Indian Citizenship Act Is Enacted
On June 2, 1924, Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. The right to vote, however, was governed by state law; until 1957, some states barred Native Americans from voting.
In a WPA interview from the 1930s, Henry Mitchell describes the attitude toward Native Americans in Maine, one of the last states to comply with the Indian Citizenship Act:
The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, also known as the Snyder Act, was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder of New York and granted full U.S. citizenship to America's indigenous peoples, called "Indians" in this Act. (The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizenship to persons born in the U.S., but only if "subject to the jurisdiction thereof"; this latter clause excludes certain indigenous peoples.) The act was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge on June 2.
Just why the Indians shouldn't vote is something I can't understand. ”— The Life of Henry Mitchell
One of the Indians went over to Old Town once to see some official in the city hall about voting. I don't know just what position that official had over there, but he said to the Indian, 'We don't want you people over here. You have your own elections over on the island, and if you want to vote, go over there.' ”— The Life of Henry Mitchell
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(a)(2).”— Text of the Indian Citizenship Act