The way this project was designed focused on two things. One, the goal of rhetorical sovereignty around Idle No More and Standing Rock. This is the motivation of this project. It is to give more voice to the water activism that has emerged from the act of rhetorical sovereignty in Indigenous communities. By creating this website, I wanted to give another venue to the Native voices connected to these activist movements. In order to do this, I have specifically chosen sources that are from Indigenous news sources, interviewing Native people, and voicing Indigenous viewpoints; in short, I purposefully chose to focus on rhetorical sovereignty. I wanted the stories to be focused on giving voice to those who are often silenced and encapsulating these voices and perspectives in the timelines and featured information.
Two, it will be geared to secondary students and teachers. I cannot think of a better audience for this website. I think the idea of rhetorical sovereignty is one that many children this age can relate to personally. Also, I think it is a website that will be used in my community (one with a reservation that incorporates much of the city and the surrounding area and towns), by friends who teach English, History, Art, Current Events and other social studies courses at the secondary level, and by other educators who have expressed frustration at the lack of materials they can use in their classrooms at conferences. As I continue to work on this page over the summer of 2017, I will be adding teacher resources to the page; this will be one of the final steps of this project. In it, there will be links to resources (like the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways) and games (like Elizabeth LaPensée water game). Additionally, materials will be selected based on the feedback I get from five secondary teachers in the public school system.
The site is designed to be approachable for teachers and secondary students. There is information of the creation stories of the Dené and Standing Rock Sioux as well as some information and quotes about rhetorical sovereignty and stories (“Our Stories, Our Land”). There is an “About” page that outlines the purpose of the website and explains how rhetorical sovereignty and stories are related to the stories provided on the timeline page about Idle No More and Standing Rock (“Timelines”). Then, there is the page with a compiled timeline of the activist movements. Finally, there is a “Contact and Sources” page. After this summer, there will be a global map with markers indicating the locations of the two movements and the global allies that have formally connected themselves to the movements as well as the teacher resource page