Bus design honors Miami University and Miami tribe relationship

OXFORD — A bus now traveling around Butler County features a design that shows the connection of Miami University and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

The wrap was unveiled in a ceremony conducted by Miami Tribe Relations and the Butler County Regional Transit Authority at Bonham House in Oxford. One side of the bus has the word “aya!” which means “hello” in the Myaamia language.

On the other is “neepwaantiinki,” the Myaamia phrase for “learning from each other,” organizers said.

“The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is greatly pleased and honored by the addition of graphics to these buses designed to share our language with the greater Oxford area,” said Chief Douglas Lankford. “This project is yet another tremendous, respectful public display of the shared knowledge that is the core of our unique, reciprocal relationship with Miami University. Mihši neewe — our great thanks to both Miami University and the Butler County Regional Transit Authority for this contribution.”

The ceremony included speeches by Miami University President Gregory Crawford and Kara Strass, director of Miami Tribe Relations.

“Our 50th anniversary celebration is an affirmation of the mutual respect we have for one another,” Crawford said. “It is wonderful that the BCRTA is helping us commemorate the importance of this relationship in a way that our community can appreciate for years to come.”

Miami University students and staff may ride BCRTA buses free on campus, in Oxford and to and from the regional campuses.

More than 100 Myaamia students have graduated from Miami since 1991, with a 92% graduation rate for students in the Myaamia Heritage program, university officials said.

“These bus graphics are a new and creative way to educate the Miami community and general public about the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and share more about the relationship between the Miami Tribe and Miami University,” Strass said. “I look forward to seeing the bus around town as a visual reminder of the now 50-year relationship between the two Miamis.”

About the Author