Have you ever heard of the Indian Citizenship Act? The bill was proposed by New York Representative Homer P. Snyder (R) and was signed into law on June 2, 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge. This law granted citizenship for all Native Americans born within the border of the United States.
Before the country had its Civil War, only Native Americans with less than 1/2 of Native American blood coursing through their veins. However, during the Reconstruction periods, there were a group of progressive Republicans who wanted to hasten process of giving friendly Native American tribes citizenship.
Although the law gave Native American’s full citizenship, they weren’t able to vote in any elections until 1957, thanks to laws designed to discriminate them from doing so.
Even though the 14th amendment gives “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” citizenship (this even includes the newly freed slaves), some people interpreted the amendment to restrict citizenship for most Native Americans.
Below, you’ll find colorized photographs of a group of Native Americans at the White House with President Calvin Coolidge.