Over the next year, we will be remembering and commemorating our forced removal from our homelands in the Wabash River Valley. This October will mark 175 years since this momentous and tragic event began on October 6, 1846. The 1846 removal took nearly a month to complete, but the impacts of removal continue to be felt by all Myaamiaki no matter where we live today. Meehkweelintamankwi Aanchsahaaciki ‘Remembering Our Forced Removal’, a year of remembrance and commemoration, will begin during our Winter Gathering at Home event (February 12-13) and will continue with monthly activities through February 2022.
We will feature educational opportunities, presentations, and events examining the history of this removal and its long-ranging effects. We hope that sharing knowledge about the Myaamia forced removal will create understanding and healing across our community. These efforts will help us see removal, not as a singular event in time that “ended” with arrival in Kansas. But rather as a great stone cast into our communal waters with ripples that have continued to move throughout generations. The repercussions of removal are integral in shaping our national identity today.
One of the events included in this commemoration will be our Second Eugene Brown Memorial Art Show at the Myaamia Heritage Museum & Archive. The first show, held in 2019, was a marked success, and generated a lot of interest in creating new Myaamia art. The second show will tentatively be held June 14-25, 2021. We hope that we will be able to welcome tribal members into our gallery at that time, but in recognition of the difficulties brought on by COVID-19, we will also be featuring all submitted works in a virtual setting.
Entry to the show is eligible for all Miami Tribe of Oklahoma citizens, as well as their immediate family members. Overall, artists can submit up to four pieces, with a maximum of two entries in any category. There will be eight categories considered, in both youth and adult divisions:
I. Drawing, Painting, & Print-Making
II. Photography & Digital Graphics
III. Mixed Media and Diversified Arts
IV. Textiles, Regalia, & Clothing
V. Jewelry & Accessories
VI. Traditional Cultural Items
VIII. Performance & Creative Writing
This year’s theme will revolve around the year-long commemoration program, Meehkweelintamankwi Aanchsahaaciki ‘Remembering Our Forced Removal’. We feel that creating art from a myaamia perspective is an important part of that healing process. Adherence to the theme is not required, but we hope artists will take the opportunity to contemplate what removal means to them personally, and the continuing effects on our community and identity. Artwork that ties to removal will be eligible for a special prize in the art show.
Applications for the show will be released early in 2021, with a return deadline of April 16, 2021. The application will be available on the MHMA Facebook page, the tribal website, or by email by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Meehkweelintamankwi Aanchsahaaciki ‘Remembering Our Forced Removal’ visit the Tribal Facebook page, the tribal website, or email email@example.com.
Featured image by Doug Peconge.