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George Mather Sunday Lecture Series: Myaamiaata Weenki - The Myaamia (Miami) Language

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Presenter: Daryl Baldwin

The Myaamia language is one of the indigenous languages of Indiana. Due to many historical and contemporary forces, the language ceased to be spoken during the mid 20th century. A revitalization movement began in the mid 1990s utilizing language documents that span nearly 270 yrs. This talk will share details of this effort, its impact on tribal citizens, and also tie into a growing national movement among tribes across the US who are working to preserve, teach and promote the use of their tribal languages.

Daryl Baldwin is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and has been involved in the development of the Myaamia language revitalization movement since 1991. In 2001 he came to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to serve as the founding director of the Myaamia Center. The Myaamia Center was born from a partnership between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University to address critical language and cultural educational needs at the community level. Daryl also co-directs the National Breath of Life (BoL) Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages, which is a program housed within the Myaamia Center. These collective lifelong efforts to preserve and promote indigenous languages were recognized by the MacArthur Foundation in 2016.

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