Created in 2001, the Myaamia Project seeks to advance the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma’s language and cultural revitalization efforts. What makes it different from many similar efforts is that the Myaamia Project is a joint venture between Miami University, located in Oxford, OH, and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. There are no reservations in the state of Ohio, as most Indian residing there were moved to reservations in the southwest in the 1850s.
Daryl Baldwin is the director of the Myaamia Project, and he has been instrumental in the project’s success. The Myaamia Project exists “in direct response to this oppressive history” of forced removal, says Baldwin.
The project has two main missions:
“The first is to conduct in-depth research to assist tribal educational initiatives aimed at the preservation of language and culture. This research is used to create a wide range of educational models and materials for community language and cultural programs.
The second purpose is to expose undergraduate and graduate students at Miami University to tribal efforts in language and cultural revitalization. Student experiences are gained through a wide range of activities including visits to Oklahoma, direct involvement in research initiatives, class visitations by Project staff, and access to Miami Tribe language and cultural resources.”
Tribal members residing in Ohio and Oklahoma now speak a Native language that had only a handful of living speakers in the 1960s. Additionally, all incoming students to Miami University learn about the history of the Miami Tribe and are exposed to their painful history of forced relocation, as well as their remarkable efforts to preserve Myaamia language and culture.
To read more, please visit Mary Anette Pember’s story on diverseeducation.org.
To view Myaamia language resources available on the web, please visit the Project’s Publications page.