We recently met a young woman selling jewelry at a craft show in downtown Detroit. On her table was a little handwritten sign: “Place that sticks out of the water”. That’s a translation of the Ojibwe name for her ancestral home “Zagaajibiising”. French colonists named this place “Detroit”, which means “strait”. The Detroit River is a narrow passage of water nourishing our city and connecting larger areas of water in the Great Lakes. It mirrors our neighbor to the south, Canada! Yes, Windsor, Ontario is south of Detroit.
I’m telling this story as an invitation to join us on a journey to learn about people, pollinators and the planet. We welcome your insights and feedback on the content and structure of our site.
When we listen to bees, we know there is a difference between a loud buzz and a low hum. Though we can’t understand their language, we get a sense that there is something important about listening. On our web pages, you’ll find words like “bees” and “honey” in Ojibwe and in all the major languages of immigrants that now call “Zagaajibiising” home. If you’d like to add your language and join our hive, just let us know. -jm