The Thunderbird



The Thunderbird is a mythological animal that has supernatural ability to cause thunder and lightning when required to impose law and order.  Thunderbird is considered a grandfather figure who cares for the people.  He sends gifts to the people in their time of need and to ensure people follow protocols.

In the Squamish Nation legend, Thunderbird is said to roost on top of Black Tusk Mountain in the territory now know as Whistler.  He was said to be responsible for creating a devastating landslide that buried the nearby village of Spo7ez when he heard that villagers were feuding.

Common features of the Thunderbird found in Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations art are a hooked beak, large out stretched wings and sharp talons. Thunderbird is often shown with horns on his head, which signify his supernatural powers and distinguish him from an eagle.

Image by Splash


Animal designs featured on shop.slcc.ca are by various indigenous artists from nations across Turtle Island; these artists have an agreement with Native Nortwest Company to share these designs on their behalf. As an authorized distributor of Native Northwest products, they have extended Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre permission to share these images.

Animal Symbology
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