fbpx
 

MADISON, Wisc. — On Saturday, February 26, the Madison Public Library hosted Thrival Tools: Indigenous Winter Survival and Brilliance, a storytellers celebration that opened the organization’s live public programming for the year. 

The two and a half hour, over-capacity event featured Ho-Chunk speaker Jon-Jon Greendeer, Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe speaker Greg “Biskakone” Johnson, Yup’ik educator and performer Anastasia Adams, and local Chicana community organizer and activist Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores. 

“When Europeans came here, they didn’t realize there were so many chapters that existed before our co-existence,” said Ho-Chunk storyteller Jon-Jon Greendeer during the presentation. “Indigenous people, even beyond Turtle Island, have our own way of life.” 

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

“When talking about thriving in winter, the skills, wisdom, and knowledge that our people once shared with one another were lost in boarding schools,” said Greendeer. “Many of us cannot go to our oldest relatives and ask them how things used to be, because a stoppage in knowledge and our generation has to make the quantum leap to learn about our way of life.”

Speakers also shared stories of how their elders provided for their families in the winter using commodities. In early reservation days, many families lived off commodities, the government-rationed foods that included flour, lard, sugar, and powdered-milk. Grape juice concentrate and sugar was made into jam, while flour, lard, sugar, and powdered milk were made into fry bread. These new foods contributed to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more in many Native communities.

“We’ve had an amazing turnout and I’ve learned something from every presenter,” said Madison Library Community Engagement Library Kristina Gomez to Native News Online. “This was really well received by the audience.”

The event featured an opening and closing by the MadTown Singers, a local drum group. The program was created and planned by a group of Indigenous women that live in the area who applied to be part of the Library Takeover program, said Gomez. 

Additional resources including an Indigenous-focused book display, reading lists, online resources, recipes, and more were organized for participants to internalize the learning and experience. 

 



More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (September 25, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Hits the Ground Running: Her First Bill Introduced Clears Committee Two Days Later
EXCLUSIVE: Deb Haaland Q&A on Road to Healing Tour Progress
September 20 is National Voter Registration Day: Native Organizations Team Up to Increase Native Youth Voter Engagement
Tribal Business News Round-Up: Sept. 19

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.