Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Communication Quarterly 62:4 (September–October 2014), pp. 455–473.

doi: 10.1080/ 01463373.2014.922486


Copyright © 2014 Eastern Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


This essay examines how the ideograph was crafted through dialectical struggles between Euro-Americans and American Indians over federal Indian policy between 1964 and 1968. For policymakers, was historically sutured to the belief that assimilation was the only pathway to American Indian liberation. I explore the American Indian youth movement’s response to President Johnson’s War on Poverty to demonstrate how activists rhetorically realigned in Indian policy with the Great Society’s rhetoric of “community empowerment.” I illustrate how American Indians orchestrated counterhegemonic resistance by reframing the “Great Society” as an argument for a “Greater Indian American.” This analysis evinces the rhetorical significance of ideographic transformation in affecting policy change.