Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Overcoming Barriers for Native American Voters


California Native Vote Project Staff Members Fredrick "Damien" Scott, John Luke Gensaw and Peter Gensaw tabling during a Census "Get out the Count" event in Eureka, CA on March 3, 2020. Photo courtesy of the California Native Vote Project

This dispatch is part of a series in collaboration with The GroundTruth Project that explores the expansion of voting rights in communities across the U.S., in connection with The Vote, by American Experience, and as part of GroundTruth's initiative called "On the Ground" with Report for America.

AGUA CALIENTE INDIAN RESERVATION, California - The ratification of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago was the single greatest expansion of the right to vote in the nation's long and troubled history of extending political inclusion.

But even as white women and some women of color won suffrage in 1920, Native Americans were not recognized as citizens. It would take another four years to gain citizenship and another four decades before every U.S. state would recognize the right of Native Americans to vote. The struggle for American Indian enfranchisement is as long as the history of the nation itself and continues to this day.


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