Native American Citizenship 1924

After World War I, honorably discharged Native American veterans were granted citizenship for their service. Not long afterwards, many urged naturalization for all of America’s indigenous peoples who were not yet recognized as American citizens. Determining that “it was only just and fair that all Indians be declared citizens,” Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924. Under the act, Native Americans still retained their tribal affiliations and rights to tribal property.

Although Native Americans were finally recognized as “citizens” of the United States, the overall impact on their rights was minimal. Many tribes remained as wards of the Government, and the right to vote was slow to arrive for Native Americans in certain states. It would be decades before Native Americans were allowed to vote in all 50 states.