kiikinaana ‘Our Homes’ – 2023 Summer Programs

This summer we’ll be learning about kiikinaana ‘our homes’ in all four of our programs: Saakaciweeta (6-9), Eewansaapita (10-16), Maayaahkweeta (17-18), and Neehsapita (18+). Over the course of these weeklong programs participants make personal connections with Myaamionki ‘Myaamia lands’ through exploring how the structures that we live in have changed over time. These connections include history and ecology, but also have a special focus on our contemporary lives and the places where we live today. One of the most important goals of the week is that participants recognize, or strengthen their recognition, that all the places that we live today are kiikinaana, our Myaamia homes. Our homes today are the places where our language and culture are passed on to the next generation; it is in our homes that we share the precious stories of our people’s experiences over time.

A group of people sitting in a wigwam
2011 Eewansaapita participants in a wiikiaami in Fort Wayne, IN. Photo by Andrew Strack.

The week begins with looking at the way in which our ancestors organized a minooteeni ‘village’ prior to the era of forced removals. Participants learn the names and uses of all the varied structures used in a Myaamia village and explore the lifeways that tied the community together. In the middle of the week, we look at how these collective practices were fractured through the decades of removal and allotment. Near the end of the week, participants return to exploring our present lives as Myaamiaki and the ways in which the Miami Tribe preserves and protects kiikinaana ‘our homes.’ The group also dedicates time to talking about how Myaamia families, no matter where we live, create a Myaamia environment within their homes through the use of language and the practice of living culture.

Two story house in the background with a sign identifying it as the Drake House
Siipiihkwa Awiiki ‘Jane Drake House’ in Miami, OK. Photo by Jonathan M. Fox.

One of the highlights of the week in Noošonke Siipionki ‘Miami, Oklahoma’ is visiting Siipiihkwa Awiiki ‘Jane Drake’s House,’ which is a wiikiaami eehi kiihkaapiišamenki ašiihkiwi ‘allotment house’ that sits within the Miami Tribe’s reservation. The stories of Siipiihkwa “Jane Drake” and her family are a powerful example of struggle and continuance for all Myaamiaki. Her house is a home away from home for many Myaamiaki who travel to Miami, Oklahoma for tribal events. It is also the site of large community gatherings where the Myaamia language and culture are shared by the whole community. Siipiihkwa Awiiki stands as a wonderful example of a complex past and the important work of collective rebuilding and renewal. It remains a fitting center point to any discussion of kiikinaana ‘our homes.’

One Comment Add yours

  1. stevehinds says:

    I look forward to these posts. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.