Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Lakota/Nakota/Dakota people, as well as other Native American tribal groups, did not traditionally use the established, conventional forms of oration to which most in contemporary mainstream society relate. Rather, Native-specific epistemology, ontology and axiology played a central role in forming and supporting the function of communication as well as the speaking conventions that continue to be used today. These culturally-based patterns and structures present both challenges and opportunities that have been only marginally explored in various disciplines such as education, social and behavioral science, and psychology. This body of work exists for the purpose of exploring a traditionally Native understanding of oratory and communication, the impact of the transition to English on oratorical conventions and the culturally embedded communication practices still with us today. It delineates a model of Lakota/Nakota/Dakota oratory comprised of the traditional practices of formal introduction, acknowledgement of viewpoint, responding indirectly, non-confrontational, utilization of ikce wicasa concept, use of humor, use of storytelling or personal narrative, listening as basis for speaking and formal conclusion. Research findings suggest that these criteria accurately reflect an on-going, culturally-appropriate model of Lakota/Nakota/Dakota oratory.

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