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About Miami Tribe Relations

Strengthening the Relationship

The University's Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) serves as the official University liaison with the Miami Tribe and in turn designates a Student Affairs staff member to serve as the Director of Miami Tribe Relations.

This position seeks to plan and monitor the University's activities that involve the Miami Tribe to both ensure they are educational and reflect the University's close partnership with the Tribe and to develop new programming that can enhance both the Tribe's and the University's communities, charged with varying responsibilities:

  • Maintaining close communication with the Tribe
  • Coordinating various campus activities between the Tribe and the University
  • Acting as the major on-campus resource and support person for Miami Tribe students who attend Miami University
  • Organizing and hosting visits to the Tribe in Miami, Oklahoma for special annual events
  • Supporting the Myaamia Center's various efforts
Myaamia Chief and Miami President sign agreement

Supporting Myaamia Students

The Director of Miami Tribe Relations provides support for Myaamia students before, during, and after they attend Miami University:

  • Communicating with potential Miami Tribal student applicants (and their family members) to address application needs/questions and direct them to unique opportunities and resources (e.g., Bridges Program, Heritage Award Program).
  • Supporting Myaamia students once they have become enrolled at Miami by offering developmental support and encouragement through one-on-one meetings, monitoring of grades, and advising students through typical student development stages.
  • Working to enhance each Myaamia student’s individual experience with the goal of helping them succeed academically and graduate from Miami University.

Myaamia Alumni

Our Team

Kara Strass

Kara Strass

Director of Miami Tribe Relations for the Myaamia Center

Kara serves as an on-campus resource for Myaamia students. Kara served as the Graduate Assistant for the Myaamia Center from 2016 -2018 and completed her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami in May 2018.

Kara is an enrolled citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma who grew up in Huntington, Indiana and has enjoyed a strong family and community connection to her Myaamia heritage.

Andrew Sawyer

Andrew Sawyer

Education Outreach Specialist

In this position he is responsible for increasing the exposure of the Myaamia Center and Miami University’s relationship with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma across campus. He will explore areas where information about this relationship and history may be incorporated into classrooms and campus activities. As part of this he also hopes to promote more collaborative efforts between faculty and the Myaamia Center that address tribal needs and priorities

Bobbe Burke

Bobbe Burke

Emeritus Coordinator

A Miami University graduate and active participant in community organizations and initiatives in the City of Oxford, Bobbe leverages her working knowledge of the campus and Oxford communities to assist Myaamia students and the Myaamia Center in identifying and making local connections that can produce significant partners.

Bobbe's earliest associations with the Miami Tribe, in 1991 and 1992, were coordinating the first on-campus educational events involving Tribal officials and visitors. In 1994, she was appointed Coordinator of Miami Tribe Relations and held that position until she retired in December 2019. She uses her longevity and research in this position to document an ongoing chronological record of interactions, activities, and events between the University and the Tribe. Indeed, she compiled much of the history of this relationship.

Learn More

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to learn more about the history of the relationship and to explore possible connections. Visit the Armstrong Student Center Shade Family Room panels of photos and the display cases in the 2nd floor Smucker Wiikiaami Room.
Bonham House exterior
Connect with the Community

Miami Tribe Relations

Myaamia Center
200 Bonham House
Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-5648 Connect with Us