American Indian Citizenship
|American Indian Topics|
|Bureau of Indian Affairs|
Most United States citizens became citizens at birth, when they are born within the borders of the United States.
The American Indian acquired citizenship though many different avenues:
- Federal Indian policies, treaties or statutes, by marrying a citizen, military service, or allotment.
It was not until 1924 the Indian Citizenship Act was passed by Congress granting citizenship to all Indians born within the United States. The Native Americans were not included in the Fourteenth Amendment because they were considered a separate nation.
"That all non-citizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they hereby are, 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."
- It is estimated that two-thirds had previously become citizens through other means (treaty agreements, special statutes naturalizing named tribes or individuals, by treaty agreements, by special statutes, naturalizing named tribes or individuals, by general statutes,naturalizing Indians who took land allotments or by naturalizing special groups (such as Indian women who had married non-Indian men). before 1924.
Indian Citizenship Act of 1924
"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)"