This year, the Myaamia Center is hosting our ninth biennial Myaamiaki Conference on Saturday, April 9th. This day-long event is a chance for our staff and affiliates to present their research projects to the Myaamia community. The conference is held at Miami University, which allows faculty, staff, and students to also attend and learn about our ongoing work. We were forced to cancel the 2020 conference due to COVID only a few weeks before it was scheduled to occur. The conference is one of the largest events that brings our Myaamia community to Miami, so we are really looking forward to this year’s gathering.
The 2022 conference is part of the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the relationship between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University. This unique partnership is expressed through a shared commitment to neepwaantiinki, ‘learning from each other,’ which has played a key role in our work. Several of the presentations will address how the relationship between the Tribe and University has impacted cultural revitalization work. One of the presentations, ‘weeyaakiteeheeyanwki neepwaantiiyankwi: Celebrating 50 years of learning from each other’, by Dr. Cameron Shriver and Kara Strass will address the history of the connection between Myaamia history and Miami University history, starting with the founding of the University through the present.
The conference will also highlight several of our ongoing projects including National Breath of Life, aacimwaahkionkonci ‘Stories from the land’, mahkihkiwa ‘Myaamia Ethnobotanical Database, and the Miami-Illinois Digital Archive. Each of these projects has had major updates in the last few years, and our staff is excited to share their work with our Myaamia community. The day will end with a panel of Myaamia students and alumni who will talk about the impact that the Myaamia Heritage Program has had on their lives. For the entire conference schedule, see the flyer at the bottom of this post, or visit the Myaamiaki Conference website.
Throughout the conference, we hope that attendees will engage with our presenters and guests. Each of the presenters will have a table where attendees can ask questions and provide presenters with feedback. Additionally, we will have a few Myaamia artists who will be highlighting their work and offering some items for sale. Finally, the Miami University bookstore will be displaying the Myaamia Heritage Collections items that are available for sale in Shriver Center.
This year, we have several other events for conference attendees in addition to the presentations. Myaamia student, Megan Sekulich, will have an exhibit ‘contemplating myaamia identity’, which is the culmination of her Myaamia Heritage Program senior project. Visit the exhibit in the Art Building Lobby 9 am-6 pm daily. The Myaamia Center is also working with King Library Special Collections on an exhibit that explores the relationship between the Tribe and University. Although the entire exhibit won’t be available until later in the semester, stop by to see the exhibit preview in King Library 7 am-1 pm daily. Additionally, we worked closely with Miami University Communications and Marketing and the Miami Tribe Cultural Resources Office to create new wall graphics outside of the Wiikiaami Room in the Armstrong Student Center. Stop by anytime 7 am-12 pm daily to see the new updates.
We hope that all of you will join us on April 9th for this year’s Myaamiaki Conference. The conference is free and open to all–we ask that attendees register online if they plan to attend. If you are not able to attend in person but would still like to see the presentations, they will be available virtually the day of the conference and will be archived online to watch following the conference. If you have any questions, please contact Kara Strass at firstname.lastname@example.org.