United States Citizenship for the Native American
By 1900, the Native American population
in the United States had dwindled to approximately 250,000. The
perceived diminishing of a Native American threat to
white prosperity sometimes relegated Native Americans to little
more than a novelty act. For example, Thomas Edisons turn-of-the-century
films such as Buffalo
Ghost Dance, and the Sham
Battle at the Pan-American Exposition
documented traditional performances created for the interest and
amusement of people attending an ethnic village in a Worlds
Fair. Meanwhile, materials such as the 1898 film, Indian
Day School, and the 1923 map of Indian
Reservations West of the Mississippi River
documented the harsh new realities of Native American culture.
On June 2, 1924, President
Calvin Coolidge signed a bill granting Native Americans full citizenship.
Coolidge posed with four Osage Indians in front of the White House
to commemorate the event.
Three years later, the presidents
photo opportunities included wearing a suit and feathered headdress
when he was made a Sioux Chief as well as standing in front of
the White House with some veterans of the Indian Wars.