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At 100, Smith Still Sees Value Of Voting

At 100, Smith Still Sees Value Of Voting At 100, Smith Still Sees Value Of Voting

On Tuesday, June 4, Wolf Point’s 100-year-old resident Louise Smith knew where she needed to go. After all, it was Election Day and she has a long tradition of voting.

“She said that I better take her down there, because she was just in the Western Native parade,” daughter Edna Wetsit explained.

In fact, Smith was the grand marshal for the Western Native Voice’s parade in Billings on Sunday, June 2. The celebration recognized the 100th anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. Smith said the first time she voted was probably 1946. In her first opportunity to vote for president in 1948, Harry S. Truman was elected president.

“So I know what’s going on,” Smith said of why she votes. “Everybody should vote.”

It was a thrill when she was notified that she was selected to serve as grand marshal in the parade to celebrate Native Americans’ citizenship rights. “I was surprised and excited to do it,” Smith said. “It was nice to be with all those people.”

Wetsit added, “They knew she was a hundred, so it would be nice to have her.”

A banner on the convertible that she rode in read, “Montana’s oldest Native American voter Louise Smith, 100 years old.”

At first, she didn’t think she could climb on top of the vehicle for the ride, but family members provided her with helpful hands. Granddaughter Sophie Crawford then held on to Smith’s legs during the parade to make sure she would be safe.

Once she returned home, Smith needed to rest after the active weekend. Still, she found enough energy to cast her vote on Tuesday.

The parade also featured state champion runner Peyton Summers of Wolf Point. Tommy Christian served as the announcer.

Western Native Voice reported, “Today’s parade wasn’t just a celebration — it was a historic moment marking the 100-year anniversary of Native American citizenship. Thank you to everyone who came out and went above and beyond to honor this pivotal milestone!”

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