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Abstract: Native American Rhetoric and Misinterpretations

Today in schools and textbooks across the nation, different stereotypes of Native Americans are being taught everyday. Due to the misinterpretations and lack of education of the Native American culture, Native Americans are considered savages that lack knowledge and communication skills. As Native American culture is diminished from generation to generation, reviving an entire culture that is lost in misconceptions seems almost impossible. However, this paper explains that the Native American perceptions of nature, culture, and community are a collective rhetorical value for the native people groups. In conducting this research, I will be exploring the identity of Native Americans through the use of their own languages by evaluating Meta Carstarphen’s article “Black Lines, White Spaces: Towards Decoding a Rhetoric of Indian Identity.” I will also be discussing and studying common stereotypes as examined from Native American activist and educator Makita Wilbur. And finally, I will be reviewing the Cherokee Nation language called “syllabary,” and surveying college student’s perceptions of Native Americans. I argue that understanding the overall importance of Native American culture and it’s intertwined concepts of rhetoric as nature, culture, and community will allow students and scholars to understand and appreciate Native American rhetoric. Therefore, when conducting this research and presenting it, the delusions of Native American rhetoric can dissolve and create a society that is more understanding and accepting of their art, music, and literature.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
18 Jul 2022
1.23 MB



  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2016

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Michael Rifenburg