MARY ELIZABETH THUNDER (1944 - 2017)
Mary Elizabeth Thunder is part native, Irish, & adopted Lakota.
She graduated High School at Warren Central in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attended Indiana University, & also IUPUI Indiana University Purdue University Institute in Indianapolis. Plus many hours of human relations training and drug & alcohol training.
Working in the government of the City of Indianapolis, her last position was as secretary to the Board of Public Safety where in the capacity she was also privileged to be working closely with the Mayor of Indianapolis. Acting at times as the Mayoral Assistant. During her service to the City of Indianapolis, Thunder served as a liaison with the Human Rights Board per native issues, & was awarded 7 Keys to the City, & 2 Governor State Awards for her work for the people. She left the life that she had known as a female administrator & went on to gather Counseling experience. In 1981 Thunder suffered a heart attack & had an after-life experience. After her Heart Attack, she moved to Dallas, Texas and worked as a Drug & Alcohol Specialist for the only Indian Center with Medical Services in the State of Texas.
In 1982, at this time of her life, she choose to listen to the words of her Elders & in response to this experience, Elders Leonard Crow Dog, Wallace Black Elk, Grace Spotted Eagle, & Rolling Thunder, told her it was time to leave the Inter-Tribal Center to Sun Dance.
In 1982, Thunder left her position at Dallas Inter-Tribal Center to begin her life on the road, living in a van, just sharing with the people her experiences & her own traditional learnings for health & help of the people. For many years she, as a Spiritual Teacher, has walked & talked her experiences, never having a home & living on the road in a van.
She started dancing the Traditional Sun dance in 1982 & has been dancing ever since to give thanks to the Creator for gifting back her life. Making prayers for the people, so that the people will live.
In 1989, she followed the Vision of Spirit, the Advice of her Elders, who interpreted the Vision, & the Sacred Pipe that she carried, to land in Central Texas, Thunder Ranch, which was to be the foundation & "grounding" of her work. The Thunder Ranch, was officially birthed into life as a Spiritual University, when all of her Elders made journeys to Spiritually Bless the Land, for her work & for the ceremonies. Thunder, along with the foundation that was formed, Church of the Blue Star & Blue Star, Inc. & many wonderful friends, students, supporters, & family, founded the Sacred Land & a Spiritual University located in West Point, Texas USA. Thunder & sons are Traditional Sun dancers.
Besides many Sun dances, she has served the Chipps Family as a Female Helper.
In 1987, she started sharing a Vision that she had been given from spirit. It was a workshop where Three healing paradigms merged, The Native American Ceremonial Traditional was blended with Modern Addiction Counseling Techniques then the adding the most popular 12 Step Program. Many thousands of people have attended & gained control of their addictions thru the concept of ceremony & service to others & many have found they were "put" on their Spiritual Paths.
Thunder has been a Peace Elder since 1991, where she joined the Elders Circle at Wolf Song I. Then in 1992-Thunder hosted Wolf Song II. In 1993-Wolf Song III in Jinta Junga Australia, she represented Grandmother Twylah Nitsch & Grandmother Kitty as Master of Ceremonies along with Aboriginal Elder Gabbo Ted Thomas.
In 1994-Thunder attended the UN Indigenous People's Working Session as a delegate in Geneva, Switzerland. (One of the issues she presented & had accepted by the United Nations Secretariat, was all the video's & written Peace Statements of Wolf Song II in honor to Grandmother Twylah Nitsch who was the Dreamer & Visioner of Wolf Song) 1995-Wolf Song V-In Puerto Rico; 1996-Thunder Hosted Wolf Song VI; & In 1998, she was the Master of Ceremonies for Wolf Song VII Holland; & attended Wolf Song VIII.
Her words about Peace are...Peace--I was born to be passionate & heart connected to Peace on this Planet, since I was born in the month of D Day. I am grateful to Grandmother Twylah who named me a Peace Elder & I strive to live up to her expectations of that honor.
In 1995 she initiated the annual Woman’s Dance at Thunder Ranch in Texas, In 2002 the Woman’s Dance came to Europe for the first time.
In 1997, she traveled to France, at the Invitation of the Dalai Lama to speak about Peace & Women. On stage with his Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama & an audience of 8,000 people who had come to hear spiritual representatives from all over the World talk about Unity & Diversity for all World Religions, Thunder spoke her message & shared her heart about Peace & about being a Woman.
" Yes, I want to remind people that in the Indigenous Traditions, women are very important. Not because we are told we are important but because we know that since forever and always, we have had the power and the capacity to give birth, raise women and men and to take care of the earth. It is today that I thusly give celebration to all the women on Earth. I would like to ask my sisters to give up the thoughts and actions of the word victim. We are no longer Victims & We are strong! I would like to address an acknowledgement to each woman here today. We have the power and that power is rising. Use it to preserve, teach, share, and raise our voices, to save our children, our planet, our people, and our earth mother. Don't share the things that have hurt us but share what can save us. Turn our scars into Stars! Come together and reclaim what is inherently ours, the power to bring forth nurturing Peace! May Peace Prevail!"
In 2003, Thunder was name Donna Di Pace~Woman of Peace in Turin Italy. There she shared about Woman's Ceremonies with 4 other women from around the world. They honored the women who all received a plaque.
In 2005, Thunder was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, as part of 1,000 Women of Peace. The nominated women commit themselves daily to the cause of peace and justice, often under the most difficult circumstances.
Thunder has traveled much & met with spiritual peoples of Australia, Egypt, England, Hawaii, Holland, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, France, Italy, India, Hawaii, Ireland & Wales.
Besides being a Spiritual Woman, Thunder has twenty years experience in administration, politics, & Chemical dependency.
She is a great Speaker, teacher, Sun dancer, Peace Elder, & an Author of a book named, "Thunders Grace". A story about her Adopted Lakota Mother, Grace Spotted Eagle & the life they had together before Grace's death. Many of her words, her pictures, articles about her & her teachings-experiences-stories, have been featured in several books:
- "Spiritual Autographs: Southern Women Tell Their Stories"
- "Sun dancing, A Spiritual Journey on the Red Road" by Chief Michael Hull,
- "Animal Totems" by Brad Steiger & Sherry Hansen-Steiger
- "Claiming Your Self-Esteem" by Carolyn Ball, M.A.
- "Blessings in Disguise" by Carolyn Ball, M.A. A story about Thunder written by her sister & Student, Carolyn Ball
- "Les Cercle Des Anciens" (The Circle of Elders) Shamans from around the whole world with the Dalai Lama...The Spiritual United Nations gathering with the Dalai Lama by Alain Grosrey & Patrice Van Eersel (Thunder was a Spiritual Delegate at this Gathering)
- "Montezuma's Serpent & Other True Supernatural Tales of the South West" by Brad Steiger & Sherry Hansen-Steiger
- "The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls" by Chris Morton & Ceri Louise Thomas
- "No More Frogs - No More Princes" by Joanne Vickers & Barbara Thomas
Her words for herself are...I am a Spiritual Woman who loves God & strives to nurture & love all. I am a Mother, & Grandmother. Today I am.