ENG 102: Indigenous Rhetoric
Essay 3: Decolonized Methods (Proposal Argument)
As stated before in class, proposals are very simple to understand but very challenging to
materialize and execute. Up to this point in your argumentative writing you have practiced
maintaining credibility primarily through rhetoric—the practice of effective communication.
Conditions and situations have been analyzed critically and it is usually the more specifically an
issue is addressed, the more credibility you earn. In addition to the aforementioned, the
proposal argument will ask you to consider what other ways you can gain and lose credibility,
such as: ideas, creativity, context and feasibility.
“Decolonized methods” is the theme for this next unit. The prescribed content for this unit
involves addressing issues that are problematic for indigenous marginalized, underrepresented
and underserved individuals, groups, and communities. Identifying the problem is half of the
essay; the other half lies within seeking plausible answers for these issues. The vehicle drives
your solutions will be “decolonized methods”. The term decolonization literally is referring to
the breaking away of a colonized and usually oppressive faction to attain true forms of
sovereignty. In the context of our assignment we are adherent to the pre-colonial ideology of
“co-existence”. In this way, we are understanding that we are in modern society and Native
Americans, still being American citizens, live in multiple spheres and identities—they are
Indigenous and Americans at the same time. Hence, de-colonized methodologies for our
purposes is how can Native communities revert back to traditional ways of living, being,
praying, eating, learning and teaching. Moreover, can modern technology become a viable
conduit to implement decolonized methodologies to help solve society’s problems today?
For example, as discussed in class, when considering the issue of food insecurity on reservations
today an easy fix would be to build some grocery stores; however, this would not empower
community members to live healthy lifestyles. Core aspects of Indigeneity rest within
empowering all community members with the right knowledge of how to grow and harvest
their own food and not rely upon large trucks to deliver and dictate when and what they eat.
Indigenous methods to incorporate more of a pre-colonial diet immediately provides attention
to combat issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Educating the community
of ancestoral knowledge provides sustainable ways of living as well.
Proposal arguments usually follow this general three-part structure: 1) description of a
problem; 2) presenting a proposed solution; and 3) justification of the proposed solution
(sometimes justification is made throughout). Your claim will be the issue of what is
problematic and your proposed solution.
All research and writing done in your ICAs this semester can be transferred in this essay. After
all, this course designed in a way where all work is leading up to this project.
1.) Problem section—for this section you will be using portions of your first and second
essays evaluating an issue that is problematic within Indian Country. The difference is I
will ask you to revise this section with the sole purpose to heighten the sense of urgency
to a point where readers will want to take action. This can be done with examples,
evidence, and your persuasive voice. Things are to be added; things are to be left out.
2.) Solution Section—This solution section will be what is drastically new (3-4 pages) where
you will smoothly transition into how does one solve the initial issue using decolonized
methods. Here you will be asked to detail your solution and justify that it will work with
the sole purpose of stressing feasibility. It is also good to prove that this solution will
Assignment Scenario—The Steps
1) Brainstorming: First of all this assignment requires you to think about what really is
important to you as an individual with the assigned content and context in mind.
Underrepresented individuals, groups, communities appear in many shapes and forms.
Proposal essays fall short because of writers’ lack of investment which hinders the
ability to execute. This project is YOURS. Proposals are successful when your readers
want to take action which literally means they MUST be invested in not only your cause,
but your form of action as well.
2) Research: Take time to research the problem’s history and contemporary condition.
Research what has been done before in attempts to remedy the problem. Make sure
your solution is feasible (doable) and will be better than anything done before.
Secondly, research evidence that will provide proof of how urgent your issue is.
Proposals are meant to make readers want to take action—heighten the sense of
urgency; then present your solution.
3) Compose Your Rhetoric: Due to the extensive nature of proposal writing, this is one of
the essays that cannot be written in one night. Ok… maybe it can, but detailed and well
researched evidence fused with your developed ideas will gain credibility for you.
Before, your priority was to get readers to consider your position on an issue. Here you
are convincing them to take action. How do you push people with your words? It can be
done. Great leaders around the world depended upon their rhetoric.
4) Revise: Your motivation (purposes) for revising will serve a bit differently in this essay.
There are many layers to this essay which is what makes it so difficult to achieve a
perfect proposal. First of all, you are to present a problem and a solution and justify
your solution as being a good course of action. Second of all, when presenting the
problem you are convincing the readers to take action. Depending upon the nature of
your issue some will spend more time than others. Furthermore, while presenting the
solution, one must provide a specific and feasible solution. Ideas will get you either
everywhere or nowhere in this essay. Increasing ethos is your priority in this stage of
the writing process.
5) Refine: This is when you can worry about conventions, paragraph placement,
introductions and writing style. Any polishing, tweaking, detailing, touching up, buffing,
trimming, shining, powdercoating, remixing or whatever you want to call it. But all
should be done to again, increase your credibility.
April 8-12, 2019—Classes Canceled for 1-on-1 Conferences (First Rough Drafts Due)
April 22, 2019—2nd Rough Draft: In Class for Workshop
April 24, 2019—Final Draft: Before Class Begins
April 23, 2019—2nd Rough Draft: In Class for Workshop
April 25, 2019—Final Draft: Before Class Begins
(cite the source and a brief summary of how the source will be helpful)
American Indian Health Policy: Historical Trends and Contemporary Issues
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4035886/- This source provides
historical data of the underfunding of the Indian Health Service(IHS).
Native American Health: History and Legal Context
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425854/- This source provides more history
about IHS and what role the IHS serves in the indigenous community
https://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/factsheets/disparities/ This source has Mortality
Disparity Rates for multiple causes of death
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation- Health and Wellness
Leading Health Challenges Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota Oglala Lakota Sioux
https://juniperpublishers.com/jojph/pdf/JOJPH.MS.ID.555574.pdf- Source speaks on
different health challenges from genetics to circumstantial challenges that cause health
problems, possible challenges/barriers and preventable risk factors.
Pine Ridge Information http://www.gundersenhealth.org/foundation/programsevents/global-partners/volunteer-toolkit/module-2-site-specific-cultural-information/pineridge/-This source speaks about different facts about this reservation including a brief
history, health and economic facts and more.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation https://www.re-member.org/pine-ridge-reservation.aspxSource states statistics from poverty, education, employment and health.
The Never-Ending Crisis at the Indian Health Service
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