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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Indian Citizenship Act of June 2, 1924

The Fourteenth Amendment provides citizenship to persons born in the U.S., but only if "subject to the jurisdiction thereof"; this final clause excludes certain indigenous peoples. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge on June 2. Mr. Coolidge had deep roots in New England and he claimed his ancestors had American Indian Blood. According to Wikipedia, Native Americans were granted citizenship rights under the 1924 Act, but did not have full citizenship and suffrage rights until 1948. And a survey by the Department of Interior did show that seven states still refused to grant Indians voting rights in 1938.  By the way the immigration act was also signed in 1924. The Act halted "undesirable" immigration by quotas. I am wondering how Native Americans were labeled! Maybe it was non-foreign-born persons, or native resident in the continental United States.

Well let’s enjoy June Moon Meditation from "Dancing Moons" by Nancy Wood. Her cycle of poems is an homage to Native American philosophy around the Twelve Great Paths of the Moon of the Pueblo Indians (New Mexico).
June, Corn Tassel Coming Out Moon: Kapnakoyapana
Junes's great path of the moon is listening.
There is a story inside everything: wind, rain, fire. Even in the sound corn makes when it is trying to grown in the field. Rivers have great stories, so do leaves rustling on trees. Listen to old stones for information about survival. Put a pebble to your ear and listen to the tale it has to tell. What a seashell has to say will surprise you. So, too, will words written on the wind.
Listening to silence is hardest of all. You want to fill it up with conversation. With noise. With distraction. Resist the impulse. In silence you can listen to your own heartbeat; you can take the pulse of continuity. In silence, you can dream great dreams. You can discover your own music.

Why is it harder to let go than it is to hang on? Even when a thing seems finished, a shadow remains. you ask: Did I do right? Was there a way to bury our differences? By saying nothing, did you say all?
It takes effort to make something of your life when other people are making do with less. Have courage to make a change. Indecision prevents action. Memory clouds reason. Fear paralyzes. Routine decays. Listening means hearing the voice within you. It never fails to tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it
By Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), known to the Native Americans he photographed as the "Shadowcatcher."

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