The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from the Second Section of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed….” This provision gave Indians the right to remain members of their sovereign tribes and nations unless they were paying taxes and wanted to vote.
W. Cleon Skousen explained, “The Indians always insisted that they were independent nationalities and the United States government therefore made treaties with them as though they were foreign nations.
“In a short time, however, it became obvious that the Indian culture was part of the American culture, and that the native Indian population should no longer be treated as outsiders. In 1924 the Congress therefore passed an act making the Indians living on the reservations full-fledged citizens, entitled to all of the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship.” (See The Making of America – The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 724.)