Senior Class of 2008

Miami Hawaiian Irish
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The Miami Language

Miami is a Native American language formerly spoken in the United States. It was spoken around the Midwest including Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and places along the Mississippi. The language was spoken by the Inoca, Kaskaskia, Peoria, Tamaroa, Cahokia, and Mitchigamea tribes. During colonization the speakers of Miami were displaced from their territories into northeastern Oklahoma.

Despite the lack of speakers there is a strong revitalization effort. The first revitalization effort came from a man named Daryl Baldwin. He saw the importance of keeping his culture and language alive and started a summer camp where he taught children Miami language and culture. He believed that if he was able to spark interest in the youth about Miami he would be able to create a group of people who where willing to help revive the language and culture. Furthermore he has raised his children as first-generation native Miami speakers. One of the strongest revitalization efforts today comes from The Myaamia Project at Miami University. They state their goals as the exploration and the use of technology for the development and transmission of language and culture.

The creation of computer based interactive educational programs has sparked interest in Miami language and culture. Such language revitalization efforts are made difficult by the fact that there is no one to teach the language: there is the need for the language to be reconstructed from past documentation of the language, and Miami has been fortunate enough in having plenty of such resources to work from.


Daryl Baldwin, pioneer of the Miami language revitalization effort