Chief Floyd Leonard Faculty Fellow

Named after the former Chief of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, the Chief Floyd Leonard Faculty Fellows Program integrates tribal scholarship content from the Myaamia Center across Miami University’s curriculum. The Myaamia Center is a unique tribally directed research and educational development center located at Miami University and directed by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Formally known as the Myaamia Project, the Center was created in 2001 with the direct support of Chief Leonard for the main purpose of responding to the language and cultural educational needs of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. The Myaamia Center now houses an internationally recognized language and cultural research and development effort directed by an interdisciplinary staff of over a dozen scholars. The Myaamia Center remains committed to the preservation and sharing of Myaamia language, culture, and history with both the Miami Tribe and Miami University communities.

The fellows program provides a unique opportunity for selected masters and PhD level tribal and non-tribal scholars, cultural practitioners, and community activists to bring their own research interests into the community-based context of the Myaamia Center. Shared knowledge, research methodology, pedagogical approaches, and interdisciplinary experiences are just some of the outcomes envisioned for this fellowship. Additionally, the fellow will directly support the mission of the Myaamia Center by enhancing and broadening Indigenous knowledge across campus and providing learning opportunities for Miami University students, faculty, and staff.

The inaugural Chief Floyd Leonard Fellow will be Associate Professor Dr. Sandra Garner of the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University.

Application information forthcoming.

Chief Floyd Leonard and President Philip Shriver

Floyd Leonard (Chief of the Miami Tribe, 1974–1982 and 1989–2008) spent his professional career in K-12 education. He had an intense commitment to educating young people, especially Myaamia youth. This commitment to education fueled his interest in the University and helped deepen the connection that started there with Chief Olds.

Starting in 1975, Chief Leonard visited campus on many occasions to participate in programs or interact with Miami students, faculty, and staff. He shared the history and contemporary operations of the Tribe. He also worked diligently to encourage Myaamia young adults to apply to the University. He was very pleased and proud when the first students arrived in 1991. More than 60 Myaamia students enrolled at Miami during his long tenure as Chief.

Highlights of his years as Chief include the following:

  • Being an invited speaker at three presidential inaugurations
  • Creation of the Myaamia Project
  • Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Tribe and the University.

Over a span of more than three decades, Floyd Leonard's presence was a powerful, positive force in forming the trusting and respectful relationship that exists between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the University today. In recognition of his contributions, Chief Leonard received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Miami at the May 2005 commencement.

Floyd Leonard

Chief Floyd Leonard and President Philip Shriver

Floyd Leonard (Chief of the Miami Tribe, 1974–1982 and 1989–2008) spent his professional career in K-12 education. He had an intense commitment to educating young people, especially Myaamia youth. This commitment to education fueled his interest in the University and helped deepen the connection that started there with Chief Olds.

Starting in 1975, Chief Leonard visited campus on many occasions to participate in programs or interact with Miami students, faculty, and staff. He shared the history and contemporary operations of the Tribe. He also worked diligently to encourage Myaamia young adults to apply to the University. He was very pleased and proud when the first students arrived in 1991. More than 60 Myaamia students enrolled at Miami during his long tenure as Chief.

Highlights of his years as Chief include the following:

  • Being an invited speaker at three presidential inaugurations
  • Creation of the Myaamia Project
  • Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Tribe and the University.

Over a span of more than three decades, Floyd Leonard's presence was a powerful, positive force in forming the trusting and respectful relationship that exists between the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the University today. In recognition of his contributions, Chief Leonard received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Miami at the May 2005 commencement.