Gov. Noem Celebrates 100 Years of Native American Citizenship

Article Body


May 31, 2024

Contact: Amelia Joy


Gov. Noem Celebrates 100 Years of Native American Citizenship


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem celebrates the 100th anniversary of Native American citizenship, which will take place on June 2nd.


I have a deep sense of compassion and respect for our Native American population in South Dakota,” said Governor Noem. “As we celebrate this historic 100th anniversary, I encourage everyone to learn more about South Dakota’s rich tribal history and reflect on our shared values with the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota people.”


President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act on June 2nd, 1924, granting citizenship to all Native American people in the United States. Prior to this Act, Native Americans answered the call to serve this country in World War I, even though they were not recognized as U.S. citizens. In some instances, Native American warriors felt it was a treaty obligation on their part to fulfill their commitment to this alliance with the United States of America and fight for this great country.  According to official U.S. military records, native languages were used in WWI as code to transmit sensitive operational plans. This act was vital to extending and acknowledging proper citizenship to a population that rightfully deserved it.


This is an occasion to celebrate Native American communities in South Dakota and continue to look for ways to improve our future.