Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum

It was once said that this huge Transformation bird, the Thunderbird, was once a human. This story told by my father is about a Medicine man who had concern for the people in the community. The concern was about this huge killer whale that was at the mouth of the river, not letting any Salmon come up the river to spawn, or letting any of the community harvest salmon for the winter feed. The Medicine man warned the killer whale about his actions. “I will give you only one warning”. But the killer whale ignored the voice of the medicine man. The medicine man prayed for the powers from the Creator to deal with this issue. He then got the vision what to turn into. The wish was to be an eagle, but instead he turned into Thunderbird, which was larger then expected of what he wanted to be. He then looked into the water and noticed feathered like horns on the side of his head. The message was that when he opened his eyes it will symbolize lightening, when he opened his mouth it will symbolize thunder. Thunderbird then looked for the killer whale, and found him. “I warned you what will happen if you ignore me”. Thunderbird then dove towards the killer whale, and scooped the greedy, evil whale and flew towards Mt. Tzouhalem and droped the whale on top. Little did the S’hwu’hwa’us knew he droped it on top of a frog (Tzouhalem). And on top of the mountain there is a little lake there, which you can throw a flat stone, and if it skips for a long time it’ll tell you your going a great distance to get married, and for a short distance your going to marry close by. Lesson was hard for the other whales but they took the message well from the Thunderbird. And from there was the change of heart, only take what you need. The totem pole always has a story of each community. Our totem is our bible and the reason for saying this is we did not have any written language so we told it on the totem.

  1. Top of the totem symbolizes guidance to the Spirit World after we finish our Walk on Mother Earth.
  2. Middle figure of any totem symbolizes heart. The Walk on Mother Earth teaches us to Respect and Honor and we become environment ourselves.
  3. The bottom of the totem symbolizes grounding. We learn to be our self, respect other Elder voices to your heart and mind. Because the voice is the Spirit from the Soul when you lose someone special you lose part of your Soul too. That’s why the Elder voices are special to keep you grounded and be with loved ones.

Harold Joe, Carver & Elder

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