Welcome to the Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre

‘And the day came when the risk to remain the same was greater than the risk to change. It is, after all, the only hope for the cocoon to become the butterfly.’


tawāw. Welcome to Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre. Nīkānīwin (pronounced knee-gone-knee-win) is a Plains Cree expression for ‘leadership’. Over the past year and a half, Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company (SNTC) has engaged members of the community regarding the next phase of our organization’s transition. In consultation with the Tootoosis family and after a process of ceremonial protocol, SNTC has successfully renamed our organization. Our new name, Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, honours Gordon Tootoosis, a Cree and Canadian icon and one of the founding members of SNTC. We have a new focus on mentorship of emerging Indigenous artists, a focus on Circle of Voices (COV). We have reinstituted the component of culture in everything we do ­– our Cultural Advisor works closely with COV youth and with artists in the season’s programming. We are excited to open the doors to a new future for the company, one grounded in culture, language and history. When Gordon Tootoosis (Poundmaker First Nation) began working in theatre, there was a noticeable void of Aboriginal actors. He set out to fill that void by creating a platform for the development of young, burgeoning and experienced Aboriginal actors. In doing so, he has had a profound impact on both the Aboriginal and wider theatre community in Saskatoon and across the province and made an indelible mark on Canada’s theatre scene.