Shannon Thunderbird Sings Her Truth In New “Lost and Found” Video With Sultans Of String

Lost and Found is the new video off the album Walking Through the Fire by Sultans of String. Ts’msyen Elder Shannon Thunderbird wrote and sings the song. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia: Gilut’sau Band of the Royal House of Niis’gumiik, Gispudwada (Orca) Clan. The music is arranged and supported by Sultans of String, and the epic strings of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

“On May 27, 2021, the bones of 215 Indigenous children were found in a mass grave on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC” says Shannon. “I wrote ‘Lost and Found’ several days later to acknowledge the fact that with tangible evidence Canadians could no longer deny what we have been saying for over a century”

The wind raced through the trees,

Dying children on their knees

Where have you gone, I love you,

Please come home to me.

“I wrote the song on June the 11th, 2020.” Shannon continues. “By this time, the news had gone across Canada about the finding of the bones of our children from residential school horrors. And the first ones were from a residential school in Kamloops.

Watch on YouTube here:

Growing up, music came to Shannon naturally: “I came out of the womb singing. My mother was an opera singer, and because she was Ts’msyen she was never really able to realise it, because we were talking about colonialist British Columbia. To have somebody in the grand arts who was an Indigenous person was just unheard of, so I was very fortunate. She had the most glorious voice, and I inherited part of it, and she instilled the love of music and singing in me.

“I am a songwriter, and this one came so fast that I just got up, I grabbed my phone, I threw it on record. And I sat on the side of the bed and I sang it from beginning to end without stopping. And by this time, I barely got through it. I was in a lot of tears thinking about my grandmother, thinking about my mother, thinking about what happened to me. All of these things that came out of this horror that was done by the churches and the Canadian government.

Thousands of children’s bones in the ground

Deep reaching pain for so many

Lost to the ravages of evil

Cries unheard for years and years

“I find it immensely difficult sometimes to sing it because I am, along with my sister Kate, who sings the song with me on the album, an intergenerational residential school survivor. It came down through my grandmother to my mother, to me, and we’ve had our challenges. But I’m of an age now where one has a choice. You carry on or you don’t. What would our ancestors want us to do?

Apologies won’t save the day

Death of babies far outweigh

Pale words that came a hundred years far too late

And a small voice whispered

It’s okay now, you found us, you found us

“It is brutal, and it’s real. And the sacrifice of these children, oh goodness. They won’t be forgotten. They can’t be. Innocents lost in the most heinous of ways.”


May 31 – Midland – Midland Cultural Centre

June 9 – Hamilton Arts Week – Westdale Theatre

June 17 – Waterloo – University of Waterloo

June 21 – Newmarket – Old Town Hall

June 22 – Toronto CD Release – Hugh’s Room

June 23 – Kitchener – Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival