The latest in the Record-Eagle’s excellent “Generation Why” series features Northport student Rose N. Petoskey, a young woman who I once taught how to throw hula hoops on the playground at the Leelanau Children’s Center. She has grown and become quite a writer as you will see if you read on:
My name is Noozeen (Rose) Nimkiins (Little Thunder) Petoskey (Rising Sun) and I am Anishinaabek.
Many people would associate the word Petoskey with the souvenir stone found on the northern Lake Michigan shorelines. However, to my family, the word Petoskey represents much more than a souvenir.
In the Odawa language, the word Petoskey (Bii-daa-si-ga) means the rising sun, the day’s first light, or the sun’s first rays moving across the water. The Petoskey stone is a fossilized coral created by impressions made in limestone during the last Michigan ice age. These stones were named “Petoskey” because the impressions resembled the rising sun coming up over the water. Just as the image of the rising sun is implanted within the Petoskey stone, the archaeology of a person’s names is implanted within. All names within our Anishinaabek culture reflect an individual’s personal history. Rocks go deep, but names go much deeper to reveal the stories of the past.
I strongly encourage you to read the rest of What’s in a name by Rose Petoskey in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.
Photo Credit: Sanded and Wet by Nikki McReynolds (click to view larger!)