September 2022 Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Aya ceeki ‘greetings everyone’

We are excited to welcome all our students back here at Miami University for the fall semester and especially our 11 incoming first-year Myaamia Students. This brings our number of Tribe students up to 44 enrolled in the Myaamia Heritage Program this year. Our largest number to date. I am encouraged by the engagement of our tribe students and their willingness to support each other during their time here at Miami.

The Myaamia Center continues to grow in many ways. First, I want to welcome our newest staff member, Tribal citizen Stella Beerman. Stella has been engaged with Tribal programs all the way back to 2012 when she began participating in our Eewansaapita Summer Youth Experience. From there, Stella came to Miami and entered the Myaamia Heritage Program. During her time at Miami, she worked in the Myaamia Center, participated in a summer internship with the Miami Tribe’s Heritage Museum in Oklahoma, and for her senior project conducted an assessment of the Myaamia Center’s social media activities. Upon her graduation, Stella applied for our new Communications Specialist position. Her experience with Tribal programs and working with the Tribal community make her an excellent choice for further strengthening our communications and marketing efforts.

Daryl Baldwin

Secondly, we continue to advance a wide variety of research projects and technology developments for the benefit of our Tribal community. Thanks to support from the Miami Tribe, we have funding to support the development of an educational portal that will serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all Myaamia educational materials, programs, and related activities. This will not be completed for a couple of years but portions of it will be rolled out as they are ready. We continue growing our presence on campus through our recent outreach activities and this fall, with support from the College of Education, Health, and Society, we will be hosting a faculty learning workshop titled “Indigenizing the Curriculum”. We have experienced incredible growth throughout the pandemic and we are now challenged with managing that growth. The time is right to strengthen our tribal nation, campus activities, and the many relationships we have nurtured for years.

Speaking of relationships, during this academic year, many of our activities will focus on celebrating the 50-year partnership between Miami University and the Miami Tribe. Several events are in the final stages of planning so stay on top of our many communication streams for updated information. I can't help but recall when I came to Miami in 2001 as the sole position in what was then called the Myaamia Project, an initiative to explore possibilities that advance growing needs for language and cultural development within the Miami Tribe community. No one could have predicted what would happen. The depth and breadth of this effort has gone far beyond what any of us could have imagined and so it seems fitting at this time to celebrate with our neepwaantiinki ‘partners in learning’ all that we have built together.

In closing, I want to thank all of the staff here in the MC for their ongoing commitment to meet the challenges brought on by our growth and to all of our friends, family, and colleagues who continue to strengthen us and support our development in bringing greater awareness of the Miami Tribe on campus. I hope to see many of you during our celebratory year here on campus and in Oklahoma.

ayaakwaamisilo ‘strive on’