Continuing my attempt to be more cool and hip, I am no longer listing the day via assignment.
I want to focus on the assigned reading though, specifically one article that is related to work that I am doing in collaboration with Dr. Monroe among others.
Haas, Angela. "Making Online Spaces More Native to American Indians: A Digital Diversity Recommendation." Computers and Composition Online. (Fall 2005)
The first portion where there is a list of various statistics I find to be accurate to a point. In the three years since the publication of the information in the article, there have been some interesting ways to express identity that have come on-line. Social networking sites in particular are serving NDN Country. In particular the youth. It is operating in a bricolage manner as well, by providing a digital space where music, video, images and experiences can be placed in an area that can be accessed by those that are allowed. There are shortcomings to this approach as well, but it should be noted that the requisite overhead costs, hardware and bureaucracy is circumvented.
The Digital Rhetorical Sovereignty section piqued my interest due to the manner in which sovereignty as a term was utilized. The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma is representing themselves well in a digital space, as well as creating forums for discourse to take place on the topic of sovereignty. This is something that other tribes should consider. At the same time there is a danger to opening access to Tribal identity to include rhetorical forms. Dr. Kim Christen's work with indigenous people in Australia, could be applied in this way. Limiting access to information is just as important as having that information available. NDN people have had entirely too much appropriated, to be comfortable with opening the doors to their traditions. Through Dr. Christen's work it is possible to protect rhetorics while opening access to tribal people who would benefit in the way Dr. Haas is proponing.
As far as the argument presented by Bizzaro, there is some merit in opening access. Here it is important to place the decision in the hands of the tribe. Every tribe has a different situation, treating them uniformly is a recipe for offense. Some tribes have rights issues that would not be well served by opening enrollment. Other tribes have been disenrolling members over financial issues. Blood quantum is a bit of an elephant in the room in this case, with each tribe setting their own levels. While entirely too many tribal people are denied access to NDN epistemologies based upon phenotype, there should also be a practical caution exercised in order to prevent exploitation. One way to go about side stepping blood quantum is for tribes (possibly in the same region or language group) to recognize other tribal blood.
I agree with the suggestions forwarded by Haas, with an addendum. Look around in the academy for NDN's. There are organizations that serve the needs of students and most of them have advisors.
For non-native students in her target audience of computer composition I would be confident to say that it is sound advice to enter that space aware of your outsider status. Instead of attempting to save 'us' or our rhetoric, try volunteering for activities sponsored by the Native American organization. Remember that NDN's are people, not causes...and in most cases you may be surprised to find that we don't feel like we need saving. We may not even want help.