worried about tribal sovereignty and citizenship. Many leaders in the Native American community at the time, like Charles Santee, a Santee Sioux, were interested in Native American integration into the larger society but adamant about preserving the Native American identity. Many were also reluctant to trust the government that had taken their land and discriminated so violently against them.
One group who opposed the Bill was the Onondaga Nation. They believed acceptance of this act was “treason” because the United States Senate was forcing citizenship on all Indians without their consent. According to the Iroquois, the Bill disregarded previous treaties between the Indian Tribes and the United States, specifically the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the 1789 Treaty of Fort Harmor, and the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua in which the Iroquois were recognized as “separate and sovereign.” The removal of the word “full” from “full citizenship” in the text of the original bill was used as a reason why some Native Americans were not granted the immediate right to vote with the bill.
On May 19, 1924, Snyder said on the House Floor, “The New York Indians are very much opposed to this, but I am perfectly willing to take the responsibility if the committee sees fit to agree to this.” After passage of the bill, Snyder became the representative of some of these Indians.
On December 30, 1924, the Chiefs of the Onondaga sent a letter to President Calvin Coolidge: Therefore, be it resolved, that we, the Indians of the Onondaga Tribe of the Six Nations, duly depose and sternly protest the principal and object of the aforesaid Snyder Bill, … Wherefore, we the undersigned counselling (sic) Chiefs of the Onondaga Nation, recommend the abandonment and repeal of the Snyder Bill.
With little lobbying effort from Native Americans themselves, two primarily white groups shaped the law: Progressive senators and activists, like the "Friends of the Indians". Progressive senators on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee were for the Act because they thought it would reduce corruption and inefficiency in the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Such institutions would no longer be in control of citizenship regulations if citizenship were automatically granted to all indigenous people. They also hoped to empower Indians by citizenship.
Other groups for Native American citizenship supported it because of the "guardianship" status they felt the US government should take to protect indigenous people. They worried Indians were being taken advantage of by non-indigenous Americans for their land. They advocated that the government had an obligation to supervise and protect native citizens. The Indian Rights Association, a key group in the development of this legislation, advocated that federal guardianship was a necessary component of citizenship. They pushed for the clause "tribal rights and property" in the Indian Citizenship Act to preserve Indian identity but gain citizenship rights and protection.
One advocate for American Indians during the early 20th century, Joseph K. Dixon, who had previously advocated for segregated Indian units during World War I in an effort to prevent their assimilation, wrote (referring to soldiers who served in World War I):
The Indian, though a man without a country, the Indian who has suffered a thousand wrongs considered the white man's burden and from mountains, plains and divides, the Indian threw himself into the struggle to help throttle the unthinkable tyranny of the Hun. The Indian helped to free Belgium, helped to free all the small nations, helped to give victory to the Stars and Stripes. The Indian went to France to help avenge the ravages of autocracy. Now, shall we not redeem ourselves by redeeming all the tribes?
Nipo T. Strongheart, a performer-lecturer on Native American topics at Lyceum and Chautauqua and similar activities across the United States from 1917 to the 1920s,gathered signatures on petitions supporting Indian enfranchisement into the tens of thousands. Some of his trips into Pennsylvania were in support of Melville Clyde Kelly, a supporter of the bill in Congress, who had a district there. The petitions and other advocacy work helped pass the bill, but he was disillusioned with the results.
Tribal sovereignty in the United States is the concept of the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the United States. The U.S. federal government recognizes tribal nations as "domestic dependent nations" and has established a number of laws attempting to clarify the relationship between the federal, state, and tribal governments.
An Indian reservation is a legal designation for an area of land managed by a federally recognized Native American tribe under the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs rather than the state governments of the United States in which they are physically located. Each of the 326 Indian reservations in the United States is associated with a particular Native American nation. Not all of the country's 567 recognized tribes have a reservation—some tribes have more than one reservation, while some share reservations. In addition, because of past land allotments, leading to some sales to non–Native Americans, some reservations are severely fragmented, with each piece of tribal, individual, and privately held land being a separate enclave. This jumble of private and public real estate creates significant administrative, political, and legal difficulties.
The United States nationality law refers to the uniform rule of naturalization of the United States set out in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, enacted under the power of Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution, which grants the Congress the power to "establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization..." The 1952 Act sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, American nationality. The requirements have become more explicit since the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, with the most recent changes to the law having been made by Congress in 2001.
The Choctaw Nation is a Native American territory and federally recognized Indian Tribe with a tribal jurisdictional area and reservation comprising 10.5 counties in Southeastern Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation maintains a special relationship with both the United States and Oklahoma governments.
The original United States Naturalization Law of March 26, 1790 provided the first rules to be followed by the United States in the granting of national citizenship. This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were free White persons of good character. It thus excluded Native Americans, indentured servants, slaves, free blacks and later Asians, although free blacks were allowed citizenship at the state level in certain states. It also provided for citizenship for the children of U.S. citizens born abroad, stating that such children "shall be considered as natural born citizens," the only US statute ever to use the term. It specified that the right of citizenship did "not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States."
Birthright citizenship in the United States is acquired by virtue of the circumstances of birth. It contrasts with citizenship acquired in other ways, for example by naturalization. Pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), U.S. citizenship is automatically granted to any person born within and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. This includes the territories of Puerto Rico, the Marianas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Birthright citizenship also applies to children born elsewhere in the world to U.S. citizens, known as jus sanguinis.
The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBBOI) is a federally recognized Native American tribe of Odawa. A large percentage of the more than 4000 tribal members continue to reside within the tribe's traditional homelands on the northwestern shores of the state of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The historically delineated reservation area, located at, encompasses approximately 336 square miles (870 km2) of land in Charlevoix and Emmet counties. The largest communities within the reservation boundaries are Harbor Springs, where the tribal offices are located; Petoskey, where the Tribe operates the Odawa Casino Resort; and Charlevoix.
The Citizenship Clause is the first sentence of Section 1 in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was adopted on July 9, 1868. It states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." This clause represented Congress's reversal of a portion of the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision which had declared that African Americans were not and could not become citizens of the United States or enjoy any of the privileges and immunities of citizenship.
Talton v. Mayes, 163 U.S. 376 (1896), was a United States Supreme Court case, in which the court decided that the individual rights protections, which limit federal, and later, state governments, do not apply to tribal government. It reaffirmed earlier decisions, such as the 1831 Cherokee Nation v. Georgia case, that gave Indian tribes the status of "domestic dependent nations," the sovereignty of which is independent of the federal government.
The Cherokee Freedmen Controversy was a political and tribal dispute between the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen regarding the issue of tribal membership. The controversy had resulted in several legal proceedings between the two parties from the late 20th century to August 2017.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is a Native American and Alaska Native indigenous rights organization. It was founded in 1944 to represent the tribes and resist federal government pressure for termination of tribal rights and assimilation of their people. These were in contradiction of their treaty rights and status as sovereign entities. The organization continues to be an association of federally recognized and state-recognized Native American tribes.
Native American civil rights are the civil rights of Native Americans in the United States. Native Americans are citizens of their clanic nations as well as the United States, and those clanic nations are characterized under the Law of the United States as "domestic dependent nations", a special relationship that creates a particular tension between rights retained via tribal sovereignty and rights that individual Natives obtained as U.S. citizens. This status creates tension today, but was far more extreme before Native people were uniformly granted U.S. citizenship in 1924. Assorted laws and policies of the United States government, some tracing to the pre-Revolutionary colonial period, denied basic human rights—particularly in the areas of cultural expression and travel—to indigenous people.
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Braveheart is a 1925 American silent western film directed by Alan Hale Sr. and starring Rod La Rocque. The story focuses on members of a tribe of Indians who are being intimidated by the owners of a canning company seeking to violate the treaty protecting the tribe's fishing grounds.
Iron Crow v. Oglala Sioux Tribe of Pine Ridge Reservation, 231 F.2d 89, was a case where the plaintiffs challenged the authority of Indian tribal courts; the matter involving both adultery and tax assessment was heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Two of the plaintiffs, both enrolled members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Marie Little Finger and David Black Cat were tried and convicted in the Oglala Sioux Tribal court of the crime of adultery, under the Revised Code of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The third plaintiff in the case Thomas Iron Crow, also an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe challenged the jurisdiction of the tribal court to enforce the collection of a tax assessed against parties who were non-members of the tribe who leased grazing rights from him on his allocated land on the reservation.
In the United States, tribal disenrollment is a process by which a Native American individual loses citizenship or the right to belong within a Native American tribe.