Citizenship for American Indians

When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including recently enslaved persons, were guaranteed the rights of citizenship. However, the amendment did not extend suffrage or grant citizenship to American Indians. The Dawes Act of 1887 was meant to prompt assimilation by establishing American Indian schools and distributing tribal land, but aspects of traditional American Indian culture were destroyed in the process. Things changed in 1924 when the Indian Citizenship Act, or Snyder Act, granted full citizenship to American Indians. However, because voting rights were left to individual states, decades passed before American Indians’ rights were fully protected throughout the nation.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9
Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.2
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 11-12...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience....
CLE 3003.2.6
Deliver effective oral presentations.
CLE 3003.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
CLE 3003.3.1
Write in a variety of modes, with particular emphasis on persuasion, for different purposes and audiences.
CLE 3003.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well-constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3003.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause/effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3003.7.2
Examine the agreements and conflicts between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal.
CLE 3003.8.1
Demonstrate knowledge of significant works of American literature from the colonial period to the present and make relevant comparisons.
CLE 3003.8.4
Analyze works of American literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
CLE 3005.2.6
Deliver effective oral presentations.
CLE 3005.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
CLE 3005.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well-constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3005.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of complex oral and written contexts.
CLE 3005.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause/effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3005.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
SPI 3003.3.13
Identify the targeted audience for a selected passage.
SPI 3003.3.8
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3003.4.3
Evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources for use in research.
SPI 3003.5.1
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 3003.5.11
Identify the main claim, premise(s), evidence, or conclusion of a given argument.
SPI 3003.5.8
Determine whether a given argument employs deductive or inductive reasoning. (NOTE: NO Check for Understanding)
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.IKI.9
Analyze and evaluate a variety of thematically-related texts of historical and literary significance for their topics, facts, purposes, and rhetorical...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing and synthesizing relevant textual evidence from...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.KID.2
Determine multiple central ideas of a text or texts and analyze their development; provide a critical summary.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.IKI.9
Demonstrate knowledge of and analyze thematically-related, significant literary texts, considering how two or more texts treat similar themes or topics.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing and synthesizing relevant textual evidence from...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.KID.2
Determine multiple themes or central ideas of a text or texts and analyze their development; provide a critical summary.
TSS.ELA.11-12.SL.CC.1
Initiate and participate effectively with varied partners in a range of collaborative discussions on appropriate 11th - 12th grade topics, texts, and...
TSS.ELA.11-12.SL.CC.2
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media formats in order to make informed decisions and solve problems; evaluate the...
TSS.ELA.11-12.SL.PKI.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective so that listeners can follow the line of reasoning;...
TSS.ELA.11-12.SL.PKI.5
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
TSS.ELA.11-12.SL.PKI.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning supported by relevant and sufficient evidence.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to analyze, synthesize, and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the...
US.39
Describe the changing conditions for American Indians during this period, including the extension of suffrage and the restoration of tribal identities and way of life.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

The student will:

  • Define citizenship and discuss the struggles that minority groups have fought to obtain it.
  • Work in groups to analyze a political cartoon from 1871.
  • Read excerpted primary source documents
  • and answer corresponding questions.
Essential and guiding questions: 

How has federal policy shaped citizenship for American Indians?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding
Extension suggestions: 
  • After the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was passed, President Calvin Coolidge was adopted by the Sioux who called him “Leading Eagle, our greatest chief.” Have students investigate how other groups reacted to this legislation or how other presidents handled American Indian policy decisions.
  • Have students research current issues regarding American Indians:
    • Bear Ears National Monument Is Shrinking
    • Dakota Access Pipeline (2017) and (2018)
  • Discuss how U.S. citizenship impacted the sovereignty of tribal nations. Compare that to the ongoing debates about citizenship and statehood for U.S territories like American Samoa and Puerto Rico.

Helpful Hints

Materials:

  • “Move on!” Cartoon pieces
  • Image Analysis Form Excerpts from The Statutes at Large and [The Life of Henry Mitchell] 
  • Pen/ pencil