Young Hawk Ponies
26" x 31",  Mixed Medium; Oil, elks teeth, quill work

This piece is a tribute to Joseph Young Hawk – Arikara Warrior who served in World War I

Aug 4, 1914 – November 11 1918, a man/people without a country until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924

JOE YOUNG HAWK
(Arikara): captured by five German soldiers in WWI, he turned on his German captors, killed three with his bare hands and captured the other two. Shot through both legs, he marched his prisoners back through enemy territory to Allied lines.

“Until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, Indians occupied an unusual status under federal law. Some had acquired citizenship by marrying white men. Others received citizenship through military service, by receipt of allotments, or through special treaties or special statutes. But many were still not citizens, and they were barred from the ordinary processes of naturalization open to foreigners.

Congress took what some saw as the final step on June 2, 1924 and granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States.” The granting of citizenship was not a response to some universal petition by American Indian groups. Rather, it was a move by the federal government to absorb Indians into the mainstream of American life. No doubt Indian participation in World War I accelerated the granting of citizenship to all Indians, but it seems more likely to have been the logical extension and culmination of the assimilation policy. After all, Native Americans had demonstrated their ability to assimilate into the general military society. There were no segregated Indian units as there were for African Americans. Some members of the white society declared that the Indians had successfully passed the assimilation test during wartime, and thus they deserved the rewards of citizenship.”(Nebraska Studies.org)