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Library Takeover: Thrival Tools Event

Library Takeover: Thrival Tools: On Indigenous Winter Survival and Brilliance

Thrival Tools: On Indigenous Winter Survival and Brilliance

February 26, 6-8:30 p.m. at Central Library, Community Rooms 301 & 302

Madison Public Library’s Library Takeover program will launch its first event of the year on February 26, 2022, 6-8:30 p.m. The event, Thrival Tools: On Indigenous Winter Survival and Brilliance, will include a series of speakers representing different Tribes and traditions, song, throat singing, and more. Thrival Tools will provide a space for sharing cultural practices amongst Native peoples, as well as introducing non-Native people to the myriad methods by which Indigenous communities have thrived throughout the year in this region, but especially during winter.

“Native peoples have relied on community care, support, and understanding to exist in what is now called North America, Wisconsin, and Madison since time immemorial,” said the Thrival Tools team. “We have thrived in regions that now require extensive reliance on external resources. Thrival Tools brings together Indigenous methods of existence through food, art, and land sovereignty.”

Library Takeover Thrival Tools TeamThe first event was created and planned by a trio of Indigenous Madisonians: nipinet (Anishinaabe, Michif), Aabaabikaawikwe (Anishinaabe), nibiiwakamigkwe (Onyota'a:ka, Anishinaabe, Métis) who applied to be part of the Library Takeover program. Three teams applied and were accepted, ultimately undertaking a 4-part course on event planning and being mentored by local Madison movers and shakers over the past three months. Madison Public Library provides funding, free space and marketing for each event. Thrival Tools will be a celebration of Indigenous resiliency and will bring in stories, practices and perspectives from Ho-Chunk, Chicana, Ojibwe, and Yup’ik traditions through stories and song. 

"We hope to bring greater awareness to Indigenous livelihoods and our resiliency in our own words and methods,” said the Thrival Tools team. “So often, Indigenous narratives are told without our presence and focus on our genocide and disenfranchisement. We are more than this." 

Event Breakdown:

  • MadTown Singers Native Drum Group sings a welcome song 
  • Jon-Jon Greendeer, Ho Chunk Nation Health and Wellness Coordinator, shares Ho Chunk stories and lifeways
  • Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, Chicana community organizer and activist, teaches a workshop on wintertime medicinal drinks: fire cider and champurrado. 
  • Biskakone Johnson, Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe knowledge keeper and artist, discusses treaty rights and food sovereignty
  • Anastasia Adams, Yup’ik educator and performer, offers traditional Inuit throat singing utilized as entertainment and survival during long northern winters
  • MadTown Singers Native Drum Group closes the evening with a traveling song

Thrival Tools is an event open to community members of all ages and backgrounds. A portion of the spaces’ capacity will be reserved for Native community members.

Additional resources will be provided at the event for attendees to internalize the learning and experience. The library and event organizers will collaborate to provide an Indigenous-focused book display, reading lists, online resources, recipes, and more. Madisonians can attend virtually via a Live Stream provided @GigiiGemin on Facebook.

Library Takeover is funded by the Madison Public Library Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Dane County Arts Cultural Affairs Commission and giige.

Per order of Public Health Madison & Dane County, masks are required for in all indoor spaces for those ages 2 and up.


Speaker Bios

MadTown Singers (Intertribal) is a student-led powwow drum group that started in 1970s. MadTown performs at UW-Madison powwows, events, graduations and various community gatherings. 

Photo description: members of Madtown Singers kneel with drum in front of Lake Monona during the Teejop Walk for Water

Jon Greendeer sits in a canoe surrounded by wild rice during ricing seasonJon Greendeer (Ho-Chunk) is a graduate of UW-Marathon County and went on to complete his Bachelors in Political Science from UW-Stevens Point. Upon completion, he was appointed as the Executive Administrative Officer for the Ho-Chunk Nation overseeing the administrative and financial day-to-day operations.Jon was elected President of Ho-Chunk Nation and served from 2011-2015, was appointed as the Executive Director of Heritage Preservation and now works as the Health and Wellness Coordinator focused on culturally informed diabetes and obesity prevention approaches through fitness and dietetic education models along with community-integrated Indigenous and sustainable food systems.

Photo description: Jon Greendeer sits in a canoe surrounded by wild rice during ricing season

Shadayra wears a bright pink blazer and colorful earringsShadayra Kilfoy-Flores (Chicana) was born and raised on sacred stolen Ho-Chunk land in the Wil-Mar neighborhood, where she is now raising her own children. She is an Indigenous Chicana curandura, artist and organizer with vast experience in public service and community involvement. She uses art and cultural practices for healing and restorative justice. Shadayra is a Water Protector and trained Street Medic. She hopes to continue to offer her energy, support and insight into creating a safer and more equitable community for all.

Photo description: Shadayra wears a bright pink blazer and colorful earrings

Greg 'Biskakone' Johnson peels birchbark in late winterGreg 'Biskakone' Johnson (Ojibwe) is a member of the Lynx Clan and an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. His home on the Lac du Flambeau reservation, established by the Treaty of 1854, is also known as Waaswaaganing, “the place of the torch.” Greg lives his life according to the four seasons, as did his ancestors. He harvests deer, fish, maple sugar, berries, wild rice, and wild plants. He is passionate about keeping the traditional ways alive, and he takes every opportunity to teach these ways to others.

Photo description: Greg 'Biskakone' Johnson peels birchbark in late winter

Anastasia Adams wears a traditional kuspuk and tap’luqutyaq tattoos during the Madison New Music FestivalAnastasia Adams (Central Yup'ik) is a composer, vocalist, choreographer, educator, and textile artist focusing on themes of reconnection and Native joy. Utilizing her classical vocal training and oral tradition teachings, she subverts musical expectations of both Western and Native genres while prioritizing audience involvement and sense of connection to a piece. Her evolving work shifts into Indigenous science systems and their balance with Indigenous art practice.

Photo description: Anastasia Adams wears a traditional kuspuk and tap’luqutyaq tattoos during the Madison New Music Festival

Feb 7, 2022