During the 2020 Winter Gathering, Myaamiaki gathered together to dedicate the newly expanded Aacimweekaani ‘Council House.’ As cultural and governmental events have grown, the need for space became apparent. In 2017, the Miami Tribe received an Indian Community Development Block Grant in order to expand the structure. The new decor is meant to communicate the “impact generations of decision-makers have made on our efforts to remain together.” The community symbol, geometric designs, treaty signatures, cranes in flight, and a quote from late elder Mildred Walker surround the interior of the new space.
The most prominent addition, however, to the building is the large mural on the stage depicting Eehonci Kiintoohki Pyaawaaci Myaamiaki ‘Where the Miamis First Came From.’ The story, written in Myaamiaataweenki, acts as a backdrop for the key elements of our emergence story: the tree limb, waves of water, and human figures swimming toward the branch.
The mural was inspired by Myaamia artist Katrina Mitten’s beaded vest aacimooni iihkwiliaakani Emergence (2008) depicting the same story. As on the vest, the female figure is depicted as being with a child by a swirling pattern on her midsection. In the mural, this swirling pattern, beaded by Katrina, surrounds a piece of Indiana limestone from Aašipehkwa Waawaalici ‘Seven Pillars,’ a culturally significant location, in Peru, Indiana. The limestone was shaped by Myaamia master silversmith Royce Carter. The woodwork featured in the mural was done by Myaamia master woodworker Jody Gamble.
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This is all so beautiful!