“When I was learning medicine, I always looked at it through a Cree lens and Cree world view” - Dr. James Makokis

James Makokis

Indigenous Rights, LGBTQ2, First Nation Health, First Nations Relations Expert

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 and holds a Masters of Health Science (M.H.Sc.) in Community Nutrition from the University of Toronto. Dr. James Makokis also holds 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. Outside of his upbringing and his education,  he had many noteworthy experiences 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.  He also completed a half-Ironman competition all while completing his Doctorate in Medicine Degree.

In keeping with this adventurous spirit, James Makokis 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. As a result of the support of his parents and community, he overcame these challenges to succeeded beyond society’s expectations. James Makokis 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 describing gender and sexual diversity in Indigenous Communities. More importantly recognizing the acceptance of LGBTQ2 peoples within part of Indigenous societies in contrast to western culture.  Dr. Makokis has a strong interest in addressing the inequities within the LGBTQ2S space. His clinical practice focuses on serving the needs of Transgender peoples. In fact, he is one of the few physicians in Canada who facilitates the wellness of Trans people as a result of 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. This is the highest formal recognition bestowed upon individual from Indigenous communities.

As a doctor, national presenter, and proud member of the LGBTQ2S and First Nation community, Dr. James Makokis offers a truly unique perspective when audiences hear his story. Not only are his stories humourous and insightful, they highlight the high caliber of his character and celebrate triumph over adversity. Above all, using his education and experiences to enlighten us on health access and health treatment strategies for Aboriginals in Canada.

Few individuals can offer such a diverse and rich perspective on personal struggle. He is passionate to educate others on many issues including; inequality, indigenous values, colonialism, community segregation and community building. His perspective is one that benefits all Canadians. His story is compelling. James tells it like it is and does not shy away from the truth. He is down to earth, honest, factual and most qualified to share his unique indigenous perspective with Canadians. As a result, James can identify the problematic history, current state and futures of First Nation groups in Canada. He will deliver a messages of where we were, how we got here and where we need to go as a country.

Above all, We are lucky to be able to listen to his stories, experiences, vision, advice and his unique perspective. Because James is a practicing Doctor, please keep in mind that he needs considerable lead-time to present before your event.

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.

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

Transgender Therapy

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.

Share On:

Language Spoken


Travels From

Edmonton, Alberta

Safe Caring Schools for Two Spirit Youth

The impact of colonization has been long lasting; suppressing Two Spirit traditions and roles and leaving generations of Two Spirit people suffering from multiple layers of discrimination and stigma. Two Spirit youth are particularly at risk. Some find themselves shut out of community gatherings; disowned or ostracized from their families and communities. Schools are no strangers to issues of victimization toward Two Spirit students, who are often targeted and maltreated as members of both a sexual and visible minority. Two Spirit youth may feel unsafe and unwelcome at school thus teachers and school administrators can play an invaluable role in addressing and alleviating some of these issues. As such, this resource hopes to provide a brief but informative window into the challenges that many Two Spirit students face within educational settings as well as contribute practical suggestions that teachers can use to begin addressing these multi layered issues.

Practicing 'The Good Way of Life' from the Hospital Bed to Mother Earth - Determinants of Indigenous Peoples' Health

The health disparities affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada might well be understood as a national epidemic. Although progress has been made in the last decade towards both understanding and ameliorating Indigenous health inequalities, very little research or writing has expanded a social determinants of health framework to account for the unique histories and present realities of Indigenous peoples in this country. This timely edited collection addresses this significant knowledge gap, exploring the ways that multiple health determinants beyond the social--from colonialism to geography, from economy to biology--converge to impact the health status of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Check Availablity

Related Speakers

Have Question? Need Suggestions? Want Help?

Contact Us Any Time

 1 866 420 3338


Follow Us On Social Media

Get in Touch

SBC-Home Suite 158 - 16815
     88 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
     T5R 5Y7.

SBC-Msg info@speakerscanada.com

SBC-Call  1.866.420.3338

Contact Speakers Bureau of Canada

Like Us On:        

Speakers Bureau of Canada © 2019. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Site Map

Speakers Bureau of Canada Inc BBB Business Review

Design & Developed By : Corelogics