The founding vision of Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company was to create a culturally grounded theatre training program for Indigenous youth in Saskatoon. Identity was at the core of this vision, and many young people have reconnected with their culture, language and history through our programming. Through ceremony and protocol we have renamed the organization Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, in honour of one of the founding members and to remind us to continue the legacy of strengthening Indigenous identity in Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan and across Canada. Gordon Tootoosis never lived in Hollywood – he stayed here because he believed in his community and the importance of strengthening it through the mentorship of our youth. This is the culture of GTNT.
In line with our mission, GTNT produces thematic and relevant presentations that are seen locally and provincially by a diverse audience. We are Saskatchewan’s only professional Indigenous theatre company, recognized province wide as a producer of culturally based Indigenous theatre that educates and promotes racial harmony in Saskatchewan’s diverse population. GTNT is also committed to forming innovative partnerships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural/arts leaders, businesses, community organizations, and institutions that recognize the power of the arts as an effective means to develop strong and vibrant individuals and communities. These sector partners also allow GTNT to grow Indigenous Theatre in Saskatchewan as we strive to increase the number of Indigenous people trained and gainfully employed in the performing arts.