Dynamic Duo & Their Fabulous First Nations Proramming


In My Voice is the Hope that Clings to Every Heartbeat



I am proudly descended from the Originals, the Coast Tsimshian People: Gilut'sau Band of the Royal  House of Niis'gumiik, I am Gispudwada (Blackfish/Orca) Clan, and descended from a powerful line of princess/matriarchs, storytellers, spirit doctors, singers, actors, musicians and dancers.

The Lax Kw'al'aams Aboriginal people inhabit part of the Land of the Totems, Lakelse Lake (Lax Gyels), Lakelse River, and territorial camps in Lax kw'alaams (Port Simpson) and near the Tsimshian Peninsula close to Metlakatla, Northern B.C. The Coast Tsimshian Indigenous People are members of the "original six" tribes responsible for carving totem poles. 

  1. Internationally recognized Artist/Educator, Singer and Songwriter, Recording Artist, Author.

  2. Artistic Director of Teya Peya Productions, a company I founded in 1991 to promote Canada's Indigenous people. Professional Singer, Stage Performer for forty years.

  3. Accomplished Speaker and Workshop Facilitator. From Elementary to secondary schools, universities and colleges, businesses, groups, corporations, people are encouraged to connect the power of the human spirit with the challenging issues in today's fractured and digital worlds.

  4. I love to take audiences on journeys of discovery by combining the oral narrative, vocals, drums and the dynamics of live theatre.

  5. Education
    --Master of Arts (M.A.), Political Science, York University. Thesis: Canadian Native Rights: Land Claim Settlements and the Political Process.
    --Bachelor of Arts Political Science (Honours, Ordinary), Bachelor Arts, Humanities/Fine Arts, York University.





  • Principal Performer and Shannon's Performance colleague.

  • Singer, Songwriter, Recording Artist.

  • Groundbreaking top female electric bass player.

  • Owner, Little Bear Recording Studio.

  • Co-Producer of all Teya Peya's recorded productions.

  • Road Manager, Teya Peya Productions.

  • Founding member of the Canadian pop Band, the Spoons.

  • The Spoons have been inducted into the Alternative Arts Hall of Fame, CBC Radio and continue to play concerts across Canada.

  • In the music business for over thirty-five years.

  • Gold records, a Juno nomination and a string of pop radio hits.

  • Former Co-Star of "Hardscrabble Road", an original musical by Singer and Songwriter, James Gordon.

  • Toured with James Gordon for several years throughout the United States and Canada.

  • Woman of Distinction for Arts and Cultures, City of Guelph, ON.

  •  Sandy is the first in her family to go into music as a professional performer.



Shannon & Sandy have been working and travelling together for nearly fifteen years. Their original music blends ancient Indigenous rhythms with an eclectic mix of jazz, rap, folk, gospel, pop and 'sorta' classical sensibilities. Thunderbird inherited "the voice" from her mother, Tsimshian Elder, Gandoox and has been performing since childhood. She has sung light opera, musicals, blues, and, in pop bands.

Sandy is of the soft pop genre, but she can hit the high notes when encouraged to do so. Between the two of us, we create captivating music, and because they are both 'real' singers, they sound like their records when singing live! What a concept!

They work globally at Conferences, Conventions, Theatres, Festivals, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities.


From an Indigenous perspective, Shannon & Sandy educate & entertain audiences about First Nations Culture, History and Spirituality. 

Drawing on ancient and contemporary Indigenous tales, original musings, wisdom from many Native Nations, our national/international programs are imaginative and compelling and take audiences on incredible journeys of discovery.  We touch the spirit, honour the Ancestors, feed the funny bone, inspire the soul. 

I've been singing professionally since five years of age (that is as far as I go in terms of age!). Sandy since she was a teenager. Along with my extensive experience in the Arts, university education (it really helps to be a researcher), teaching skills and insatiable curiosity, I've been blessed with a unique combination of talents that underlie the presentation of sometimes difficult subject matter in an educational, compassionate and entertaining fashion to audiences of all ages.  All this is further enhanced because of what Sandy brings to the collaboration.

Sing with Mother Earth, Fly with Raven

Incorporating the dynamics of live theatre borne from the great Feast ceremonies of the Northwest coast, (called Yaawk meaning 'feast', not potlatch) drums and music, we have a great time telling fantastic tales about the secular and supernatural worlds that both educate and uplift the audience. We offer universal messages about the inter-connectedness and endless possibilities that such connections make to the living world.

We also tell stories about real people from all over Turtle Island, (Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, In-Who-Lise, Black Shawl, Chief Dan George, Legeex, the Brant Family, Tecumseh.....). We use musical and narrative forms as entertaining ways to tell about their lives, loves, and lore both before and after European contact. 

  Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations.



       More about our Tween & Teen shows 


CDs, Books, wherever we are performing and Videos



In My Words are the Powers Inherited from my Ancestors

I've been guest lecturing at Universities and Community Colleges for many years. Helping to open the minds of the young to the power and importance of Canada's First People. Lectures range from, "The Seven Steps to the Colonization of Canada's First Nations People" to "The Art and Magic of Indigenous Storytelling", to "Women and Leadership". 

More About Workshops/Speakers Bureau



"Shannon, I would like to thank you for an outstanding luncheon keynote presentation at the Human Resources Conference: Connect, Collaborate, Build Human Capacity. You engaged the hearts and minds of our attending delegates and opened them to embracing change and connectedness on a meaningful level....Your presentation, "Soul Speak and the True Self" was extremely well-received. [It] made a shift in people's perspectives and helped them to see and feel the need to build connections on a personal level to truly engage in a collaborative Community."
(E.M. Lengyel, Conference Board of Canada)

 "Shannon Thunderbird's ability to reach people from all walks of life with her 'soul speak' messages is truly amazing." (A. Michaels, Engineer) 

"Songs and Music of First Nations peoples sung and written by one of the pre-eminent voices of First Nations culture and spirituality."  (San Diego Press)

"Drawing on her Pacific Northwest Coast Tsimshian roots, her [Thunderbird] mesmerizing emotional impact on audiences arises from her three and a half octave vocal range, storytelling ability, and deep involvement with First Nations’ issues. Her drumming, original music and lyrics, stirring repertoire, presentation, and  luscious voice make her one of the most in-demand performing artists on the current scene. " (King Weekly)




Three shows/day, 100 degree heat in regalia! We are professionals, do not try this at home! We had a fabulous time.