In the time of myths, when all the creatures of the Earth were beginning to learn the manner of living, a man decided that he would build himself a large house. He devised a type of house that would hold all his extended family, and used the material which was abundant; the red cedar. He cut down a number of huge cedar trees, and shaped them with his adze into house posts, ridge poles and slabs to cover the exterior.
When he had the material ready, the man found that he had neither the strength nor the knowledge to erect them, and he sat down on one of the logs to give this problem some thought. While sitting there, he noticed that an enormous Thunderbird was watching him. He said to it, "too bad you are not a man, so that you could help me." To his surprise the bird said, "I am a man," and took off his feather coat to show him that inside he was human. Then he put on his feathers again, and taking the logs in his powerful talons, he flapped his gigantic wings, lifted the cedar logs and put them into place.
After the house was complete, the Thunderbird was invited to stay and be part of their community. So he took off his feathers again, and married the chief's daughter. After he had lived with them many years, he became homesick and had to return to his home in the sky, but he said that he would always protect and help the people. As a symbol of this, he said that, from that time forward, whenever one of his own descendants died, all the people would know because thunder and lightning would fill the sky. To this day, thunder rolls, the heavens weep and the lightning flashes, whenever one of the descendants of the Thunderbird passes on.
After the Thunderbird had returned to the heavens it became apparent that the people would need another helper and protector. So it was decided that ties would be formed with the Grizzly Bears. According to the custom of the day, a marriage was arranged between a Bear prince and one of the princesses of their village. Since that time, the descendants of that tribe have used Thunderbird and Grizzly Bear as their totem.
NOTE: This is a Kwakwak"awakw legend and a number of families share this ancestory and legend.