Doug Lankford, Courtesy Myaamia Center Archive
Leader of the Miami Nation of Oklahoma Chief Doug Lankford arrived at Miami University Wednesday. Lankford visits the university several times a year, but he said this time is different.
"I've never gotten to visit the Farmer School of Business, so I'm pretty excited about going there and seeing that facility," he said.
CEO of Miami Nation Enterprises, the business arm of the tribe, Joe Frazier is also making the trip.
Director of the Myaamia Center Daryl Baldwin said the visit is just the initial step in the possible relationship between FSB and the tribe.
"We're all excited about it but we really don't know at this stage what direction it'll go," he said.
Lankford said the relationship could be mutually beneficial. The tribe, he said, could learn about the resources Farmer can provide, while the business school can learn how to deal with different American Indian tribes, how a tribe works and the benefits of partnering with a tribe.
Lankford said the tribe is involved in a variety of different business ventures. The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma owns an Ohio ambulance company and several IT companies, among others.
Lankford said he would like to get the Miami tribe students who are in FSB to think about working for the tribe or for one of their businesses.
Baldwin said the chief's visit will not be all business, though.
"Chief comes to campus, too, to take any opportunity to visit with the tribe students here," he said.
The personal connection, to the people and to the land, is what makes the chief's visits particularly special.
"He is coming for a visit, not only to the university, but to part of his own community that is here on campus."