The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma offers many language and culture learning opportunities through its Eemamwiciki Educational Programs. These programs are currently separated into two types: year-round programs and summer programs. Below you will find expandable windows where you can learn more about the different types of educational programming available to Miami Tribe citizens. Each section includes links and relevant contact information for each program.
▸ Pen Pal Program
The idea for creating a pen pal program came out of a suggestion made by a participant in our 2020 Eemamwiciki at Home summer program. They wanted Myaamia youth to be able to connect with each other from across our diaspora, and we’ve expanded upon this idea and created a program that is open to Myaamia community members ages 5 to adults. The goal of the program is to create an opportunity for Myaamiaki to connect, share with each other about our lives, use Myaamia language and practice Myaamia culture with each other, and where possible learn about different parts of Myaamionki ‘Myaamia homelands.’
Our staff creates pen pal pairings and provides optional monthly prompts to keep the conversation going throughout the year! We also have Eemamwiciki stationary created exclusively for our pen pal participants.
To apply, visit our online application.
▸ Aatotantaawi ‘Let’s Talk About It!’
Aatotantaawi! ‘Let’s Talk About It!’ is a discussion group for the Myaamia community based on group chosen material. This group is open to any Myaamia community member 17 or older.
Each month a new work will be chosen by the group for discussion. Group members are encouraged to participate as much as they would like. We will wrap up the discussion with a Zoom event on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm CT/7:30 pm ET.
For more information, join our Facebook group.
▸ Teehkinawita (caregivers of ages 0-5)
Teehkinawita is a language and culture based program and support community for caregivers of Myaamia children (0-5 years old). The name of this program, Teehkinawita, means ‘she or he is on the cradleboard’ and is a reference to the cultural technology by which Myaamia caregivers of the past cared for young children and prepared them for success in life. The Teehkinawita Program seeks to provide caregivers and children with materials and guidance to assist in immersing Myaamia youth, as much as is possible, in Myaamia language, culture, and community. The purpose of the support community is to provide a context of intra-family interaction in Myaamia language and culture above and beyond what occurs in the home.
▸ At Your Own Pace (ages 6-adults, online)
As a result of being unable to hold in-person summer programming, we launched online versions of our Saakaciweeta, Eewansaapita, and Neehsapita programs in summer 2020. These programs are designed for participants to have the flexibility of learning when it best fits into their schedules. It also allows Myaamia community members who are unable to travel to our in-person programs to connect with each other and these learning opportunities!
Our Saakaciweeta program is designed for ages 6-9, Eewansaapita for ages 10-17, and Neehsapita for adults 18 and older.
▸ Saakaciweeta (ages 6-9)
The Saakaciweeta Summer Youth Educational Experience takes its name from the Myaamia language. The term Saakaciweeta means “emerge” and is used to define this age group of 6-9 year olds as they begin their journey in the Myaamia community. Saakaciweeta began in 2015 and is in its early stages of development. Saakaciweeta is an additional component to our ever-expanding community program opportunities supporting our revitalization efforts.
Our goal for the Saakaciweeta program is to create a safe space for participants to learn the Myaamia language, experience cultural activities related to the yearly themes, and to develop a strong sense of community between participants that will provide them with opportunities for interactions throughout the year. Myaamia language and culture is woven throughout all activities. Daily language use among staff is designed for age-appropriate comprehension and ease of learning.
The mission of the Saakaciweeta Summer Youth Experience is to provide a safe, supportive and engaging language and cultural learning environment for children aged 6-9 to explore their heritage through Myaamia methods of learning.
Each summer, Saakaciweeta is held in-person for one week in Miami, OK and one week in Fort Wayne, IN.
▸ Eewansaapita (ages 10-16)
The Eewansaapita Summer Youth Educational Experience takes its name from the Myaamia language. Eewansaapita means “sunrise” and is used here as a metaphoric expression for community rebirth, renewal and empowerment. Community Elder Sammye Darling coined the term “awakening” to describe the community revitalization effort, which began in the mid-1990s. It is from this original idea of eemamwiciki, “awakening,” that the Eewansaapita program was born in 2005. The program is necessary because many aspects of Myaamia identity, including language and tribe specific culture were not being passed down intergenerationally. The Eewansaapita program is one of many efforts to reverse this loss.
The mission of the Eewansaapita Summer Experience is to teach Myaamia specific language and culture to tribal youth ages ten to sixteen. Eewansaapita emphasizes Myaamia methods of learning and includes a focus on connecting Myaamia youth to each other in Myaamia places.
The vision of the Eewansaapita Summer Experience is to provide an educational experience that helps guide a new generation of tribal youth to be life-long students of their heritage language and culture and who will actively give the Myaamia language and culture a place within their lives. From this experience will come a generation who will begin another “new day” and will advance the efforts of Myaamia revitalization for future generations.
Each summer, Eewansaapita is held in-person for one week in Miami, OK and one week in Fort Wayne, IN.
▸ Maayaahkweeta (ages 17-18)
Maayaahkweeta means “mid-day,” a metaphoric reference to seventeen and eighteen year olds as they transiton into more adult roles within the Myaamia community. Maayaahkweeta was launched in 2020 and is for graduates of the Eewansaapita program who are committed to advancing their use and knowledge of Myaamia language and culture as well as giving back to their community. The vision of the Maayaahkweeta program is to support older participants as they work toward self-defined language and culture goals and in developing their understanding of the Myaamia community ethic: “knowledge is responsibility.” In these pursuits, participants will serve as role models for younger learners.
Maayaahkweeta participants are expected to set their own learning goals and work with Eemamwiciki staff to revise their goals. As role models for the other participants, they are expected to speak and encourage others to speak the Myaamia language, model appropriate attitude and behavior, and assist Eemamwiciki staff as needed. Participants will also be completing an exit survey or interview at the conclusion of the program.
In order to be a Maayaahkweeta participant, youth must:
- Attend Eewansaapita for six years
- Demonstrate the desire to grow as a Myaamia learner
- Demonstrate the desire to give back to the Myaamia community
- Demonstrate an ethic of care
- Demonstrate respect for the values of the Maayaahkweeta program
Each summer, Maayaahkweeta is held in-person for one week in Miami, OK and one week in Fort Wayne, IN.
▸ Neehsapita (adults aged 18 or older)
The Neehsapita program is our Summer Adult Educational Experience. The program gets its name from our language and means afternoon. This represents the continued learning we do as adults. Neehsapita is a new and adds to our existing education programs and we look forward to expanding its curriculum.
The vision of the Neehsapita program is to create a space where we can come together to share and learn as a community. Each year we will focus on the themes of the other summer programs, with the hope that we foster more interaction between learners of all ages.
Each summer, Neehsapita is held in-person for one week in Miami, OK and one week in Fort Wayne, IN.