We know how easy it is to lose an email so we’ve created this webpage in order to keep all of the prompts we’ve sent out in one place for you!
Click on each heading below to read the full prompt!
▸ Introductions (March 2021)
For your first prompt, we want you to introduce yourself to your pen pal! You can share whatever you want. However, we would like to challenge you to use “Aya, _____ weenswiaani” and replace the _____ with your own name.
If you need some more help, here are some other things to use:
- If you have attended summer programs, use some of the language you learned there! Last year, we included a new word for Eewansaapita participants: eeminootiaani ‘I am from a certain town.’ If you want, you can view Kara’s introduction video or Nate’s introduction video for ideas!
- Tell them about where you live! You could even draw or include a picture and describe it.
- Tell them about your family! You can also share one or two things about your Myaamia family or ancestors. If you want, you can share more too.
- Ask your pen pal a question! Tell them something about yourself and then ask them about themselves. For example: “I like to play soccer. What do you like to do?” or “I like eating persimmon pudding. What Myaamia foods do you like?”
▸ April 2021
The weather is changing which marks the end of winter storytelling time and the beginning of neepinwiki ‘summer.’ Here are some ideas of what you can share with your pen pal:
- As it gets warmer, what do you like to do outside?
- What does it look like around your house? Have you noticed any changes recently?
This is a good chance to try some new language!
- Try using specific plant names. You can use mahkihkiwa ‘myaamia ethnobotanical database’ for help!
- Can you describe what plants are doing in our language? You can start with saakipakahki ‘leaves are budding, coming out’ or saakici ‘he/she sprouts.’
- Bonus: pick a new word or phrase related to plants or seasonal changes to learn and share with your pen pal!
Since this is only the second prompt, try asking your pen pal a question that will help you get to know them better!
▸ May 2021
For this month’s prompt, we want you to share a story with your pen pal. It can be something that you did recently or something you created! Here are a few more ideas in case you need some help:
- Do you have a favorite activity or tribal event? What happened the last time you participated?
- Share a funny memory
- Where in your house or yard is the best place for an adventure? What would happen on that adventure?
- Draw a picture and describe what is happening
Are there places in your story where you can use Myaamiaataweenki ‘Myaamia language’? It could be an animal or plant name or it could be a phrase that you would use, like miililo ‘give it to me.’ See what you can find on the Myaamia Online Dictionary (or ILDA Dictionary app on your mobile device).
▸ June 2021
This month, we want you to send your pen pal a picture! You can choose to create the picture yourself or take one and include it with your letter. There are a lot of ecological events taking place right now, so show your pen pal what is happening in your neighborhood. If you need some ideas:
- Do you have a garden or is there one nearby? What do those plants look like?
- Have there been any interesting weather events, like big thunderstorms or flooding?
- In the midwest, there has been a large brood of cicadas hatching. Is something similar happening where you live?
If you’re not sure what a cicada is, check out our example photos taken in Oxford, OH.
▸ July 2021
June 20th was the longest day of the year, also known as pahsaahkaahkanka ‘summer solstice.’ For most of us, the temperatures are continuing to rise and summer storms are moving in. In our first summer program session, we discussed the impact nipi ‘water’ has on us and our surroundings. Did you know that the amount of nipi in the air affects the weather? What do you like to do when it’s hot? What about when it’s raining? Share some of your favorite activities with your pen pal!
▸ August 2021
Summer is wrapping up, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy summertime food! Right now, we’re at the end of Kiišiinkwia Kiilhswa ‘Green Corn Moon.’ It’s during this time Myaamia miincipi is in the milk stage meaning you can eat it off the cob. For this reason, sweet corn is a popular choice around this time of year.
What is your favorite summer time food? Why is it your favorite? Are there any stories around this food you want to share with your pen pal? Do you have photos of your favorite food or of you and your family cooking or eating it? If so, you could share some of these pictures or draw your own to share with your pen pal.
▸ September 2021
It is officially time for students to return to school. We’d like you to share your favorite memory from school. Here are some questions to help you think about what you want to share.
- What was your first day of school like this year?
- Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
- How did you get to school? Is there something that stands out from those trips?
- What was your favorite subject, project, or field trip? Why?
If you’re interested in adding some Myaamiaataweenki ‘Myaamia language’ to your routine, check out our phrasebooks! The Miami Nation Gift Shop has both the kaloolitiitaawi: Greetings phrasebook and the kaloolitiitaawi: Going to School phrasebook available for purchase. You can also download a PDF of the kaloolitiitaawi: Going to School phrasebook from Aacimotaatiiyankwi.
▸ October 2021
For this month, we would like you to write about your experiences with one of the topics from the 2021 Miami Tribe Fall Gathering. If you were able to attend, write about that! If you weren’t, think about what you know or have done in the past!
This year’s Fall Gathering topics are:
- Neepinkwiki & Peepoonki Coloring Book
- Myaamia Forced Removal
- Myaamia Names and Naming
- 50th Anniversary of the Relationship with Miami University
- Stomp Dance
- Purchasing Land in Indiana for the new CREO site
- Mahkisina Meehkintiinki ‘Moccasin Game’
▸ November 2021
Around this time of year there are many fruits and nuts that are ready for harvesting. One community favorite is pyaakimina ‘persimmon berries.’ Persimmon pudding never lasts long at events.
Do you and your family harvest any fruits or nuts? If so, share your experience with your pen pal!
Even if you don’t do any harvesting, this is a great opportunity to talk about your favorite fall dishes! What do you look forward to eating the most?
If you want to try out some new recipes, check out the persimmon dessert recipes from Kayla Becker on Aacimotaatiiyankwi!
▸ December 2021
We’re at the point of the year where there are significant ecological changes happening. That tells us we’re transitioning into a new season!
- What is happening where you live? Draw or take a picture to share!
- What are some of your favorite activities this time of year?
- Do you think it’s time for winter storytelling? What changes make you think that?
- Bonus: What is your favorite Myaamia story to listen to or tell?
▸ January 2022
It is the start of a new year on the Gregorian calendar. Did you know that the Gregorian calendar is based on the movement of Earth and the Sun? How did you celebrate this new year?
Did you know that our community has a Lunar calendar? This one is based on the cycles of the Moon. Each month is named for ecological changes happening around us. The start of the Lunar new year is on the first day of Mahkoonsa Kiilhswa ‘Young Bear Moon.’ This year, that day falls on February 4th. If you want to learn more about the Lunar calendar and each of the months, check out the Ecology page of Aacimotaatiiyankwi.
Share with your pen pal how you celebrate the new year and what you know or have learned about the Lunar Calendar!
▸ February 2022
It is almost weehki-kihkatwe ‘Myaamia Lunar New Year’! Weehki-kihkatwe always occurs on the first day of Mahkoonsa Kiilhswa ‘Young Bear Moon’. For 2022, that day is February 4th on the Gregorian Calendar. You should be receiving a new lunar calendar soon! While you wait, you can download a PDF version from Aacimotaatiiyankwi.
Mahkoonsa Kiilhswa is named for the emergence of young American Black Bear cubs from their dens. Sometimes, it is also the time for maple sugaring! When we have warmer temperatures during the day and colder temperatures during the night, the maple sap starts flowing and it’s the perfect time to start collecting it. If this happens, we’ll also start seeing other plants and animals starting to wake up.
What are some of your favorite things to do this time of the year?
▸ March 2022
Our theme for this summer’s program is Weekihkaanki Meehkintiinki ‘Games.’ You’ve likely already played some of the games that we’ll be learning about this summer! Participants are going to explore Myaamia “ball games and games of chance.” These games include peekitahaminki ‘lacrosse,’ myaamia paaskoontia ‘Miami toss ball,’ mahkisina meehkintiinki ‘moccasin game,’ meelotakahaminki ‘straw game,’ and seenseewinki ‘bowl game.’
For this month, write to your pen pal about some of your favorite games. They can be myaamia games, games you play with your friends, or even games that you’ve created!
▸ April 2022
It’s the time of year we call meeloohkamiki ‘spring.’ From a Myaamia perspective, this period marks the transition from winter into summer and when we see a large number of changes in our environment.
When the weather is nice enough, take a hike or walk around your neighborhood. What changes are you seeing? aalaapilo peminkiši, mihtahkiši, misaahaki! ‘Look up, down, all around!’ And don’t forget to keep your ears open as well.
Is there a particular plant or animal that you see frequently around you? How has it changed recently? Can you get a good picture to send to your pen pal?
▸ May 2022
As summer breaks approach, we want you to share what you are most looking forward to doing over your school break or vacation! Are you going on a special trip or spending time with someone special? Are you attending any of the Eemamwiciki Summer Programs or other community events? If you don’t have any big plans, what is a vivid or favorite memory that you’d like to share?
Don’t forget, you can always share pictures with your pen pals!
▸ June 2022
For many of us, summer months bring the opportunity to travel to some of our favorite places. That place may be as close as your own backyard or as far away as a plane ride!
Two favorite places for our staff are Seven Pillars and Miami, OK. Seven Pillars is an important landmark in Myaamionki ‘Myaamia homelands’ that many of us enjoy visiting to reflect on and reconnect to our homelands and history. As the seat of Tribal government, Miami, OK is also a significant landmark. For our staff, however, it’s the opportunities to gather with our relatives that make Miami special.
This month, we would like you to share where your favorite place is with your pen pal! Maybe you can send a picture or drawing to go with your description.
▸ July 2022
For many people in our community, a favorite summertime game is peekitahaminki ‘lacrosse.’ In the past, peekitahaminki was often played when there was little work to be done in the cornfields. Today, we play a large community game using wooden sticks during National Gathering Week in Miami, OK. We also have smaller games during other gatherings such as the Spring Fling at the Cultural Resources Extension Office in Fort Wayne, IN and during our Eemamwiciki Summer Programs.
What are some of your favorite summertime games?
▸ August 2022
We’ve just reached the end of Kiišiinkwia Kiilhswa ‘Green Corn Moon.’ This month is named for the stage of miincipi in which the kernels can be eaten off the cob. During this same time, many other vegetables are also ripe enough for harvesting. Kiišiinkwia Kiilhswa is often a time for celebration and feasting since there are lots of foods available to harvest.
Do you or your family have a garden? If so, what do you grow? What do you do with the food you harvest? If you and your family do not have a garden, what would you plant? What would you do with any food that you grow?
Whether or not you have a garden, you can always talk about your favorite meals for the end of the summer!
▸ September 2022
Many of us begin different activities as we transition from neepinwiki ‘summer’ into peepoonki ‘winter.’ Different sports are played, or maybe hot drinks are enjoyed instead of cold. What activities and hobbies do you enjoy this time of year? Be sure to share with your pen pal!
▸ October 2022
It’s the time of year when fruits and nuts are ready for harvesting. One staff favorite, ahsiimina ‘pawpaw fruits,’ is already falling off the tree. That means competing with moohsooki ‘white-tail deer’ and anikwaki ‘squirrels’ for them. Last year we were able to try bread made with ahsiimina instead of bananas thanks to a Myaamia student at Miami University.
Have you tried using harvested fruits and nuts in new recipes? What are your favorite ways to eat them? Don’t be afraid to share your favorite recipes with your pen pal!
If you’re looking to try something new, we recommend Kayla Becker’s pyaakimina ‘persimmon berries’ recipes!
▸ November 2022
We’re approaching the time of year where families gather together to celebrate winter holidays. That makes it a great time to talk to your family! Who is your favorite person to talk to? Why? What story do you enjoy hearing (or telling) at family events? Try talking to a family member to learn something new!
If you don’t gather with family, what questions would you ask them? What would you like to know about your family?
▸ December 2022
For some of us, not only has the hard frost come but it has also snowed! What is happening where you live? Would you say that it’s peepoonki ‘winter’? Do you think it’s time to tell winter stories? Which winter story (Myaamia or not) is your favorite?
Updated: November 30, 2022