The Linguistics Department welcomed Daryl Baldwin, director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as the featured speaker in its Fall colloquium series on Friday, November 9.

Baldwin, a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, gave a talk reflecting on 30 years of Myaamia language revitalization.

Photo of Daryl Baldwin: © John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation- used with permission.


nihsomateene pipoonwe neepaanki: Reflecting on 30 Years of Myaamia Language Revitalization

2018 marked 30 years of development, reconstruction, and revitalization efforts for Myaamiaataweenki (the Myaamia language). This talk will reflect on the successes, failures, and a wide range of community capacity building activities that now support a growing base of language users.


Daryl Baldwin (Kinwalaniihsia), a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, was born and raised in the Great Lakes area and currently resides with his family in Liberty, Indiana.

Daryl’s forefathers were active in the political affairs of the Miami Nation dating back to the 18th century, and he continues this dedication toward tribal preservation and self-determination through his efforts in language and cultural revitalization today. Daryl was born during the mid 20th century, at a time when the last speakers of his heritage language were passing. This loss motivated him to begin seeking documented language resources and linguistic support, which ultimately led him to pursue an MA in linguistics at the University of Montana. With the support of his wife Karen, together they embarked in 1991 on the difficult work of raising their children with the language in a homeschool environment.

Growing community interest for language and cultural education prompted Miami Tribal leaders to approach their allies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 2001 to create the Myaamia Project. Daryl was asked to be the founding director, and since its inception he and his staff have continued capacity building efforts until its more recent transition in January 2013 into the Myaamia Center. As an official University center, the work of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, with its partner Miami University, has become nationally and internationally recognized for its research, planning, and implementation of community language and cultural revitalization efforts.  

In the fall of 2016, Daryl’s lifelong efforts, and arguably those of his family, tribal community, and university, were recognized with an award from the MacArthur Foundation.