American Indian Citizenship Day 2023: June 2 is observed as American Indian Citizenship Day. On this date in 1924, Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all American Indians born in the United States. This day honours the history, culture, and heritage of American Indian communities across the nation. Each tribe possesses its own traditions and beliefs. American Indian Citizenship Day honours their cultural contributions and serves as a reminder of their lasting legacy.
American Indian Citizenship Day 2023: History
Since the creation of the United States Constitution, American Indians have occupied a unique position. Article 1 of the Constitution states that “Indians not taxed” do not count as members of the American voting population.
American Indians were also a factor in the 1857 Dred Scott decision. The Dred Scott judgement was a judgement by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that Dred Scott’s status as a slave did not change because he lived in free territory. In July 1868, however, the 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision and granted all U.S.-born individuals equal protection and due process under American law. Nonetheless, interpretations of this amendment excluded American Indians from citizenship in the United States.
The 1870 census revealed that the estimated population of American Indians exceeded that of five states and ten territories; however, 92% of American Indians were not legible citizens. The Dawes Act of 1887 granted American Indians conditional citizenship.
Prior to the American Civil War, citizenship was restricted to American Indians with less Indian ancestry. During the Reconstruction period, the Republicans in Congress sought to grant citizenship to American Indian tribes. American Indian women who married United States citizens were granted citizenship in 1888. Veterans of World War I who were American Indians received citizenship in 1919.
As a consequence of the Indian Citizenship Act, all American Indians were granted citizenship in the United States in 1924. During this time, approximately 125,000 out of an estimated 300,000 American Indians lacked citizenship.
Five little-known facts about American Indians
For the USA
40% of American Indians were not citizens of the United States until 1924, despite the fact that more than 12,000 of them served in World War I.
National Native American Heritage Month
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed November American Indian Heritage Month.
The original “Indians”
Columbus coined the term ‘Indian’ when he confused the Americas for the East Indies and referred to the natives as ‘Indians.’
28.2% of American Indians live under the federal poverty line.
A hospitable Texas
The appellation ‘Texas’ is derived from a group of American Indian communities whose name means ‘allies’ or ‘friends.’
American Indian Citizenship Day 2023: Significance
American Indian Citizenship Day honours and commemorates the American Indians, the country’s original inhabitants.
This Day honours the American Indians’ lives, traditions, and cultures. It also contributes to the culture of the nation as a whole.
American Indian Citizenship Day demonstrates support for American Indians and those who support them. It is a day that celebrates and honours the American Indian community.
American Indian Citizenship Day 2023: Dates