Celebrating 100 Years of Native American Voting Rights and its Legacy of Conservative Leadership

Celebrating 100 Years of Native American Voting Rights and its Legacy of Conservative Leadership

One hundred years ago, on June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This landmark legislation resulted from persistent efforts by conservative leaders and has since paved the way for further advancements in Native American rights and freedoms.

The Indian Citizenship Act, also known as the Snyder Act, as it was proposed by U.S. Representative Homer P. Snyder (R-NY), was a significant milestone. Before its passage, many Native Americans were not considered U.S. citizens, despite the Fourteenth Amendment. President Coolidge, a Republican, recognized the importance of this act, especially as a tribute to the thousands of Native Americans who served in World War I.

The Snyder Act of 1924 gave full U.S. citizenship to Native Americans born in the United States. Although the Fifteenth Amendment, passed in 1870, granted the right to vote to all U.S. citizens regardless of race, it wasn’t until the Snyder Act that Native Americans could fully enjoy these voting rights.

However, the right to vote was not automatically guaranteed by this act; it took additional efforts and decades for full voting rights to be realized across all states​ (The Library of Congress)​​ (The HISTORY Channel)​.

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The journey towards voting rights continued through the efforts of other conservative leaders. President Richard Nixon signed the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act in 1975, which allowed tribes more significant control over our affairs, promoting self-governance and education​ (Native Americans Had a Surprising Ally: Richard Nixon | HISTORY)​.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed November as National American Indian Heritage Month, recognizing the contributions of Native Americans to the history and culture of the United States​ (Proclamation 6230—National American Indian Heritage Month, 1990 | The American Presidency Project (ucsb.edu)​. Later, in 2008, President George W. Bush signed legislation designating the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day, further honoring Native American heritage​ (Native American Day)​. More recently, President Donald Trump addressed the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), allocating funds and resources to combat this issue, showing a commitment to the safety and welfare of Native American communities​ (Trump Native Americans: President signs executive order for task force on missing, murdered Native Americans – CBS News)​.

These legislative milestones highlight the critical role of conservative leadership in advancing the rights and freedoms of Native Americans.

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act, it is essential to recognize the progress made and continue advocating for the rights and sovereignty of Native peoples. By reflecting on these achievements, we honor the legacy of conservative leaders who have worked to empower Native Americans and ensure our voices are heard in the democratic process. Learning more about conservative candidates and their traditional values might reveal their commitment to the progress and empowerment of Indigenous communities.

Considering the consistent efforts of conservative leaders in passing key legislation that benefits Native Americans, Tribal Citizens, and Tribal Nations, voting for conservative candidates could be a better choice for those seeking to uphold and expand Indigenous rights and freedoms.

For more detailed information, you can visit the following resources:

Cover photo: President Calvin Coolidge (C) poses with four members of the Osage Nation on February 18, 1925, outside the White House in Washington, D.C. On June 2, 1924, Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law. File Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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