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Indian Citizenship Act centennial commemorated in Oklahoma

Image of woman holding a tamborine
Brian Hammons
First Americans Museum
Cecil Gray Blues Band performs at the First Americans Museum

Over the weekend, the First Americans Museum recognized 100 years since the Indian Citizenship Act was passed.

People gathered at the Five Moons Theater for a night of fellowship, recognizing the day Indigenous people were granted citizenship and the right to vote. The evening was filled with community, laughter and great music by award-winning artists such as Tonemah, A.J. Harvey, Olivia Komahcheet and Cecil Gray Blues Band.

The event, headed by Rock The Native Vote, was all about encouraging voter engagement and registering.

Comanche citizen and Rock The Native Vote director Ginny Underwood said the event was not a celebration — but a recognition.

“We've gone through generations of people who've endured atrocities and trauma to get us to where we are today,” Underwood said. “This is about our resiliency.”

Kiowa guitarist and singer Cecil Gray hopes Indigenous people will continue to perform this civic duty.

“It’s an honor, playing here for this event, because of all Native Americans used to and continue to endure,” Gray said. “So all you Native Americans please go out and vote, it does make a difference.”

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Katie Hallum covers Indigenous Affairs at KOSU.
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