A Full Indigenous Perspective
Dr. James Makokis
Dr. James Makokis is a proud Cree from the Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. He is one of Canada’s most accomplished experts in a variety of fields, including those in and outside of the Indigenous culture. Few individuals can offer such a diverse and unique perspective on issues related to First Nation Communities, TRC Calls to Action, Health, Wellness, Medicine, Two Spirit, LGBTQ2, Indigenous Culture, History, Equality and Social Programming. His perspective is one that benefits all Canadians. Dr. James Makokis has maintained his cultural beliefs and spiritual practices in all areas of his life. Dr. Makokis’ strong connections to preventative health, spirituality, and Two-spirit perspective has helped him save lives within the LGBTQ2 and First Nation communities. He also leads one of North America’s most progressive and successful transgender focused medical practices. He is one of the few physicians in Canada who facilitates the wellness of Transgender people through supporting hormone replacement therapy.
Dr. James Makokis holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences, a Master of Health Science in Community Nutrition and a Doctorate in Medicine. He also received certification from the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program. Dr. Makokis is down to earth, genuine, empathetic, sincere, honest, and highly knowledgeable, giving him the ability to understand the different challenges that individuals and organizations face from multiple perspectives. He offers strategic advice for organizational and personal development. He is a leader and well-known expert within the Indigenous, LGBTQ2 and medical community. Dr. James Makokis has also had a wide range of unique experiences, from travelling alongside former Governor General Michaëlle Jean on a diplomatic mission to Brazil to working with Dr. Patch Adams in the Amazon Jungle. He also served as the Spokesperson for the National Aboriginal Health Organization’s Role Model Program.
Dr. James Makokis is an active volunteer, activist and consultant. He 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, Director of the Board of Indspire (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation), he revived and led the Two-Spirit Circle of Edmonton Society, and served in the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. Dr. Makokis is also the recipient of the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Special Youth Award. This is the highest formal recognition bestowed upon an individual from Indigenous communities. He and his partner, Anthony Johnson who is also Two Spirit and has a similar story to Dr. Makokis, were recent winners the 2019 Amazing Race Canada. They can present on multiple topics together and showed Two Spirit resilience, teamwork, and strength while showing the world new perspectives on LGBTQ2 and First Nation peoples.
As a doctor, national presenter, and proud member of the LGBTQ2 and First Nation community, Dr. James Makokis offers a truly unique perspective when audiences hear his story. His humorous presentations allow audiences to connect to genuine and authentic character. Every Canadian needs to hear his story in order to discover a meaningful role in the Reconciliation process. We are all very fortunate to be able to listen to Dr. James Makokis and his solutions for our country. He is one of Canada’s most unique experts for multiple organizations and institutions.
Dr. Patricia Makokis
Dr. Patricia Makokis, EdD, is married to Eugene Makokis and mother to adult children Janice and James, and kokum (grandma) to Atayoh Kan Asiniy (Spirit Rock). The Makokis’ reside on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. Pat. has been a front line teacher, a Vice Principal and a Principal. Most recently, she worked as the Director of Indigenous Programs in the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. She just decided to semi-retire and is now a private contractor. She and husband Eugene are in the their infancy as “snow birds,” just having returned to Canada from Yuma, AZ.
Pat has taught adults for the past 20 plus years, developing and teaching at the bachelor, master and doctorate level. She spent many years in the area of Indigenous post secondary, doing curriculum development and teaching courses in the area of leadership. She prides herself in being a servant leader and acknowledges the many Elders she has mentored with over the years in adult education. Foundational to her work is the positioning of Indigenous Knowledge alongside Western Knowledge and her work in building ally relationships.
This summer, Pat, along with other Indigenous leaders and allies will walk from Edmonton to Calgary (May 31-June 14, 2019). The purpose of the walk is to educate community members about the oral teachings of treaties and our collective relatedness and responsibilities as red, yellow, black and white families. She is the Executive Producer of Treaty Talk: Sharing the River of Life, and educational teaching tool about treaties.
Janice Makokis, the youngest of the Makokis family, is an acting lawyer and consultant that is fresh from participating in legal matters relating to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada. Janice has Co-Chaired the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC) at the United Nations on the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
She started her education by achieving a Bachelor of Arts the University of Alberta, graduating with First Class Honors in Native Studies (2005). She later went on to the University of Victoria achieving a Masters in Arts in Indigenous Governance (2010). Janice Makokis also attended the University of Ottawa (Faculty of Law), achieving a Bachelor of Laws (2010).
Before becoming a lawyer, Janice Makokis traveled extensively across Canada, including in the far North, researching the issues affecting indigenous people in Canada today. She continues to represent First Nation Communities by dedicating her work to implement strategies and policies to rebuild, instill and grow First Nation Communities within Canada and North America.
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. She has also overcome many obstacles to arrive where she is today. Her drive and passion for real change within Canada has taken Janice Makokis on a path to become a leader, peaceful activist, mediator, teacher, consultant, and role model within and outside of her career. She now focuses her career as an advocate for aboriginal rights, education of the white population, social justice and acknowledgment for the past and current treatment of aboriginals today.
Janice Makokis represents real change for aboriginals and Canadians, that so many individuals and communities are seeking for. She also has extensively worked with youth throughout her career and expresses the same passion and responsibility to aboriginal youth as her brother James.
Janice Makokis’ life work will leave your group with new understandings, perspectives and commitments towards the advancement of First Nation Peoples in Canada, today and for the future.
- Aboriginal | First Nation
- Community | Community Development
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Excellence | Success
- Government | Government Relations
- Health and Safety
- Health and Wellness
- Healthcare | Health Care
- Indigenous | First Nation
- Leadership | Leadership Development
- LGBTQ2 | Gender
- Mental Health | Trauma
- Overcoming Adversity | Adversity
- Performance | Productivity
- Professional Growth | Personal Growth
- Social Change | Human Rights
- Teamwork | Team Building
- Trust | Values
- Work Life Balance | Wellness
- Workplace Culture
- Youth | Youth Development