Nipwaayoni Acquisition and Assessment Team (NAAT)

About NAAT

Language and culture revitalization is one crucial issue facing many First Nation communities today. The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma has undertaken revitalization efforts since 1996 by developing a wide range of community based educational initiatives including support for the development of the Myaamia Center at Miami University to assist in the development of tribal education.

A strategic goal of this revitalization movement is to reconnect the Myaamia people to their indigenous knowledge system.

This strategic goal is being achieved through a wide range of educational opportunities rooted in language and cultural learning. It is understood that the Myaamia language is the most effective and efficient means of communicating cultural knowledge.

After many years of observing significant positive outcomes at the community level, which are believed to be a result of language and cultural education, the Myaamia Center established the Nipwaayoni Acquisition and Assessment Team (NAAT) in 2012 to begin exploring the many factors that have shaped this effort.

The NAAT’s initial directive was to gather observational, interview, and survey data on the impact of the “Myaamia experience” on tribal students attending Miami University, tribal youth attending summer youth camps (eewansaapita), and tribal community engagement. These data are being used to not only chronicle the re-emergence of language and cultural revitalization but to also provide tribal leadership with tools to enhance the tribal experience itself.

To date, preliminary data gathered suggest an impact on increasing tribal engagement, enhanced academic attainment (higher retention and graduation rates), and an increased sense of tribal connection.

Quick Information

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  • 125 Myaamia students have enrolled at Miami University since 1996
  • 20% of Myaamia students studied abroad
  • 50% completed their senior projects on initiatives related to the tribe

Findings at a Glance

Publications

Shea, H., Mosley-Howard, G. S., Baldwin, D., Ironstrack, G., Rousmaniere, K., & Schroer, J. E. 2019. Cultural Revitalization as a Restorative Process to Combat Racial and Cultural Trauma and Promote Living Well. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication.

"Niila Myaamia (I Am Miami): Identity and Retention of Miami Tribe College Students" in Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice

Committee Members

Dr. Susan Mosley-Howard

Dr. Susan Mosley-Howard
Dean & Professor Emeritus, Miami University
mosleygs@miamioh.edu

Dr. Haley Shea

Dr. Haley Shea
Myaamia Research Associate & Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Miami University
strassha@miamioh.edu

Dr. Tracy Hirata-Edds

Dr. Tracy Hirata-Edds
Multi-term Lecturer, University of Kansas, Myaamia Research Associate, Miami University
hiratate@miamioh.edu