“When I was learning medicine, I always looked at it through a Cree lens and Cree world view”

Dr. James Makokis

Indigenous Rights | First Nation Health | Truth & Reconciliation | First Nations Relations

Dr. James Makokis is a proud Cree from the Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. James received his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Nutrition and Food Sciences from University of Alberta, a Masters of Health Science (M.H.Sc.) in Community Nutrition from the University of Toronto, and lastly a Doctorate in Medicine (M.D) from the University of Ottawa. Dr. James Makokis received certification from the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program, University of British Columbia.

James is truly unique. Not only is he one of few people to attain great heights in formal education, he did it while having many adventures along the way. From traveling alongside former Governor General Michaëlle Jean on a diplomatic mission to Brazil, to  clowning with Dr. Patch Adams in the Amazon Jungle, James takes every opportunity to expand his horizons. He is even committed to expanding others as well. In fact, from 2007-2009 James served as the National Spokesperson for the National Aboriginal Health Organization’s “Lead Your Way” National Aboriginal Role Model Program and completed a half-Ironman, all while in medical school.  In keeping with this adventurous spirit, James married his husband, Anthony Johnson, while they both ran the 2017 BMO Harris Vancouver Marathon, taking a short pause along the route in English Bay to say “I do, at km 32.” They then completed the race as a married couple, the first couple to do so in the marathon’s history.

As a proud member of the LGBTQ2S community, James has experienced the same bullying sexually and gender diverse youth continue to endure. With the support of his parents and community, he overcame these challenges to succeeded beyond society’s expectations. James has maintained his faith in Indigenous values and culture throughout his struggles. It was through his connection to Cree ceremonies and the support of the Indigenous community that helped him overcome these adversities and reclaim his space as a member of the Two-spirit Q-mmunity.  Two-spirit is a contemporary term to describe gender and sexual diversity in Indigenous Communities, but more importantly recognizes that it has always been an accepted part of Indigenous societies.  Dr. Makokis has a strong interest in addressing the inequities within the LGBTQ2S space and focuses his clinical practice on serving the needs of Transgender people.  In fact, he is one of the few physicians in Canada who facilitates the wellness of Trans people by administering hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. James Makokis is an active volunteer and currently serves on several boards including the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto, and McEwan University’s Indigenous Advisory Council.  He was formerly the co-chair of the inaugural Indigenous Wisdom Council of Alberta Health Services, board member of Indspire (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation), revived and led the Two Spirit Circle of Edmonton Society, and served in the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. James is also the recipient of the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Special Youth Award, the highest formal recognition bestowed upon individual from Indigenous communities.

As a doctor, national presenter, and proud member of the LGBTQ2S community, James offers a truly unique perspective when audiences hear his story. Not only are his stories humourous and insightful, they highlight the high calibre of his character and celebrate triumph over adversity.

Having grown up in a family of leaders, James has truly come into his own. Few individuals can offer such a diverse and rich perspective on personal struggle, overcoming the impossible, inequality, indigenous values, colonialism, community segregation and community building. His perspective is one that benefits Canadians. His story is compelling. James tells it like it is and does not shy away from the truth. He is honest, factual and most qualified to share his unique indigenous perspective with Canadians.

We are lucky to be able to listen to his stories, experiences, vision and advice. Because James is a practicing Doctor, he needs considerable lead-time to present. Please keep this in mind when booking Dr. James Makokis.

Topic Presentations

The Makokis Family can draft up a speaker series presentation specifically for the conference and your association. This half day session would include all three speakers presenting with each other, or each speaker can draft a presentation to follow up and expand on the other member of the Makokis family’s presentations throughout the session. Each member of the Makokis family has a very unique perspective on First Nation Matters and important information for all Canadians and will be focused for teachers and educators in Alberta.

This speaker series addresses the history, current situation, and future of Indigenous culture in Canada. It includes practical solutions for any matters related to First Nations in Canada. A truly unique presentation, there are not many sessions or presenters that can address the amount of issues that the Makokis family can. This presentation is customized to each organization and association.
Dr. Patricia Makokis, (Ed.D.) is acclaimed as one of Canada’s most outstanding Indigenous leaders and aboriginal expert. Her warm speaking style engages audience everywhere. She uses humour and relevant anecdotes to make her points. Dr. Makokis is internationally and nationally renowned. She is in demand as a speaker across Canada not only because she is an expert on Indigenous matters, but also because of her articulate and humourous presentations. The vital and necessary guiding principles of her Indigenous values are deeply rooted in the worship and respect for the land and the environment.

She intimately knows the history of indigenous peoples and she practices their philosophy and beliefs in everything that she does. Dr. Patricia is authentic. Residing on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation She is a proud First Nation representative and member of the indigenous community. She is passionate about who she is, the knowledge she possesses, and the groups and individuals she represents. She has embraced both the Cree culture and the western world view. Patricia has addressed numerous audiences across Canada and around the world in the fields of education, justice and health. She is in demand as an authority and an articulate representative of “what can be achieved” and “how to build on Indigenous values and culture” to succeed in this highly competitive world. She is highly respected across Alberta for her knowledge, abilities and her passion to help First Nation Communities become whole again. She works closely with many different reserves, provincial and government agencies, healthcare systems and communities as a consultant. She is relied on by these organizations for her expertise. Patricia is dynamic, educative, funny and always receives high praise for her presentations. Dr. Patricia Makokis is an expert on multiple topics, which include Aboriginal Rights, Canadian – Aboriginal relations, First Nations History in Canada, and Indigenous education.

Dr. James Makokis is well grounded in all matters relating to Indigenous cultures, traditions, values, and customs. He is also experienced with the delivery of medical and social services to First Nation communities in Canada. As you probably know, James is a leading role model within the medical and Indigenous community. His keynote address and/or workshop presentation can explore the status of Indigenous health services in Canada and the improvements that are required for long term sustainability. James also can provide information on his struggling years as a youth, and his resiliency to become who he is today. James’ presentations will inspire audience members to become better members of their community through understanding his story, and his experience inside and outside of the aboriginal community.

Dr. James will provide inspirational and practical advice on how he was able to achieve so much through his education, culture, spirituality, health, self-confidence, self-motivation, and overcoming adversity. James has overcome bullying in his prior years, is a proud member of the LGBTQ2 community and has faced off with many government leaders, and is at the forefront of a shift in government perspectives on Indigenous rights, healthcare, access, programming, housing, mental health, and social services. James is one of our most outstanding speakers and we are proud to represent him. He has a story like no other and speaks on multiple issues, it is sometimes hard for us to keep up with James!

Dr. James Makokis is a leader among the First Nation community and is a primary resource for the government and Alberta Health Service agencies. James would be able to do a keynote or workshop presentation, with plenty Q & A, to inspire audience members through his experiences, education and understanding of aboriginal issues for youth and the importance issues surrounding challenges faced through diversity in the classroom. In his earlier years’, his work was primarily focused on youth, and James still has a passion, and in his own words, “a responsibility” to help Indigenous Youth become all they can be, no matter what their situation. Dr. James Makokis is a very busy man, and we usually need 3 business days to hear back from him for his availability.

Janice Makokis is an active lawyer, consultant and Indigenous leader in Canada, like her brother James and mother Patricia. Janice has also Co-chaired the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC) at the United Nations on the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Janice is also an active leader within and outside of the aboriginal community. Janice is often called upon to help Indigenous leaders and communities as a consultant on legal and social issues that many communities and individuals face within and outside of the aboriginal community. Janice Makokis, the youngest of the Makokis family, is fresh from participating in legal matters and advocacy relating to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada.

Janice has also overcome many obstacles to arrive where she is today, and her drive and passion for real change within Canada has taken Janice on a path to become a leader, peaceful activist, mediator, teacher, consultant, and role model within and outside of her career which is focused as an advocate for aboriginal rights, education of the white population, social justice and acknowledgment for the past and current treatment of aboriginals today and represents real change for aboriginals and Canadians, that so many individuals and communities are seeking for. She also has worked with youth throughout her career and expresses the same passion and responsibility to aboriginal youth as her brother James.

Dr. Makokis can present a keynote and a workshop on the subject of Truth and Reconciliation as it relates to health, housing, education, mental health, access to health services, nutrition, drug abuse, addictions and family violence. As in every one of his presentations, Dr. James will explain the traditions and culture of Aboriginal roots and how they guide him daily in his practice and in his life.

James can address these topics alone or with his Mom, Patricia Makokis, Ed.D, or with his sister Janice Makokis, LLB, M.A, an Indigenous Governance consultant from Edmonton. Together they compose a formidable team to impress audiences everywhere.

Because James is a practicing Doctor, he needs considerable lead-time to present. Please keep this in mind when booking Dr. James Makokis.

Health, Nutrition & You

Health, Nutrition in First Nation’s Communities

Housing in Indigenous Communities

Mental Health

LGBTQ2 & You

Family Violence

Traditional Indigenous Medicine

Access to Healthcare on Reserves

Indigenous Youth

Health, Nutrition in First Nation’s Communities

Education in First Nation’s Communities

Housing in Indigenous Communities

Traditional Indigenous Medicine

LGBTQ2 & You

Access to Healthcare on Reserves

Canadian Aboriginal History

Communicating With First Nation Communities

James can address these topics alone or with his Mom, Patricia Makokis, Ed.D, or with his sister Janice Makokis, LLB, M.A, an Indigenous Governance consultant from Edmonton. Together they compose a formidable team to impress audiences everywhere.

We all have a lot to learn from Indigenous Peoples. Some of the values that we hold so dearly regarding Canada's respect for nature and the environment are found and sometimes founded in Indigenous culture and traditions. We also have much to learn from traditional Indigenous medicine.  The reverence of elders holds many truths and wisdom beyond belief.

Learn about how Indigenous culture helped James achieve extra-ordinary success.



James is two-spirited and a proud member of the LGBTQ2 community.

Learn about James' early years' and how he overcame bullying that afflicted him throughout his teenage years.  He surmounted many obstacles through his support system and his community. Not only succeeded but he excelled in education and his career as he is a respected leader in his community and an active Family Doctor. James also at the forefront of change as he and his family plays a strong role in human rights and equality advocacy First Nation's Communities. His example has already served to inspire many both within and outside First Nation Communities.

James was also discriminated against as a student studying to become a Medical Doctor. He suffered through the slurs, slights and name-calling for many years. He has learned practical ways to deal with all types of bullies, no matter how big or powerful they are.

It's a compelling story of triumph over defeat. Against all odds, James succeeded beyond everyone's expectations.  How did he do it? What was his inner source of strength and resilience? Let James tell you his story on how he developed himself into who he is now through his  determination, core value beliefs, mental performance and self-determination for success.

James is entrenched in Canadian Aboriginal history. He knows it well.  He lives it daily. He can present it to you and your group with pride and without pointing a finger at anyone that was responsible for colonial crimes, yet will teach you the history what actually happened in Canada with TRUTH being the theme of this presentation.

This presentation includes more than a straight history lesson. It contains pearls of wisdom about Indigenous values, culture, traditions, habits, customs and behaviours.

This presentation is useful to both the white and Indigenous community alike. How does the white person do business with the Indigenous community without offending or crossing a line of some sort? It's important, as we go forward, to take a good look at our past. It can guide us to accomplish more together, united and prosperous.

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