David Matheson, author, entrepreneur, and tribal elder, was born on the Coeur d’ Alene Indian Reservation in 1951. He is a member of the Schi’tsu’umsh people, now called the Coeur d’ Alene Tribe. He passed away suddenly on January 10th 2023.

He is the author of “Red Thunder,” the acclaimed, award-winning book about the life and values of the Schi’tsu’umsh people in the early 18th century, before European contact.

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The Story

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Meet David

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We want peace. We want the goodness of life. That is why we are blessed by the Kolunsuten (God).

About Red Thunder

A family struggles to hold onto what is precious and sacred. Steeped in traditional culture and harmony with the natural world, this is the inspirational story of several generations of a band of the Schi'tsu'umsh Indians who lived in a vast region that became eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana. The story draws from the band's rich oral history from the early 1700s. This rich and intriguing tale relates events as seen through the eyes of a boy named Sun Bear and his sister, Rainbow Girl, whose family struggles to find peace and hold onto what is precious and sacred.

Red Thunder Book Cover

Praise For Red Thunder

"Using an oral history about the life of legendary 'prophet chief Circling Raven, as well as the stories still told by elderly Coeur d'Alene (or Schi'tsu'umsh) Indians, author and tribal member David Matheson reconstructs the world of an Idaho Native American family in the early 1700s."

Publishers Weekly

"[David Matheson] makes it quite clear that his beloved ancestors lived cultivated lives framed by a spiritual awareness and a sense of oneness with nature. It is a noteworthy addition to the genre of Indian tales. Highly recommended."

The Idaho Librarian

"Red Thunder has the rhythm of an Elder telling a story. It rings true and will touch the heart of anyone who reads it. This is a triumphant work, singing out in a clear voice, bringing to us a tiny flash of the red thunder."

Tacoma Reporter

"I recommend Red Thunder to all Native Americans as a book which will help them to connect to our past and to all non-Indians as a book that will help them to better understand our history."

Ernest Stensgar, former Tribal Chairman, Coeur d'Alene Tribe