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Native Americans during mathematics class at Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Native Americans in math class at Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1903

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Congress Granted Citizenship to All Native Americans Born in the U.S.
June 2, 1924

At the time of the Indian Citizenship Act, an act called the Dawes Severalty Act shaped U.S. Indian policy. Since 1887, the government had encouraged Native Americans to become more like mainstream America. Hoping to turn Indians into farmers, the federal government gave out tribal lands to individuals in 160-acre parcels. Unclaimed or "surplus" land was sold, and the money was used to establish Indian schools. In them, Native American children learned reading, writing, and social habits of mainstream America. By 1932, the sale of unclaimed land and allotted land resulted in the loss of two-thirds of the 138 million acres Native Americans had held prior to the Act.
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