American Indian Citizenship

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indian Research Gotoarrow.png Citizenship

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 that an act was passed by Congress granting citizenship to all Indians born within the United States.

  • It is estimated that two-thirds had previously become citizens through other means 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)"