The act that acknowledged Native Americans as U.S. citizens is coming up on 100 years since it was sponsored by Representative Homer P. Snyder of New York. The Snyder Act was passed by congress and signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge on June 2, 1924.

The Snyder Act, officially known as the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, aimed to rectify legal inconsistencies to ensure that Native Americans had the same legal status as other U.S. citizens. However, the act did not automatically grant voting rights since the regulation of voting was left to individual states, many of which deprived Native Americans of their rights and continued discriminatory practices for decades afterwards.

The Snyder Act of 1924 was a pivotal moment in the history of Native American rights, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. While it marked significant progress, it was not the end of the struggle for full civil rights and political participation. The legacy of the Snyder Act continues to influence contemporary efforts especially for North Dakota Native Vote to ensure that Native Americans can fully exercise their rights as U.S. citizens.

Reflecting on the 100-year anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act, we are compelled to acknowledge a history marked by progress and persistent disenfranchisement. While this milestone symbolizes a step forward in the recognition of Indigenous rights, we cannot overlook the ongoing challenges our communities face in exercising full citizenship and sovereignty. This anniversary serves as a reminder of the importance of continuing our efforts to dismantle barriers to voting rights and to uphold the inherent sovereignty of Native nations,”

Nicole Donaghy,
Executive Director of North Dakota Native Vote.