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Linking Language and Well-being from a Myaamia Perspective

Author: Amy Juhnke

Daryl Baldwin, a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, is a linguist and scholar reviving the linguistic, cultural, and intellectual heritage of the Miami (Myaamia) nation. Using historical documentation, Baldwin taught himself the Miami language, which lost its last native speaker in the mid-20th century. His efforts to restore the language among scattered tribal members resulted in community-based education and preservation programs and, ultimately, the establishment of The Myaamia Center, a unique tribal-academic partnership between The Miami University of Ohio and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. As the center’s director Baldwin continues his work using the reclamation of language as a tool to empower a healthy and sustainable Native community.

Baldwin will be joined by Haley Strass, a graduate student in counseling psychology at Iowa State and a member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, to discuss their joint project on learning within an indigenous knowledge system.

Daryl Baldwin is a graduate of the University of Montana and a citizen of the Miami (Myaamia) Tribe of Oklahoma. He became the founding director of the Myaamia Project, which in 2013 became the Myaamia Center, in affiliation with Miami University of Ohio.