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Thrival Tools: On Indigenous Winter Survival and Brilliance

MADISON, WI -- 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.”

The 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.

“Many Native community members live in diaspora, and leaving space reserved will help travelers feel welcomed and make sure that Native community is not pushed out of spaces celebrating Indigeneity,” said the Thrival Tools team.

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. 

This event takes place in-person at Central Library in Community Rooms 301 + 302. A live stream of the event will also be available at @Gigiigemin on Facebook. Learn more online at:

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

About Library Takeover
Library Takeover began in 2017 as a way to do community programming differently. The goal is to empower individuals who may not have a lot of event-planning experience to bring their ideas for enriching their community to life. Madison Public Library provides the space, time, and resources for community members to host their own events, which sets the stage for future library programming that involves and reflects all of Madison. Applications for the third round of Library Takeover opened in September 2021 and three teams were selected to go through the event planning course and launch their own events hosted at the library in Spring 2022. MEET THE TEAMS.

About Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 140 years.  Visit the library online at, @madisonpubliclibrary on Facebook, @madisonlibrary on Twitter, or @madisonpubliclibrary on Instagram.