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Gordon Tootoosis


B: October 25, 1941 in Poundmaker Reserve, SaskatchewanD: July 5, 2011 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Gordon Tootoosis, a descendent of the legendary Plains Cree leader Poundmaker, was taken from his home and placed in one of the infamous Catholic residential schools. His interest in his own cultural traditions led him to become an accomplished native dancer. In the 60s and 70s he toured across Canada, Europe and South America with the Plains InterTribal Dance Troupe. He broke into film in 1972 with Alien Thunder, starring Donald Sutherland and Chief Dan George. He worked with Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aiden Quinn and Julia Ormond. He appeared in Leaving Normal with Meg Tilly and Christine Lahti. His television work included roles in Due South, Lonesome Dove, and Hawkeye, as well as spending five seasons on North of 60. Raised with a strong Cree belief system and a knowledge of the Cree language, art and worldview. As a young man he became a cowboy and was a champion Calf Roper and Team Roper. Gordon Tootoosis was 69 when he died from pneumonia at St. Paul’s hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Also see: Remembering Gordon Tootoosis.