Teya Peya Productions

`THUNDER-OUS`' Stage Shows with
West Wind & the Woodland Sister

The Power of Positive Purpose Lies in Becoming What You Believe About Yourself

Proudly in Service to Indigenous People & the World Community Since 1991




"Always among the highest expression of every culture, the arts teach us much about every historical period through its literature, visual arts, music, dance, and drama. Today it is recognized that to be truly well educated one must not only learn to appreciate the arts, but must have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work. The arts are languages that most people speak, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability. They can bring every subject to life and turn abstractions into concrete reality. Learning through the arts often results in greater academic achievement and higher test scores." (www.newhorizons.org)


In other words, no one can participate in human conversation/experience or have a true understanding of human history without engaging in the arts. They are as integral to an enlightened citizenship as the understanding of history, numbers, science, spoken word, and technology. 

Through my work with organizations that include: Prologue to the Performing Arts, Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY), ArtsSmarts, Aboriginal Education Centre (TDSB) and my own production company, I have brought Aboriginal arts education to thousands of people across Canada, the United States and internationally. What I do is vital to eliminating misunderstandings, deliberate or otherwise, about North America's First People that undermines and underestimates our continued contributions to the common good.


The world's youth are the primary stakeholders and there is an urgency for the Aboriginal voice to be heard as learning about the richness of Indigenous cultures, helps to strengthen the resolve for ALL people to create strong cultural, social, peaceful, political and economic connections.


That is why I resist situations where Indigenous people are viewed as "legally permissible and barely tolerated". My shows are formulated for good minds open to reason, hearts open to love, and to those who value our true identity as valuable contributors to Canada's rich cultural mosaic. Like all good, generous, mindful citizens, Native people do not exist for ourselves alone, but for the sake of humanity. Our fundamental motivation has always been to be in service to others by proclaiming the truth of our existence in a way that teaches, inspires and elevates.


 What better way to celebrate the common good than to offer medicine wheel-based presentations that feeds the souls of all nations, educates, entertains and inspires. Wilwilaayst, All My Relations.



A mesmerizing creation story in contemporary musical stage show format. It tells of a time when Mother Earth lived in perfect peace with her mate, Father Sky. One day they noticed a beautiful copper ball (Earth) rotating slowly around them. Eventually, Mother Earth left her mate to bring the Copper Shield to life, with the aid of raucous Culture Hero, Raven, who explains why his beautiful white features turned mystical black.

The show is about: (a) the beginning of the world; (b) the beauty, sacredness and importance of keeping the Earth clean and safe; (c) Good Character: respect, personal leadership, integrity, caring, honour and equality among all the world's people. (d) Not asserting dominion over or to rise above the rest, but to make a contribution WITH the rest.

Shannon Thunderbird plays the role of Noo Halidzoks (Mother Earth - Daughter of the Copper Shield). Sandy Horne plays the often hilarious role of Pacific Northwest Coast Culture Hero, Raven.

The music is a variety pack to satisfy everyone's musical tastes: pop, jazz, rap, semi-classical. The music shows how ancient stories work seamlessly with contemporary musical styles.  There is also live traditional drumming and chanting which satisfies the needs of the Artists to be connected to their culture, and the audience's desire to hear it.



1. Breaks down stereotypical attitudes about Canada's First Nations with a reminder that we continue to play a powerful role on all levels of the social, artistic, economic and political spectrum.

2. Show enhances First Nations educational curricula and supports a variety of Canadian Native Studies requirements, including: Character Education, Mindfulness, Environmental issues.

3. It provides and important link because it is told from an Indigenous perspective which is vital for an accurate understanding of who we are as Turtle Islands Original people.

4. The show introduces audiences to basic Medicine Wheel and Environmental teachings that govern most Native nations. These teachings include: the great Circle, importance of the #4 -  four directions, four colours of human, for seasons, and so on....

5. Anti-Bullying Topics including the themes of harmony, balance, humility, courage, embracing racial and human diversity. Bullying, racial discord, hate, lack of self-esteem, jealousy, power-over mentalities, serious environmental changes all combine to fracture our delicate world.

6.  The shows seeks to re-engage audiences with these teachings and help create dialogue and projects that promote peaceful interaction among students, teachers and the administration.

Show Details

1:  Show length, 60 minutes, including Q&A.

2. Audience maximum of 250 is strictly adhered to
4  Show suitable for grades 4-12
5:   Video-taping, photography and recording are not permitted

Presentation Copyrighted

Daughter of the Copper Shield" Testimonials

"This was a great show that taught me a lot about the magic of First Nations people and their cultures . I think everyone would benefit from it.  It was beautifully sung, fun, dramatic, the whole package, in other words. I loved it." (Teacher, Mississauga)


"Wonderful show. I learned so much about First Nations people. It just took my breath away.  Thank you for sharing the stories.” 
(M. Hopkins, Trail, B.C.)

"The balance between humour and drama was performed to perfection. The students were kept engaged, in part because of the variety of musical genre's. I was impressed with the questions they asked at the end, the patience and good humour of the actors in answering them. Also, their singing voices were amazing." (Teacher, TDSB)


(2 Actors)

               In-Who-Lise (White Feather)      Visionary Chief Joseph    Warrior Chief, Oolikut

Chief Joseph's people are more commonly & incorrectly known as Nez Percé (meaning "pierced nose").  This name was given to them by a French Canadian Interpreter who was travelling with the famed Lewis and Clarke Expedition in 1805. The new name was always confusing to the Nimi-ipuu because this cultural practice was not common among their people. Their preference, as is the case with all Native people, is to be known by their original name and not something imposed by others -  Nimi-ipuu (People of the Hearts Blood).


ELDER IN-WHO-LISE SPEAKS:  "Horses galloping, guns firing, women wailing, freezing winds blowing are just some of the dramatic sound effects that punctuate the drama of the historic flight of my people, the Nez Percé.  In 1877, led by our great spiritual leader, Chief Joseph and his Warrior Chief brother, Oolikut, we embarked on an 1800 mile race for freedom as we tried to escape the United States cavalry. We were desperately trying to seek refuge in Grandmother's Land (Canada). Come and listen as I visit the grave of one of my people's greatest leaders to tell the story of the immense courage of my people who, in the face of overwhelming odds, kept our spirits strong and fought hard for our freedom. Perhaps if you listen closely, you will hear the voice of Chief Joseph....." (Photo: S Thunderbird in the role of In'Who-List in Thunder Rolling in the Mountains)


YOUNG IN-WHO-LISE SPEAKS:  "My story is an accurate historical record of the flight of my people and is representative of many such stories suffered by virtually all Indigenous people who, after the Battle of 1812, were seen as impediments to progress and harshly and tragically moved aside. As a result, there was a relatively quick "changing of the guard" as the supremacy of European colonialism regarding ownership, racism and conquering took hold in North America. My people fought hard for their freedom, we never gave up. My story is a vital component to the understanding of North America's post-European Indigenous history. It is also for anyone who believes that freedom is a basic human right and not a privilege. Hear my story."

"Thunder Rolling in the Mountains" has been wonderfully received in the theatres, schools and a variety of festivals and conferences.  I applaud the bravery of those individuals and organizations who enhanced their events by wanting to know more about a grievous time in American Indigenous history.


Note 1:  65 minute show. Audience maximum of 250 is strictly adhered to.         
Note 2:   A stage  or large open space is required  for this show
Note 3:   Show suitable for grades 5-12, Adults
Note 4:   Video-taping, photography and recording
are not permitted.


Presentation Copyrighted



Thunder Rolling in the Mountains Testimonials

"You kept an audience of nine hundred students mesmerized with your portrayal as White feather."  (M. Moore, Imperial Theatre, Saint John, NB)
"Oh my, words fail me. I had no idea of the hardship of the Nez Perce, and this was only one tribe! My students were very quiet in class as they tried to process the story. Your performance was mesmerizing and the soundtrack really dramatic. Thank you for educating my students on what we don't teach and should. It was awesome." (Teacher, Toronto, ON)

"Drawing on her Pacific Northwest Coast Tsimshian roots, Thunderbird's mesmerizing emotional impact on audiences arises from her three and a half octave 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)






(Where applicable, Fees do not include travel/mileage, airfare, hotel accommodation, per diem)





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