Dr. James Makokis

Dr. James Makokis

Dr. James Makokis

Two Spirit Doctor | LGBTQ2S, Indigenous, Diversity & Inclusion Expert

Keynote: Thursday, April 18

Building Bridges Of Understanding: Fostering Reconciliation And Allyship

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

They 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. Their 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.


Dr. James Makokis is a pioneering Nehiyô (Neh-hee-yo) two-spirit physician hailing from the Onihcikiskapowinihk (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) in Treaty Number Six Territory. He maintains a Family Medicine practice in Kinokamasihk (Kih-no-kum-a-sick) Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta and runs a transgender health-focused practice in South Edmonton. Dr. Makokis was the inaugural Medical Director of Shkaabe Makwa (Shkaa-bay Muh-kwa) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto—the country’s first Indigenous health center committed to transforming Indigenous mental health systems nationwide.

In 2019, Dr. Makokis, alongside his husband Anthony Johnson, made history as the first Two-Spirit couple to be crowned champions of the Amazing Race Canada. As “Team Ahkameyimok” (Ah-ka-may-mook), which translates to “Never Give Up” in Cree, they became the first twospirit, Indigenous, married couple in the world to win the competition. Dr. Makokis’s impact was further recognized in 2020 when The Medical Post named him one of the country’s 30 most influential physicians—a title he humbly suggests should be shared amongst others. As a regular guest and a respected voice in the media, Dr. Makokis uses his platforms to educate people about Treaty issues and advocate for the revitalization of the Nehiyô medical system. His overarching vision is for a united Turtle Island, in peace and friendship.