Unlimited Learning event in Crosby to highlight effort to revitalize Ojibwe language

Author Chato Gonzales will speak on the challenges in making Ojibwe a teachable language

At 66 letters long, “miinibaashkiminasiganibiitoosijiganibadagwiingweshiganibakwezhigan” is the longest word in the Ojibwe language. It means blueberry pie. Source: Morrison County Historical Society
Blueberry pie photo illustration /

CROSBY — Ojibwe language expert and revitalization movement leader Chato Gonzales will be the Lakes Area Unlimited Learning speaker at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, in the Forum Room at Crosby-Ironton High School.

His talk is titled "Revitalizing the Ojibwe Language."

Gonzales will provide education to help understand this renewed interest in the Ojibwe language and give an overview about what is involved in making Ojibwe a teachable language.

An author, Gonzales has an undergraduate degree in Ojibwe from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree from The College of St. Scholastica.

The program is free for Unlimited Learning members and $5 for nonmembers.


As Ojibwe elders and Native speakers depart this life, their traditional language becomes more and more compromised. There is a resurgence of interest in teaching the traditional oral and written language and advancing strategies to preserve it.

A StarTribune article (Jan. 15, 2023) underscores the importance of reversing this language loss and emphasizes increasing the number of young people who speak and use the language. Because Ojibwe is historically an oral language, the article concludes, “Ojibwe elders ‘carry the sound’ to the next generation.”

Unlimited Learning welcomes members for 2023. To join, send $60/individual and $110/couple to Box 455, Deerwood, MN 56444. Or bring a check to an Unlimited Learning event.

For more information, visit www.lakesareaunlimitedlearning .

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