Gordon Tootoosis was born and resided on the Poundmaker First Nation near Battleford. He served as chief of his band as well as vice-chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Tootoosis was involved in rodeos as a champion calf roper and team roper, and was also involved in powwow dancing, making tours of Europe and South America in the 1960s and 1970s. However, Tootoosis was best known for his acting abilities: he made his film debut in 1972 acting alongside Chief Dan George and Donald Sutherland in the movie Alien Thunder. Tootosis appeared in over 25 programs; he was best known for his roles as Albert Golo in the television series North of 60, and as Big Bear in the movie of that name. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004. Gordon Tootoosis died in 2011 at the age of 69.