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Biden Nominates Miami U Director For National Council On The Humanities

Myaamia Center archives
Myaamia Center Executive Director Daryl Baldwin has worked for decades to preserve the Myaamia language.

President Joe Biden is nominating the executive director of Miami University's Myaamia Center to the National Council on the Humanities. Daryl Baldwin has been a driving force behind the center for decades and is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

The center's goal is advancing the Myaamia Nation, from which Miami University draws its name, with a focus on language, culture and history.

"Miami University congratulates Daryl Baldwin for this prestigious nomination to the National Council on the Humanities," Miami President Gregory Crawford said in a statement to WVXU. "Daryl's work on Native American language and cultural revitalization projects for the National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages and his work with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma through the Myaamia Center are having a tremendous impact that will be felt for generations to come. Miami is a place for trailblazers and innovators, with humanities at its core, and Daryl and his important work are shining examples."

Work began at Miami University in 2000 on a language revitalization project to preserve and reinvigorate the Myaamia language. That one-person assignment turned into the Myaamia Project and then the full-fledged Myaamia Center in 2013.

Baldwin was awarded a MacArthur "genius grant" in 2016 for his work as a leader in Native American language and cultural revitalization. He also serves as co-director of the National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages.

The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma was recognized by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for its cultural heritage and language revitalization program in 2018. It received the Honoring Nations Award from the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

Baldwin's White House Bio

Baldwin's forefathers were active in the political affairs of the Miami Nation dating back to the eighteenth century, and he continues this dedication to tribal self-determination through his efforts in language and cultural revitalization today. Baldwin was born during the mid-twentieth 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 English-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 four children with the language in a homeschool environment, which lasted for 18 years.
Daryl was born and raised in Northwest Ohio and currently resides with his wife Karen on their family farm in Liberty, Indiana. Together they have four children and two grandchildren who continue to inspire and encourage a hopeful future towards the continuance of their tribal nation.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.