INDIANAPOLIS and OXFORD, Ohio, Dec. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Within a recently signed agreement between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University, the Myaamia Heritage Collection product line has been created to celebrate the partnership and bolster awareness of its history.
Symbols important to the Tribe and University are found on items in the Myaamia Heritage Collection (examples in the image).
The Myaamia (Miami in the Tribe's language) Heritage Collection will support Miami Tribe students at the University. All royalties from sales will support scholarships for Tribe students through the Myaamia Heritage Award Program, as stated in an agreement signed in October 2017 by Miami Tribe Chief Douglas Lankford and Miami University President Gregory Crawford.
The agreement updates a partnership of respect that began in 1972. This collaboration has evolved into a multifaceted partnership. The relationship is best summed up with the Myaamia word neepwaantiinki, which means "learning from each other."
While enrolled at Miami, tribe students take classes together and learn their own history, language and culture. They also can participate in various activities and research. The decades-long learning partnership has fostered a 77% graduation rate for Myaamia students who have gone through the Myaamia Heritage Award Program since 2003, far surpassing the national average of 22.5%.
"It's amazing what the University has done," said junior Megan Mooney, a Miami Tribe member. "It allows us space to come together as tribespeople. As young people that are discovering their roots, it allows us not only to learn important things, it allows us to learn more about ourselves."
New symbols tell a shared story
Using designs created and approved by both the Tribe and the University, the Myaamia Heritage Collection features symbols with shared meaning. The Myaamia Heritage Logo represents the relationship between the Tribe and the University and features bold colors, geometric patterns and elongated diamonds found in traditional ribbonwork. Teaching the art of ribbonwork, which dates to the 1700s when the Myaamia acquired silk ribbons from European traders, has been recently revitalized.
This image and a secondary one, the Myaamia Heritage Turtle, will be available on merchandise starting Dec. 8. Each item in the Myaamia Heritage Collection will have a hangtag or sticker with information and a website address regarding the Miami University-Tribe relationship. Learfield Licensing Partners, the University's licensing agency, assisted in the initial concept and will continue to help guide the marketing and license management of the special line.
The Myaamia Heritage Turtle features elements that unite culture and tradition for the Tribe and the University.
The turtle appears on the Miami Tribe's official seal. It also has traditional significance for Miami University students who seek good luck by rubbing the heads of copper turtles at the base of a sundial statue on the Oxford campus.
In the Heritage Collection, both the sundial design and the Myaamia Heritage Logo appear on the turtle's back, evoking the history of the sundial and the ongoing relationship between the Tribe and University.
Heritage Collection clothing and other items will be available at the Miami University Bookstore, Shop.MiamiRedHawks.com, Follett Bookstore and DuBois Book Store.
About Miami University: Founded in 1809, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is a nationally ranked university focused on student success through undergraduate teaching and mentoring with opportunities for research, leadership, study abroad and internships. An original Public Ivy, Miami University ranks #1 among public universities in the U.S. for commitment to teaching undergraduates. More than 96 percent of 2015-2016 Miami graduates (per surveys and data) were employed or re-enrolled by fall 2016.
Contact: Claire Wagner
SOURCE Learfield Licensing Partners; Miami University