mCdougall and nordstrom / kaona as rhetoriCal aCtion
analyses are oten encumbered with colonial/paracolonial ideologies that resultin misreadings and, in turn, misrepresentations.
Consequently, Powell callsor greater sensitivity in examinations o indigenous texts and suggests thatraming such analysis within a theory o “rhetorics o survivance,” borrowingGerald Vizenor’s term
), can acilitate theacknowledgment o both the continued survival and resistance o indigenous peoples and their literatures. She writes:
For Vizenor, and or mysel, this means not only reimagining the possibilities orexistence and ironic identity within Native communities, but also reimagining ascholarly relationship to writings by Indian peoples, one that hears the multiplici-ties in those writings and in the stories told about them. (401)
A rhetorics o survivance, then, emphasizes that indigenous texts as well as texts written about indigenous peoples must be recognized and read as articulationso the paracolonial status o Native Americans.Powell’s description o composition and rhetoric’s scholarship on Ameri-can Indian texts echoes assertions made by Scott Richard Lyons, who writesthat while the literature o the past decade demonstrates the discipline’s eortsat including Native ways o knowing in scholarly discussions and classroomcurricula, representations o Native texts, and correspondingly Native peoples,oten include “Indian stereotypes and cultural appropriation” and are virtu-ally void o “discourse on sovereignty and the status o Indian nations” (458).To capture more ully the rhetorical breadth o Native American texts, Lyonsadvances the term
to describe “the inherent right andability o
to determine their own communicative needs and desires inthis pursuit, to decide or themselves the goals, modes, styles, and languages o public discourse” (449–50). Rhetorical sovereignty, as Lyons asserts, counters“rhetorical imperialism,” which he sees as “defnitional” and hegemonic, “settingthe terms o the debate . . . by
the parties discussed by describ-ing them in certain ways” (452). Given this, Lyons points out that rhetoricalsovereignty “requires above all the presence o an Indian voice, speaking or writing in an ongoing context o colonization and setting at least some o theterms o debate” (462). Like Powell’s remarks, Lyons’s call or composition andrhetoric literature to divert rom and question its own employment o rhetori-cal imperialism emphasizes the importance o reading indigenous texts withinboth their cultural and colonial contexts as well as providing models o suchinormed readings.