The Amazing Race Canada has been a reality television competition series that features 10 teams competing in a gruelling race across Canada and the world for over 30 seasons. This year, the race will feature indigenous couple comprised of Navajo Anthony Johnson from Arizona and Cree James Makokis from Alberta. Not only are the current
The Amazing Race Canada has been a reality television competition series that features 10 teams competing in a gruelling race across Canada and the world for over 30 seasons.
This year, the race will feature indigenous couple comprised of Navajo Anthony Johnson from Arizona and Cree James Makokis from Alberta.
Not only are the current Edmonton residents seemingly perfectly matched for each other, but part of why they’re racing is to show young Indigenous people that there are people “like them” who are successful, as Johnson is a project consultant and Makokis is a doctor, while still committed to their cultural and spiritual beliefs.
Johnson and Makokis met on Facebook after Johnson spotted Makokis as the center-fold in OUT Magazine. When the two met in person, sparks flew and they married in 2017. The duo are both driven to be strong voices for their community and good role models. Johnson attended Harvard and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. His marriage to Makokis, and subsequent move to Alberta, has given him a new lease on life. Makokis has constantly dealt with the adversities in the medical industry related to being Indigenous and hopes to use the opportunity to educate.
The pair started chatting and three years ago, for Johnson’s 30th birthday, Makokis travelled to Manhattan where they had “this awesome New York romance.”
While showcasing strong teamwork and their genuine love for each other is a top goal for this team, they also want to help educate the rest of Canada on Indigenous life. They say they’ve never had the opportunity to see how two people like them might interact together on television before, and that their casting is a huge step in overall Canadian diversity.
“Diversity is important because our world is diverse. The more people that we see, the more voices we hear about, the more history we learn from one another, the more our hearts open to humanity and the world,” Johnson said. “Our team motto is Ahkameyimok. It’s a [Cree] word you say to another person’s spirit to say, dig deep within yourself and find that element of your spirit, that true essence of yourself and exert it and do your best. When you do that, that’s when you achieve breakthrough results. That’s when you overcome things that are in your path.”
“It’s something elders say to younger people as encouragement,” Makokis explained. “We want to be positive. And we want others to learn a little about Indigenous languages and say something pretty easy that they could also use in their own life.”
“It’s also just really fun to say!” adds Johnson.
The series kicks off on Tuesday, July 2 at 9 p.m., on CTV.