Amazing Two Spirit Couple

Amazing Two Spirit Couple

Edmonton, Alberta
Indigenous & LGBTQ2S Experts | Amazing Two Spirit Couple | Winners of the Amazing Race Canada
Indigenous & LGBTQ2s+ advocates, The Amazing Two Spirit Couple, "Team Ahkameyimok" and winners of the Amazing Race Canada Season 7. Together, they are mission to raise awareness to create equal access for LGBTQ2S+ & Indigenous populations. Their ability to blend their personal experiences with high-level expertise creates new foundations of understanding for the acceptance of individuals while empowering individuals to give them tools and strategies for how they can be a part of the solution through allyship and unity. In 2019, Dr. James Makokis competed alongside his husband Anthony Johnson as "Team Ahkameyimok" to shatter stereotypes and win the Amazing Race Canada, becoming the first two-spirit, Indigenous, married couple in the world to do so.
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AMAZING TWO SPIRIT COUPLE

The Amazing Two Sprit Couple, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis are two of Turtle Islands’ most powerful voices in advocacy for equity, equality & inclusivity for LGBTQ2S+ & Indigenous populations. Most well known for their appearance and victory on The Amazing Race Season 7, the couple continues their work in the community and in service to share their message across the nation.

After travelling more than 20,000 kilometres across 6 provinces, 1 territory, and 14 cities, Dr. James Makokis (Cree) and Anthony Johnson (Diné) are the first Indigenous, Two-Spirit couple to shatter stereotypes to win Amazing Race Canada, hence known as The Amazing two Spirit Couple – Team Ahkameyimok. Not without its challenges during the season, they were able to continuously work together to shatter stereotypes, keep resilient and work together to stay in the race and pass each stage of the race. The Amazing Two Spirit Couple turned out to be an unstoppable force by the end of the season which eventually led them to become winners of the Amazing Race Canada Season 7. The Amazing Race is not an easy challenge to win, as the couple surpassed Canadian Olympic Athletes and some fierce competitors during the season.

The Amazing Two Spirit Couple’s story goes much further than their appearance and victory, on the Amazing Race Canada. The Amazing Two Spirit Couple used the media coverage and platform to confront stereotypes, homophobia, ignorance, and racism, and raise awareness of issues faced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada, the United States and around the World. Makokis and Johnson Indigenized the race starting from their team’s name, Team Ahkameyimok (in Cree: “Don’t give up, keep going, use whatever you have to get something done.”) Their team motto was also Ahkameyimok! A phrase their elders use to encourage others to do their best and keep going no matter what the challenge or how difficult of a situation one is faced with. “Ahkameyimok!” was not only true to their performance on the Amazing Race, but it was something true to both of their personal stories before they met each other. The Amazing Two Spirit Couple both grew up living in segregated First Nation communities that were deprived of access to social programming, equal education, and limited economic opportunities.

The famous Amazing Couple both have a unique experience as identifying as Two-Spirit, being advocates for a wide variety of social and community programs and being leaders in and outside of their communities. Two-Spirit, an umbrella term that Indigenous people use to describe people in their communities who are gender-nonconforming, gives them both the ability to access ‘male and female’ traits to accomplish anything they need to. As both of them navigated challenges as Two-Spirit at an early age, they both felt segregation and bullying from their own community members, and both had to struggle every day to find and be themselves while learning to cope with the constant negative reinforcement and pressure for who they were. These were the first times they as individuals had to tap into “Ahkameyimok” every single day. Their personal struggles and relationships were a constant reinforcement of being outed as being “different” while coping with layers of discrimination, all sorts of bullies and being excluded from peer groups and everyday social interactions.

Dr. James Makokis is a Nehiyô (Neh-hee-yo) Two-Spirit doctor from the Onihcikiskapowinihk (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) in Treaty Number Six Territory. He practices Family Medicine in Kinokamasihk (Kih-no-kum-a-sick) Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta and has a transgender health-focused practice in South Edmonton. He was the inaugural Medical Director at Shkaabe Makwa (Shkaa-bay Muh-kwa) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto – the first Indigenous health centre designed to lead systems’ transformation in Indigenous mental health across the country.  He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. In 2020 Dr. Makokis was named one of the 30 most powerful physicians in the country by The Medical Post but believes power is a concept that should be shared amongst others.  Dr. Makokis is a regular guest on the Marilyn Denis show and a commentator in the media. Dr. Makokis is enthusiastic about revitalizing the Nehiyô medical system, educating people about Treaty, and working toward the vision of Turtle Island, which is to live together in peace and friendship.

Anthony Johnson, a self-proclaimed spiritual nomad, is an artist, poet, photographer, cultural documentarian, community leader and strategic analyst whose mission in life is to explore the beauty of the Earth and its inhabitants. A proud Two-Spirt warrior from Navajo Nation, he has been on a mission to discover purpose and reconnect himself and others through traditional knowledge and healing. He has lived in many cities across Turtle Island and even had a short stint in Shanghai, China where he went as an exchange student to achieve his Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology.  He later went to Harvard University in 2009 and received his Bachelor of Economics. With a vast amount of experience and knowledge, Anthony has contributed to play a major role in working with startups that drive social impact within the tech industry, and fashion world as well as mentoring Two-Spirit Youth along his journey. His move to Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton, Alberta marked the beginning of the newest chapter in his life when he wed his husband, Dr. James Makokis while running the BMO Harris Vancouver Marathon in 2017. Anthony currently works alongside Dr. James Makokis as a Project Coordinator in Kehewin Cree Nation where he is helping to revitalize Traditional Cree birthing practices, medicines, and ceremonies as they relate to the Cree 7 Stages of Life philosophy. He is an aspiring filmmaker who believes in the power of stories to bring healing.

Videos

Podcasts

Play

Marilyn Denis Does a Podcast

Marilyn Denis

Anthony Johnson & Dr. James Makokis “Every Child Matters
Play

Cultural Survivor

Telling Our Our Own Stories - Amazing Race Winners Anthony Johnson And Dr. James Makokis

Telling Our Our Own Stories - Amazing Race Winners Anthony Johnson And Dr. James Makokis
Play

Sickboy

Sickboy

Beyond the Social: Author Interviews - Chapter 19 with James and Patricia Makokis

Amazing Two Spirit Couple Topic Presentations

uniting allies: building bridges for the future

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson share an inspirational and powerful presentation aimed at fostering understanding and unity for a brighter future. With a focus on building bridges and cultivating allyship, the couple sheds light on the unique challenges faced by Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. They bring forth new awareness and insights into the experiences of Indigenous populations, highlighting the systemic oppression, lack of resources, and societal barriers that have hindered their progress.

    Through their own personal journeys and advocacy work, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson share firsthand experiences from their communities and interactions with Western society. By offering a glimpse into the daily challenges and realities faced by Indigenous peoples, they strive to create a deeper understanding among their audience.

    By fostering awareness and empathy, the couple aims to inspire individuals and organizations to take action and become allies in the pursuit of positive change. They emphasize the importance of collective responsibility and offer practical insights on how each person can contribute to the solutions urgently needed to improve outcomes for Indigenous communities.

    With their authentic storytelling, the couple invites participants to embark on a transformative journey of learning, compassion, and engagement. They emphasize the power of unity, bridging cultural divides, and working collaboratively towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

    In this enlightening presentation, attendees will be equipped with a renewed sense of purpose and the tools to actively support Indigenous communities. Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson’s message resonates deeply, inspiring individuals and organizations to come together, build bridges of understanding, and work towards a future where Indigenous voices are heard, respected, and empowered.

two spirit warriors

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Growing up in segregated communities and both being Two-Spirit, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis have been become two of Canada’s leading advocates for Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ Peoples. Both having similar stories in growing up in segregated communities and facing all types of discrimination for their race, gender, and sexuality, they were forced to overcome challenging situations with peer groups, institutions and within themselves. The couple learned to master impartial situations and to use them as motivation for his success and how to use forgiveness, compassion and understanding overcoming those who stood in their way.

    Demonstrated on the Amazing Race, the couple will share the strategies developed through their personal experiences in overcoming obstacles, breaking down stereotypes, staying true to their roots, creating safe spaces to becoming who they are today. Blending their personal journeys with their education, their story on the show and the advocacy of their people. Learn the mindsets and tools they developed for themselves in managing systematic racism, oppression, and discrimination. Understand the mindset of a 21st Century Warrior in the face of all obstacles and how to maintain a positive mindset and keep focused on your purpose.

    The couple reveals how they were able to blend the right combination of traditional values, cultural practices, mental performance, leadership, transformation, spirituality, willpower, empathy, compassion, resilience, safe spaces, family & community support systems to share what it takes to succeed at anything we put our minds to. Find out the important roles and responsibilities we all have to shape and support others through a lifelong commitment to changing the outcomes for ourselves, others, and society. Internalize a new foundation of compassion and enlightenment for unity, togetherness and what the warriors required to become allies.

warriors of unity: embracing the two-spirit strength

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis, two inspirational advocates for Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ communities, share their empowering journey as Two-Spirit warriors. Growing up in segregated communities and facing discrimination based on race, gender, and sexuality, they overcame formidable challenges with resilience, determination, and a deep connection to their cultural heritage.

    In this captivating presentation, the couple blends personal experiences, educational insights, and the transformative power of their appearance on the Amazing Race to inspire and uplift. They unveil the strategies they developed to overcome obstacles, break down stereotypes, and carve out safe spaces for themselves and their communities. By embracing traditional values, cultural practices, and the power of mental fortitude, Anthony and James demonstrate the mindset required to navigate systemic racism, oppression, and discrimination.

    Drawing on their journey as 21st-century warriors, the couple shares practical tools for maintaining a positive mindset, staying focused on one’s purpose, and fostering personal growth. Through their story, attendees will learn the importance of resilience, empathy, and community support in overcoming adversity. They will also discover their own roles and responsibilities in shaping a more inclusive and compassionate society.

    With a foundation of compassion and enlightenment, The Amazing Two-Spirt Couple inspires unity, togetherness, and allyship. Their transformative message invites participants to embrace their inner warrior, challenge societal norms, and work towards positive change for themselves and others. By the end of this enlightening presentation, attendees will be empowered to become allies, champions of inclusivity, and advocates for unity and acceptance.

embracing two-spirit diversity: challenging bias and fostering inclusion

  • Keynote Presentation
  • The Amazing Two-Spirit Couple shares a transformative journey on their personal experiences growing up as Two-Spirit individuals in a segregated and marginalized community. With their unique perspectives and deep understanding of the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, they shed light on the challenges faced by LGBTQ2S+ and Indigenous individuals in confronting discrimination and bias.

    In this powerful presentation, Anthony and James draw from their own lived experiences, education, and ongoing work to help participants identify and confront their unconscious biases. They provide a safe and inclusive space for attendees to explore how their internal biases impact their perceptions, interactions, and behaviours toward others. By raising awareness and fostering self-reflection, the couple empowers individuals to break down stereotypes and dismantle the stigma associated with gender and sexual diversity.

    Through their personal stories and insights, Anthony and James offer practical strategies to foster inclusivity and promote diversity within organizations and communities. They emphasize the importance of creating environments where all individuals feel valued, respected, and embraced for who they are. By challenging biases and promoting understanding, participants will learn how to maximize the potential of individuals by creating opportunities and removing barriers.

    With their commitment to changing outcomes for marginalized populations, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis provide actionable advice for individuals and organizations to implement inclusive strategies and make diversity a strategic priority. Their message inspires compassion, empathy, and collective responsibility to build a society where all individuals can thrive and be celebrated for their unique identities.

two-spirit empowerment: embracing gender and sexual diversity

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this empowering presentation, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis, an incredible Two-Spirit couple, come together to celebrate and empower individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, while promoting a deeper understanding of gender and sexual diversity. Drawing from their personal experiences as a couple, they share their unique journey of self-discovery, acceptance, and love.

    Anthony and Dr. Makokis shed light on the significance of Two-Spirit identities within Indigenous cultures and emphasize the importance of embracing and honouring diverse gender and sexual expressions. They address the challenges faced by Two-Spirit individuals, including the intersections of discrimination, prejudice, and cultural erasure, and how they have navigated these obstacles together as a couple.

    With authenticity and passion, Anthony and Dr. Makokis encourage participants to create safe and inclusive spaces that celebrate all gender and sexual identities. They share practical strategies for fostering acceptance, understanding, and support within families, communities, and organizations. Through personal stories, insights, and meaningful discussions, they inspire individuals to embrace their true selves, challenge societal norms, and be proud allies in the journey toward equality and empowerment.

    Attendees will gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty of gender and sexual diversity. They will be inspired to create positive change within their own lives and communities, fostering a culture of inclusivity, acceptance, and love. Anthony and Dr. Makokis’s powerful message of Two-Spirit empowerment serves as a beacon of hope and unity, guiding us toward a future where all individuals are celebrated and embraced for who they truly are.

stand up with pride: navigating diverse viewpoints with compassion and respect

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Taking a stance and advocating for meaningful change can be a challenging endeavour, filled with potential criticism and conflict. In a world that values authenticity and compassion, it is essential to navigate these situations with dignity and empathy. Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson, known as “Team Ahkameyimok,” embody the power of authentic leadership and offer valuable insights on how to take a stance while maintaining compassion and understanding.

    Drawing from their remarkable journey on The Amazing Race Canada and their tireless commitment to equality for First Nation and LGBTQ2S+ communities, Dr. Makokis and Anthony provide practical solutions for navigating challenges through a compassionate lens. They share their personal experiences and lessons learned, empowering individuals to embrace their authenticity and confidently address controversy and conflict.

    By emphasizing unity and investing in knowledge, The Amazing Two-Spirit Couple encourages individuals to understand the perspectives of others in order to engage in respectful and productive conversations without being offended. They demonstrate the importance of self-reflection, continuous education, and humility in order to manage oneself and relate to others with empathy and compassion.

    In this empowering presentation, participants will learn how to develop the mindset and skills needed to navigate conflicts while staying true to their values. Dr. Makokis and Anthony provide strategies for self-awareness, effective communication, and fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect in the workplace through an inclusive lens. Through their guidance, attendees will gain the tools to approach challenging conversations with dignity, build bridges of understanding, and make a positive impact in their personal and professional lives.

    Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson take you on a transformative journey of authenticity, compassion, and advocacy so that individuals can better understand how and when to stand up, and how to educate others on your perspective without impacting you or your peers. By embracing these principles, individuals can create positive change within themselves, their teams, and their communities.

embracing authentic leadership: fostering equality & equitable environments

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this compelling presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson, known as “Team Ahkameyimok,” share their transformative journey as messengers from their ancestors, dedicated to making the world a better place for First Nation and LGBTQ2S+ communities. Drawing from their unique experiences and deep connections to their cultural heritage, they bring forth powerful insights on embracing authentic leadership and fostering equality.

    As leaders and organizations navigate the complexities of diversity, inclusion, and social movements, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson provide invaluable guidance on remaining true to oneself while effectively communicating and problem-solving with empathy. They emphasize the importance of authenticity in leadership, showing how embracing one’s true self can inspire positive change and create inclusive environments where everyone can thrive.

    With a focus on equality in the community and an equitable environment, the couple shares stories, teachings, and practical strategies for promoting understanding, empathy, and respect. They address the unique challenges faced by these communities and shed light on the importance of intersectionality in the pursuit of equality.

    Through their dynamic presentation style and engaging storytelling, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson inspire individuals to embrace their authentic selves, challenge societal norms, and become advocates for positive change. They provide tangible tools and actionable insights that empower leaders and individuals to foster inclusivity, celebrate diversity, and create a more equitable world for all.

building bridges of understanding: fostering reconciliation and allyship

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson, the incredible Two-Spirit couple, come together to shed light on the importance of building bridges of understanding for fostering reconciliation and allyship. Drawing from their diverse experiences and perspectives, they navigate the complexities of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and the journey towards healing and unity.

    Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson delve into the historical context of colonization, addressing the deep-rooted impacts of systemic oppression and the ongoing challenges faced by Indigenous communities. They share personal stories of resilience, triumph, and cultural reclamation, highlighting the power of allyship in creating positive change.

    Through open and honest conversations, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson challenge participants to examine their own biases, confront stereotypes, and actively work towards dismantling barriers that perpetuate inequality and injustice. They provide practical strategies and tools for fostering meaningful connections, promoting cultural understanding, and becoming effective allies with Indigenous peoples.

    With warmth, compassion, and a shared vision for a more inclusive society, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson inspire individuals to embrace their roles as agents of change. They encourage participants to actively engage in the process of reconciliation, standing in solidarity with Indigenous communities and uplifting their voices.

    In this empowering presentation, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of building bridges of understanding, fostering reconciliation, and becoming true allies. Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson’s powerful message serves as a call to action, inviting individuals to join the journey toward healing, unity, and a future built on mutual respect, cultural celebration, and social justice.

nurturing mental health and resilience: embracing self-care

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this enlightening presentation, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis come together to delve into the crucial topic of mental health and resilience. Drawing on their unique perspectives and experiences, they offer valuable insights and practical strategies to promote well-being and resilience for individuals from diverse backgrounds.

    Anthony shares his personal journey, highlighting the importance of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-care in fostering mental well-being. With authenticity and vulnerability, he speaks to the challenges he faced and the transformative power of embracing his own mental health journey. His story serves as an inspiration for individuals striving to navigate their own mental health challenges and find strength in their unique identities.

    Dr. Makokis, with his expertise as a doctor and advocate, provides evidence-based strategies and tools for nurturing mental health and building resilience. He explores the impact of societal pressures, discrimination, and systemic barriers on mental well-being and emphasizes the importance of self-compassion, self-care practices, and seeking appropriate support systems. Dr. Makokis incorporates Indigenous wisdom and cultural practices, highlighting their relevance and effectiveness in promoting mental health.

    Together, Anthony and Dr. Makokis create a safe and inclusive space for participants to explore their own mental health journeys and discover empowering approaches to well-being. Through engaging storytelling, practical exercises, and expert guidance, they inspire individuals to prioritize their mental health, embrace diversity, and cultivate resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

    By the end of this impactful presentation, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of mental health, discover personalized self-care strategies, and feel empowered to take proactive steps toward their own well-being. Anthony and Dr. Makokis’s combined insights and compassionate approach will leave a lasting impact, fostering a culture of understanding, empathy, and support for mental health in all its forms.

uncovering the truth: reconcili-action

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this enlightening presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson delve into the painful history and harsh realities of colonialism in Canada and its profound impact on First Nation communities and Indigenous peoples. With a focus on uncovering the truth, they shed light on how early settlers systematically stripped Indigenous peoples of their values, traditions, languages, and customs, leading to long-lasting inequalities and mistreatment.

    Through a powerful blend of facts, personal stories, and Indigenous teachings, the couple brings awareness to the historical context of colonialism and its ongoing effects. They emphasize the urgent need for reconciliation and provide practical insights on how individuals, communities, councils, industries, and organizations can actively support the 94 Calls to Action put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

    Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson address the unique challenges faced by First Nation communities and outline strategies for dismantling the colonial structures that continue to perpetuate inequality. They emphasize the importance of reclaiming Indigenous roots, honouring Indigenous knowledge and traditions, and fostering a united front for all Canadians to stand up against the systemic exclusion of Indigenous communities from the Canadian system.

    Tailored for each audience and organization, this presentation addresses specific TRC Calls to Action relevant to each audience, whether it be community leaders, industry professionals, or organizational representatives. By examining the challenges Indigenous Peoples face and offering actionable steps towards reconciliation, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson inspire individuals to be part of the solution and contribute to the positive transformation of our society, one Call to Action at a time.

from truth to reconcili-action: a brief overview of the trc commission for engaging with first nations communities

  • Keynote Presentation
  • The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a direct result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which issued a report in 2015 outlining its findings after thousands of interviews with survivors of Canada’s Indian Residential School System. A section of the report outlines 94 Calls to Action that serve as a starting point for organizations, individuals and communities to use as a guideline for action as we move forward to address the historic and ongoing injustices of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit.

    The ultimate aim of these recommendations is to create meaningful Allyship as Indigenous Peoples seek to restore their governance systems, legal orders, and customs. It’s a mouthful, we know. It can all be so confusing. What can you do to help? In this enlightening presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson, renowned advocates and winners of The Amazing Race Canada, guide participants through a transformative journey of understanding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and provide invaluable insights into best practices for engaging with First Nations communities.

    Through engaging storytelling and personal anecdotes, Dr. Makokis and Anthony highlight the historical context that led to the establishment of the TRC and its significance in Canada’s reconciliation process. Participants gain a deeper understanding of the Treaty-based relationship between First Nations and the Crown and the importance of the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action as a catalyst for positive change. By exploring case studies of individuals, organizations, and companies that have successfully implemented the Calls to Action, Dr. Makokis and Anthony showcase the transformative power of taking action and provide practical examples for participants to apply in their own unique contexts. They inspire attendees to move beyond performative allyship and embrace a grassroots perspective, fostering meaningful relationships and impact within First Nations communities.

    Participants learn about the ongoing threats faced by Indigenous Peoples and the negative impacts of colonialism, the Indian Act, and the Doctrine of Discovery. Dr. Makokis and Anthony emphasize the urgent need for individuals and organizations to adhere to specific Calls to Action and fulfill their roles and responsibilities in supporting Indigenous rights, languages, traditions, and societies. With a focus on promoting cultural understanding and inclusivity, Dr. Makokis and Anthony share best practices for engaging with First Nations communities. They provide practical guidance for building meaningful relationships, moving toward reconciliation, and dismantling barriers that perpetuate systemic oppression.

    Through their appearance on The Amazing Race Canada, Dr. Makokis and Anthony demonstrate the power of using platforms to engage in public dialogue and educate hundreds of organizations and corporations on treaty relationships, Allyship, and the realities of Indigenous life. They inspire participants to embrace their own personal responsibility in creating change and highlight the importance of unity and togetherness in fostering a more inclusive, equitable, and reconciled society.

    By the end of this presentation, participants will have a deeper understanding of the TRC, the responsibilities the 94 calls to action have for individuals and organizations and its impact on Indigenous communities. Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson’s message empowers attendees to become agents of change, contributing to a future where equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism thrive, and communities can heal and be restored through the TRC 94 calls to action.

wisdom from the ancestors: embracing indigenous values for success

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this inspiring joint presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson come together to share their profound insights on how Indigenous values and traditions can guide us toward personal and collective success. Drawing from their diverse Indigenous backgrounds and cultural teachings, they illuminate the wisdom embedded within Indigenous cultures that can help us navigate the challenges of the modern world.

    Deeply rooted in their respective heritages, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson have been guided by elders, ceremonial leaders, and community mentors who have imparted invaluable knowledge and understanding. They bring forth teachings on sacred sites, animal migration patterns, the interconnectedness of land, water, and the cosmos, and the principles of Indigenous health, traditional medicines, ceremonies, natural law, and governance.

    Through their shared experiences, Dr. Makokis and Anthony emphasize the importance of Indigenous culture and spirituality in shaping their personal journeys and pursuit of success. They demonstrate how Indigenous values have enabled them to forge strong relationships, nurture their connection with the Earth and the Creator, and advocate for oppressed communities.

    By exploring the ancestral wisdom that spans hundreds of years before and during colonialism, they reveal the inherent solutions to the world’s pressing problems that align with Indigenous values and cultural practices. They highlight the deep connection between personal growth, meaningful relationships, and positive societal change, inviting participants to reflect on their own paths and the potential for transformation.

    Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson share the principles of Indigenous knowledge as a guiding light to discover one’s purpose and connect with the human and spiritual self. They showcase how these teachings have empowered them to achieve extraordinary success and offer practical insights that can be applied in everyday life.

    Together, they emphasize the importance of incorporating an Indigenous worldview and approach to living and being. Through their joint presentation, they inspire individuals to embrace the values of unity, respect, interconnectedness, and reverence for the natural world. They encourage participants to incorporate Indigenous teachings into their personal and professional lives, fostering a sense of purpose, well-being, and positive impact.

    Participants will gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous knowledge, cultural practices, and their relevance in navigating the challenges of the modern world. Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson’s shared wisdom and experiences provide a powerful foundation for personal growth, community building, and creating a better future for all.

opening doors to inclusive education: empowering teachers and students

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this empowering presentation, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis share their personal experiences and insights on the critical role of education in shaping lives and opening doors of opportunity. Through their unique educational journeys, they have encountered various barriers and discriminatory practices but also encountered teachers who played a pivotal role in their success.

    With a strategic approach, the couple provides practical insights and actionable strategies for teachers and educators to create inclusive and supportive environments for all students. They shed light on the importance of understanding diverse student populations, addressing unconscious biases, and fostering an inclusive classroom culture that values diversity and promotes equity.

    Drawing from their own experiences, Anthony and Dr. Makokis emphasize the transformative impact teachers can have on students’ lives. They highlight the power of individual teachers in shaping the outcomes and futures of their students and encourage educators to recognize their roles as advocates and allies for marginalized and underrepresented students.

    This presentation serves as a call to action for educators to reflect on their practices, challenge existing norms, and actively work towards creating an inclusive education system that values every student. By sharing practical strategies and inspiring stories, Anthony and Dr. Makokis empower educators to embrace their roles as agents of change and contribute to a more equitable and inclusive educational landscape.

reclaiming indigenous knowledge and teachings in the education system

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this eye-opening presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson bring attention to the harsh realities faced by Indigenous communities in the education system and advocate for the urgent need to Re-Indiginize education. They shine a light on the alarming statistics and systemic barriers that hinder the educational success of Indigenous students, including low completion rates, overrepresentation in the justice system, and high suicide rates among youth.

    Drawing from their personal experiences and deep-rooted connections within Indigenous communities, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson share the profound impact of colonialism on Indigenous education and the loss of cultural identity and knowledge. They emphasize the importance of reclaiming Indigenous teachings, languages, and traditions to foster a sense of pride, belonging, and empowerment among Indigenous students.

    Through their own educational journeys and collaborations with elders, community leaders, and educators, they provide practical insights on how to create inclusive and culturally responsive learning environments that honour Indigenous knowledge systems. They stress the critical roles that community leaders, governments, and educators play in ensuring equitable access to quality education for Indigenous populations.

    Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson educate our educators on the significance of incorporating Indigenous perspectives, histories, and teachings into the curriculum. They advocate for ongoing professional development, support, and collaboration to enhance educators’ cultural competency and their ability to authentically engage with Indigenous students.

    By confronting the challenges head-on and discussing the need for systemic change, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson inspire educators to become catalysts for transformation within the education system. Their presentation ignites a call to action, urging educators to join the movement of Re-Indiginizing education and working towards a future where Indigenous students can thrive academically, culturally, and personally.

education for community restoration: empowering youth leadership

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this empowering presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson highlight the transformative power of education in restoring and revitalizing First Nation communities. They emphasize the critical role that the next generation of Indigenous youth plays in serving as leaders and change-makers for their communities, ancestors, elders, and peers.

    Education is not just about individual achievement; it is a pathway to community restoration and empowerment. Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson share their personal stories and experiences to inspire and motivate youth to see education as a tool for positive change. They emphasize the responsibility and the immense potential that young individuals have to make a difference in their communities.

    Through education, youth can gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to address the challenges faced by their communities and to honour the wisdom of their ancestors and elders. Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson encourage youth to embrace their cultural heritage, to seek out educational opportunities that align with their passions and aspirations, and become advocates for positive change.

    They also stress the importance of leadership development and fostering a sense of responsibility toward community service. By taking an active role in community restoration, youth can contribute to the preservation of their traditions, languages, and cultural practices.
    Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson provide guidance on how youth can navigate educational pathways, overcome obstacles, and access resources and support systems. They highlight the significance of collaboration, mentorship, and embracing Indigenous knowledge and teachings in the pursuit of education.

    Through their powerful message, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson inspire youth to recognize their potential as future leaders and agents of change within their communities. They encourage young individuals to embrace the opportunities that education presents and to embrace their role in restoring and strengthening First Nation communities for generations to come.

reclaiming roots: community empowerment, healing, and strategic partnerships

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this thought-provoking presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson delve into the vital process of reclaiming Indigenous culture and heritage. They shed light on the lasting impacts of systematic oppression, discrimination, and colonialism that have marginalized Indigenous populations on Turtle Island. With a passionate commitment to supporting Indigenous communities, the couple shares insights on how to navigate a path towards healing, self-governance, and strategic partnerships.

    Recognizing the generational trauma and challenges faced by Indigenous peoples, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson emphasize the importance of community programs and initiatives that empower individuals and foster a sense of pride in their cultural heritage. They explore the role of traditional teachings, ceremonies, and practices in reclaiming Indigenous values and identities.

    Drawing from their experiences working with diverse First Nation communities, the couple offers practical strategies for building effective community programs that address the social, economic, and mental health needs of Indigenous populations. They highlight the significance of family support, social advocacy, and compassionate care as essential elements in the healing process.

    Additionally, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson provide insights on how to establish strategic partnerships with non-Indigenous groups and organizations. They discuss the importance of rebuilding trust, fostering understanding, and creating collaborative initiatives that directly impact the outcomes and determinants of Indigenous populations.

    Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson exemplify the power of reclaiming Indigenous roots and the positive impact it can have on individuals, families, and communities. They inspire participants to take ownership of their cultural heritage, to advocate for self-governance, and to forge meaningful partnerships that contribute to the restoration and empowerment of Indigenous peoples.

    By the end of this enlightening presentation, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by Indigenous communities, as well as practical strategies and inspiration to foster healing, community empowerment, and effective collaborations for positive change.

resilience and renewal: navigating challenges in first nation communities

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this deeply transformative presentation, Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson extend a compassionate and supportive hand to First Nation communities facing crisis and seeking a path to healing. With utmost sensitivity and understanding, they shed light on the complex challenges that have led to the current state of crisis a community may be facing, while offering hope, resilience, and practical strategies for renewal and restoration.

    Acknowledging the profound impacts of historical and intergenerational trauma, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson provide a safe and inclusive space for community members to explore the root causes of their struggles. They navigate the effects of colonization, socio-economic disparities, and the erosion of cultural identity, understanding that these factors have contributed to the crisis at hand.

    Through their own personal stories and experiences working closely with First Nation communities across Turtle Island,, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson offer a beacon of hope and inspiration. They share the power of resilience, highlighting the strength and resilience that lies within every individual and community. They guide participants on a journey of reclaiming cultural heritage, rebuilding community connections, and fostering collective healing.

    This presentation emphasizes the importance of culturally sensitive approaches to social programming and healing practices. Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson provide insights into community-driven initiatives, traditional healing circles, and the revitalization of cultural practices that promote connection, resilience, and well-being. They showcase successful case studies and models that have achieved positive outcomes in addressing addiction, mental health, and generational trauma within First Nation communities.

    As agents of change and advocates for the revitalization of First Nation communities, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson empower community leaders and decision-makers. They provide practical strategies for fostering community engagement, building partnerships with government and non-profit organizations, and leveraging available resources to enhance access to healthcare, education, and social support.

    Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson hold space for meaningful dialogue, encouraging community members to come together as one voice, united in their shared vision for a brighter future. By equipping participants with the tools and inspiration needed to effect positive change, they instill a sense of hope and empowerment within each individual and the community as a whole.

    This presentation is highly customized to shed light for participants to gain a deeper understanding of the unique challenges they are facing in their community. Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson will equip community leaders and decision makers with practical tools and inspiration to foster healing, address social issues, and promote positive change within these vital and resilient communities.

celebrating identity: strategies for two-spirit youth and community leaders

  • Keynote Presentation
  • In this intimate and empowering presentation, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis provide a safe space for intimate conversations and offer practical strategies for supporting Two-Spirit youth. With their unique experiences as an Amazing Two-Spirit Couple, they bring insights and guidance to parents, program leaders, and community members on creating inclusive environments and promoting the well-being of Two-Spirit individuals.

    The presentation begins by exploring the historical and cultural significance of Two-Spirit identities within Indigenous communities. Anthony and James shed light on the rich traditions and roles historically held by Two-Spirit individuals, emphasizing the importance of understanding, and reclaiming this heritage.

    They delve into the challenges faced by Two-Spirit youth, including discrimination, mental health concerns, and the impact of societal expectations. Through personal stories and shared experiences, Anthony and James provide guidance on building resilience, promoting self-love, and fostering a positive sense of identity.

    The presentation offers strategies for parents and caregivers to support their Two-Spirit children, emphasizing the importance of open communication, active listening, and acceptance. Anthony and James provide insights on navigating difficult conversations, addressing misconceptions, and promoting a safe and nurturing home environment.

    For program leaders and community members, the presentation offers practical tools for creating inclusive spaces and developing programs that meet the unique needs of Two-Spirit youth. Anthony and James share examples of successful initiatives and highlight the power of mentorship, cultural education, and community support networks.

    Importantly, the presentation encourages community leaders to examine their own biases and assumptions, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by Two-Spirit individuals. Anthony and James provide guidance on promoting cultural acceptance, dismantling barriers, and developing policies that protect and uplift the Two-Spirit community.

    Through their compassionate and empowering approach, Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis inspire intimate conversations and provide strategies to nurture the well-being of Two-Spirit youth. Their presentation serves as a catalyst for positive change, fostering inclusive communities where every individual can embrace their authentic selves and thrive.

uniting conversations

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Explore the realms of identity, love, resilience, and acceptance with a unique and inspiring couple in “Unity in Diversity: A Guided Conversation with the Inspirational Two-Spirit Couple”. This engaging dialogue invites you to delve into the journeys of an incredible Two-Spirit couple who have navigated the world together, challenging societal norms and championing the beauty of diversity.

    Their individual stories of self-discovery, their shared experiences as Two-Spirit individuals, and their combined efforts to advocate for greater understanding and acceptance of gender diversity are profound testaments to the resilience and strength of the human spirit. This conversation seeks to shed light on the challenges they have faced, the triumphs they have celebrated, and the love they have nurtured in the face of adversity.

    This guided conversation will also provide a window into their rich cultural heritage and their commitment to upholding and promoting the understanding of Two-Spirit identities within Indigenous communities. It will further illuminate the couple’s role in fostering dialogue and acceptance within broader society, aiding in the dissolution of prejudices, and strengthening inclusivity.

    Learn from their wisdom, their journey, and their relentless pursuit of authenticity, as they share their experiences and insights on love, life, identity, and advocacy. Their stories serve as a beacon of hope and a call to action for a more accepting and inclusive society. Listen, engage, and grow in understanding, as we break barriers and build bridges in this enlightening conversation with an amazing Two-Spirit couple.

Amazing Two Spirit Couple travels from Edmonton, Alberta & delivers customized and tailored keynote speeches, presentations, workshops and training sessions. on the topics enlisted below. These services are designed for a variety of audiences, industries, and event types and event formats.

Testimonials

Thank you for the opportunity to hear about your experiences and histories with us. We’ve received very positive feedback from your talk. Those on the call found your stories informative, engaging and educating. We even had attendees who were fans of your Amazing Race adventure! The number of people who stayed on to hear you answer questions after the hour is a testament to how much people wanted to hear what you have to say and the importance of it all. Thank you for sharing vulnerably about your lives and journey. The work you do is much needed, and we look forward to seeing your incredible journey expand as more doors and ears open as you bravely share the stories of the Indigenous and...

Lelaine Ching

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team
NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT

I wanted to share a massive thank you for the amazing presentation yesterday, that was filled with powerful and thought-provoking messages.  We received strong engagement throughout the session, with attendance reaching a high of 630 global attendees and a range of regions and levels. At the halfway mark we were still tracking in the low 600’s. We also received lots of positive comments and thoughtful questions during the webinar.  The messages from were authentic, honest, educational, motivational and capped off with some good humour. This was one of our highest-ranking sessions from our participants. We thank you for sharing your background, journey, and perspectives with us. It was...

Adrienne

Human Resources
Fidelity International

The event on Monday was a huge success! The subject matter was really timely and well received by everyone we have spoken too. Senior management felt like the speakers were really speaking at their level and offered some practical perspectives on how to adjust to address the issues and concerns we know that exist. Absolutely amazing speakers, engaging, relevant, very impressed and honoured to get to hear them speak.

Narissa

Leadership
Hyundai

Anthony, James – We cannot thank you enough for the time you spent with us yesterday, we have been inundated with feedback from staff, all of it overwhelmingly positive (we received several emails not just thanking us profusely for inviting you to come speak but saying that this has been the best all-staff meeting they have ever attended. For such a cautious bunch, that is very high praise, so well done). We know you do a lot of these types of sessions, but it is important you know that you have still none the less touched a lot of people deeply with what you shared with us. We could not be happier with the result, and we hope it gets more people engaged and involved in learning more...

- Ian

Leader
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Dr. Makokis & Mr. Johnson spoke to our Diversity and Inclusion team, council, and leaders. The speakers kept the audience engaged and we have had nothing but wonderful feedback from our team. James and Anthony were extremely informative and opened a pathway for conversations to evaluate pre-existing assumptions people have carried through their lives to look at things differently. The only thing that could have made the session better was if it were longer! One of the best events we have hosted, they are both truly brilliant speakers. Thank you both so much for sharing your life experienced, stories, and knowledge.

Narissa

HR
Husky Energy

Dr. Makokis and Anthony were an amazing team. They were engaging and we wish the presentation was longer. The couple uses their unique history and insight to educate and advocate with passion and inspiration. A powerful presentation. We need to hear more voices like theirs.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Wellness Secretariat
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Articles & Media

Telling Our Stories: An Interview with Anthony Johnson and James Makokis

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/telling-our-stories-interview-anthony-johnson-and-james-makokis

After becoming the first Two-Spirit Indigenous couple to win The Amazing Race Canada, Anthony Johnson (Diné) and James Makokis (Saddle Lake Cree) are embarking on new ways to share their positivity and multifaceted identities through television. In June 2021, the couple formed a development deal...
View

The Washington Post: Our Existence is Political

Washington Post

Our existences are political’: What it means that a gay, indigenous couple won Canada’s ‘Amazing Race
View

Amazing Race Canada winners honoured in ceremony at Edmonton City Hall

CTV

Anthony Johnson and James Makokis have had barely any rest since winning The Amazing Race Canada—but their community work since then has been nothing short of, well, amazing. To that end, the Indigenous couple was honoured Tuesday in a special ceremony at Edmonton City Hall. Mayor Don...
View

Forbes: A Nehiyô Two-Spirit Physician’s Reflections On Providing Indigenous Interventions In Modern Medicine

Forbes

Makokis spoke to Forbes Healthcare about their journey to medicine, work in Two-Spirit health, advice for aspiring Two-Spirit physicians, the need for more Indigiqueer representation in medicine, and the unique health challenges faced by Indigiqueer communities.
View

In Your Corner

Mark Tewksbury

In Your Corner - Mark Tewksbury Interviews Dr. Makokis & Anthony Johnson
View

CBC Unreserved

SBC

First Words: Why Amazing Race Canada winners want you to learn Indigenous languages
View

Books

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How to book Amazing Two Spirit Couple for an event?

Amazing Two Spirit Couple keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Amazing Two Spirit Couple delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Amazing Two Spirit Couple from Edmonton, Alberta for your event to inspire the audience to take action and make change in their work and their lives. Your workplace will benefit from our keynote speaker and their keynote talks and speeches will shift the mindsets or behaviours for the audience members in Canada. 

Interested in booking Amazing Two Spirit Couple for an event?

Are you looking to hire Amazing Two Spirit Couple for your event? Amazing Two Spirit Couple Edmonton, Alberta is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Amazing Two Spirit Couple is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Amazing Two Spirit Couple is an expert keynote presenter and speaks on wide variety of topics. Hiring a great speaker for your event is important and working with a thought leader like Amazing Two Spirit Couple from Speakers Canada’s roster will engage audiences into the content of the presentation to bring awareness and a fresh perspective for their approach to their work and their lives. Book Amazing Two Spirit Couple to educate, motivate and activate the audience through an interactive and entertaining presentation at corporate meetings and gatherings.

Known as a popular key note speaker in Canada, Amazing Two Spirit Couple creates life changing experiences for the participants with practical insights and strategic advice they can implement right after the session. Working with a one our leading expert speaker like Amazing Two Spirit Couple from Edmonton, Alberta offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Amazing Two Spirit Couple is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Amazing Two Spirit Couple focuses on changing individuals to make better decisions at work and their lives. No matter if you are holding an in person or virtual event, having an influential speaker such as Amazing Two Spirit Couple will engage, motivate, and activate the audience to make a change in their lives and inspire action for results to meet organizational goals. Your workforce will benefit from Amazing Two Spirit Couple’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Amazing Two Spirit Couple speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

How much does it cost to hire Amazing Two Spirit Couple for a keynote presentation or virtual event?

Amazing Two Spirit Couple is an expert professional key note speaker with a lot of experience speaking and delivering engaging talks to organizations and audiences in Canada. Each of Speaker Bureau Canada’s talent have different ways to assess their fees, and Amazing Two Spirit Couple speaker fee ranges depending on the size of the audience, event format (in person or virtual), event location, and if the organization booking them is a non profit, association, government department/government agency or business/corporation. The speakers we work with are flexible with their fees, and it is important for us to learn more about your event before we approach them, as it is our role to work for you, and to help you find a speaker within budget. 

Please contact Speakers Bureau of Canada and provide us with your event details so that we can contact Amazing Two Spirit Couple to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Amazing Two Spirit Couple for your event. As Amazing Two Spirit Couple's agent and as a Canadian top speaker bureau and talent agency for speakers, we are able to propose each event opportunity from each host organization’s behalf to try to help you get in touch with Amazing Two Spirit Couple and confirm them for your in person or online meeting/event. We can also provide and advise on the booking process and potentially negotiate their fee. Speakers Canada is a client focused speaker agency, and we work for you in finding good speakers for your team meetings and booking processes.

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Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Amazing Two Spirit Couple for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Amazing Two Spirit Couple, however they are represented by Speakers Canada, and we work with them closely for their Canadian speaking opportunities and bookings. As Canada’s top speaker bureau, we represent Canadian motivational keynote speakers and professional guest speakers that will be available on your upcoming events date and location that are withing the budget. Our talented bureau speaker booking agency can help find business speakers or celebrity speakers that aligns with each organization, audience, event theme and the topic themes you hope for the speaker to address in their presentation. 

When SBC receives a request to book Amazing Two Spirit Couple we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization’s event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Amazing Two Spirit Couple about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker’s fees. If you are looking to hire Amazing Two Spirit Couple, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.

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