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A closeup of the page of a book. The focus of the photograph is the word Oumamik, which was how Jesuit priests in the 1600s referred to the Myaamia people. The book passage, when translated, reports that the Myaamia people numbered more than 24,000 souls.

Exhibition and events celebrate 50-year relationship between Miami Tribe and Miami University

A new exhibition and slate of special events in King Library this fall highlights the history of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and their 50-year relationship with Miami University. The exhibition, curated by the Myaamia Center and titled “Since Time Immemorial… The Place of the Miamis,” is on display in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and Archives on King Library’s third floor throughout the fall semester, and features materials and documents that help tell the story of the Miami Tribe’s relationship with their homelands and Miami University.

During an exhibition reception on Wednesday, Nov. 9, in King 320, members of the Miami Tribe will share the Coming Out Story, the oldest story the Myaamia people have for themselves, giving attendees an opportunity to hear one of the stories connected to specific places in myaamionki (Myaamia lands) and learn about the heritage of the Myaamia people. Hosted by the Libraries in partnership with the Myaamia Center, the event reflects a shared commitment to neepwaantiinki — “learning from each other” — which has played a key role in the Miami Tribe’s language revitalization efforts and has led to the first generation in nearly 100 years learning to speak the Myaamia language. An exhibition tour and light refreshments will follow the storytelling program.

Finally, a hands-on workshop on Thursday, Nov. 10 at noon invites participants to learn about myaamiatweenki, the Myaamia language, and craft items inspired by it. Attendees can then explore the “Since Time Immemorial… The Place of the Miamis” exhibition on display in Special Collections and Archives. The workshop event is hosted in the Libraries’ Makerspace on the third floor of King Library and is in partnership with the College of Creative Arts.

The two events support Miami University’s 2022-2023 “focus theme” of tribal sovereignty. Focus is a new initiative to create a campus-wide exploration of an important and timely “big idea.”