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Analyzing a Letter About American Indian Rights

Focusing on Details: White Out/Black Out

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

Look closely at this document. It is a response to a letter received by the Office of Indian Affairs. After reading it in full, consider what words may be blacked out. Then click on "When You're Done."


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Worksheet

Analyzing a Letter About American Indian Rights

Focusing on Details: White Out/Black Out

Examine the documents included in this activity and write your response in the space provided.



Your Response




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Activity Element

Letter to Wilbur H. Shongo from Fred H. Dalker about American Indian Voting Rights

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Conclusion

Analyzing a Letter About American Indian Rights

Focusing on Details: White Out/Black Out

Based on your close reading of the document, what subject do you think the letter is discussing? What clues led you to that conclusion?

Your Response




Document

Letter to Wilbur H. Shongo from Fred H. Dalker about American Indian Voting Rights

1/23/1947

In this letter to Wilbur H. Shongo, an official at the Office of Indian Affairs responds to a question regarding the voting rights of American Indians in New York.

Voting rights are largely governed by states and citizenship status. American Indians were not universally granted citizenship until 1924, and states interpreted voting rights differently. Some states didn't extend suffrage to American Indians until well into the 20th century.

American Indians were able to vote in New York State in 1947. It was not until 1962, however, that the final state, Utah, removed restrictions that prevented American Indians from voting.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 focused primarily on enfranchising African Americans in the South, but the act and its extensions also safeguarded the voting rights of many other minority Americans. This was further expanded by the Voting Rights Act of 1975 which aimed to protect women and men in language minorities, including American Indians, from discrimination at the polls.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793 - 1999.
Full Citation: Letter to Wilbur H. Shongo from Fred H. Dalker about American Indian Voting Rights; 1/23/1947; Tribal Relations- General (NY Indians); General Records, 1938 - 1949 (NAI #4662241); Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793 - 1999, ; National Archives at New York, New York, NY. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/letter-american-indian-voting-rights, April 20, 2024]


Letter to Wilbur H. Shongo from Fred H. Dalker about American Indian Voting Rights

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