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October 31, 2023

ABA launches new traveling exhibit on Native American voting rights

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2023 — In celebration of Native American Heritage Month in November, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress is launching a new traveling exhibit, “100 Years After the Indian Citizenship Act: The Continuing Struggle to Guarantee Voting Rights to Native Americans.”

The exhibit explores Native American Voting Rights long before the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 as well as how the act failed to ensure Native American participation in elections. The passage act was neither the beginning nor end of the struggle to gain voting rights for Native Americans. The exhibit spotlights tribal leaders and lesser known, yet extraordinary voting rights activists from all walks of life.

“This powerful exhibit highlights the challenges and barriers to voting that Native Americans have faced for decades — from 1921 right up to today,” ABA President Mary Smith said. “Voting is the bedrock of our democracy, and Native Americans play a pivotal role as its earliest stewards. We must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing the challenges that hinder their full participation.”

The traveling exhibit builds off the success of its predecessors that reached more than 225 venues nationwide: Magna Carta (2015-18), 19th Amendment (2019-22) and Mayflower Compact (2022-23). The new exhibit will be on display nationwide at law schools, state capitol buildings, state and local bar associations, courthouses, law firms and national and local conferences.

Among the places hosting the exhibit starting on Nov. 6 are:

  • National Native American Bar Association in Tempe, Arizona
  • Jacksonville University College of Law in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Greenberg Traurig LLP in Chicago
  • Stanford University Law School in Stanford, California
  • Case Western Reserve Law Library in Cleveland, Ohio
  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Library in Sacramento, California

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.