Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.96
Liaison Adam Sizemore
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Miami University
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Susan Meikle
University News writer and editor
University Communications
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Miami Tribe Relations, Myaamia Center, Myaamia Heritage Logo, Language and Cultural Revitalization

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Miami University has a unique partnership with the Miami (Myaamia) Tribe, and supports a Miami Tribe Relations office; a recently created Myaamia Heritage Logo and a Myaamia Heritage Collection, all of which serve to promote awareness and education about cultural revitalization of the Miami Tribe, which was indigenous to Ohio and other parts of the midwest before its forced removal in the 19th century.
The Miami Awakening - language and cultural revitalization - has grown and been recognized as a national leader in this area by several prestigious honors in the past 3 years.

Daryl Baldwin, director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University and a leader in Native American language and cultural revitalization, was named one of the 2016 MacArthur Fellows — recipients of the so-called “genius grants.”

In Oct. 2018, The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma has received a prestigious national award recognizing its cultural heritage and language revitalization program, which has resulted in the first generation in nearly 100 years learning to speak the Myaamia language.
Chief Douglas Lankford said. “Our relationship with Miami University, their commitment to our Myaamia Center and the incredible work accomplished there are components to our success in community revitalization.”

The Myaamia Center on Miami’s Oxford campus is the tribe’s research arm.
The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development presented tribal leaders with an Honoring Nations Award, with the distinction of honors.

The Myaamia Center is focused on deepening Myaamia connections through research, education, and outreach.

The Myaamia Center, a Miami Tribe of Oklahoma initiative located within an academic setting, serves the needs of the Myaamia people, Miami University, and partner communities through research, education, and outreach that promote Myaamia language, culture, knowledge, and values.

The Myaamia Center has two main purposes:

1) 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.
2) 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 Center staff, and access to Miami Tribe language and cultural resources.

In 2015 and 2017, the Myaamia Center partnered with the Smithsonian Institution’s Recovering Voices Program as a co-host of the National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages workshop.

National Breath of Life has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation Documenting Endangered Languages program since 2011. Miami provided organizational and curatorial support for the workshop as well as additional funding.

A collaborative agreement between the Miami Tribe and Miami University, signed in Oct. 2017, will increase recognition of the relationship, which spans 45 years and is rooted in common geographic, historic, educational and cultural interests.

Recent programs include:

Myaamia Heritage Collections:
An agreement between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University, signed in 2017, established a product line, the Myaamia Heritage Collection, created to celebrate their unique partnership and bolster awareness of its history.

Referencing traditional tribal ribbonwork and using Myaamia words and University symbols, the Collection embraces the essence of this relationship.

The relationship is best summed up with the Myaamia word neepwaantiinki, which means “learning from each other.”

Royalties from sales of the Myaamia Heritage Collection will support Myaamia students at Miami University through the Myaamia Heritage Award Program.

And The Myaamia Heritage Logo, a new jointly designed Myaamia Heritage Logo that is part of the agreement Miami Tribe Chief Doug Lankford and Miami University President Greg Crawford signed Oct. 2017. It symbolizes the unique relationship between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University. The design is a reference to Myaamia ribbonwork, a traditional Miami Tribe art form.

Miami Tribe student enrollment increases each year:
All Myaamia students take a one-credit hour Myaamia heritage class per semester for three years. Each year a different topic related to their culture or history is explored. These topics include contemporary issues for the tribe, the ecology of their lands over time, and the Myaamia language.

In their fourth year, students complete a senior project in which they interweave their culture and history with their major discipline.

Baldwin is a co-author on a study showing that tribal students at Miami University, where they learn the language and culture of their heritage among other studies, graduate at much higher rates than Native American students across the U.S.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Research
Campus Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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