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meeloniteeheeyankwi isi meehtohseeniwiyankwi (we reflect on our lives): The Assessment of Learning the Myaamia Knowledge System & Its Impact
|Title:||meeloniteeheeyankwi isi meehtohseeniwiyankwi (we reflect on our lives): The Assessment of Learning the Myaamia Knowledge System & Its Impact|
|Issue Date:||04 Mar 2017|
|Description:||This session focuses on the language and culture revitalization assessment work of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. This work was initiated by the Miami Tribe’s interest in the impact of language and culture revitalization on the Myaamia community. In partnership with scholars at Miami University, the study focus has been holistic in nature best illustrated by the concept of threads in a web and systems theory. Similar to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory that examines human behavior as impacted by various systems, we are examining the various “systems” or components of the Myaamia knowledge system as they impact the Myaamia people during the “re-learning” of their indigenous knowledge system. Therefore, the research aim is to understand how reclaiming one’s indigenous knowledge system is impacting the Myaamia people. The approach to this work, the research questions and methodology are shaped by the Myaamia knowledge system which has caused this research to be referred to as kotakinki lisiteeheenki or “thinking in a different manner”. While being mindful of this knowledge system, researchers are observing and assessing the re-learning of keystone Myaamia-based concepts and practices.|
Assessment is carried out by observing the learning process through a variety of learning opportunities, some formal and others informal, and allowing the collective experience to define the intended outcome of nahi-mihtohseeniwinki or “living well”. It is important to note that each of the keystone Myaamia-based concepts exist simultaneously informing one another and creating a web of interacting systems, and that language is the medium of learning and study. As a result, none of these factors can be studied in isolation.
Preliminary data (community observations, academic retention and graduation rates, essays written by Myaamia students at Miami University before and after participation in a Myaamia class, and qualitative data from the eewansaapita Myaamia youth summer camps) suggest that the efforts of the Miami Nation, Miami University, and the Myaamia Center are having a substantial impact on tribal members. Myaamia community members have increased participation in tribal events, use of language, and commitment to living properly as defined by their own experiences. At the University level, tribal students are re-conceptualizing their identity in a key developmental period and subsequently succeeding in academics both defined by the Myaamia community and by Miami University. Finally, students participating in the summer camps are incorporating Myaamia knowledge systems within their self-concept and write the Myaamia community into their self-narrative.
|Appears in Collections:||5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)|
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