Renowned as both an actor and an activist, Gordon Tootoosis was born into a large family in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1941. Though Tootoosis' family lived a traditional Cree lifestyle, and were committed to preserving the culture of their native people, he was removed from his home and taken to a government run residential school at a young age, where he was forbidden from speaking his native language or practicing its traditions. This would help inspire the young man to commit even more strongly to his heritage, and he would go on to remain a vocal advocate for aboriginal rights, in addition to playing numerous roles that showcased native cultures, including Joe Saugus in the 2002 series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and Albert Golo on North of 60. Tootoosis would also help found the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company, and serve as vice president of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Tootoosis passed away in 2011 at the age of 69.