Learning Opportunity

History and Truth of the Realities of Colonialism in Canada and the Impact on First Nation Communities and Peoples

This session has been completed.
Facilitator: James Makokis
Date:March 18, 2022
Time:9:00 am to 10:30 am MTN
Location: Virtual
Session Code: 22-DD-PH-JM-257
Focus: First Nations, Métis, Inuit (FNMI) and TRC

Target Audience

Staff of Pembina Hills School Division

About this Learning Opportunity

Dr. James Makokis will highlight the unfortunate history and TRUTH of the realities of colonialism in Canada and the impact on First Nation communities and peoples. Dr. Makokis will explain the structures and systems of how early settlers stripped First Nation communities and peoples of their Indigenous values, traditions, languages and customs. Dr. Makokis then relates colonialism and how it has formed today's reality and how systems of the past have maintained inequality and unfair treatment for First Nation communities and Indigenous peoples. Using recent Canadian events, he will deliver facts on the current challenges Indigenous cultures face and how to break down the colonial structures of the past to reclaim their culture.

Dr. James Makokis will provide practical insights on the importance of RECONCILIATION and deliver strategic advice on how each teacher, support staff and leader can implement procedures to support the 94 TRC Calls to Action. The United Nations stated clearly that we can no longer be a 1st world country with 3rd world conditions for Indigenous communities. Dr. Makokis' presentation focuses on a united front for all Canadians to take part in and stand up to eliminate the reality that we have left behind many people and communities outside of the Canadian System.

All learning opportunities with the ERLC regional team will focus on the Alberta Education and district priority areas.

This session addresses the LQS competencies

  • #2: Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  • #3: Embodying Visionary Leadership
  • #5: Supporting the Application of Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Metis and Inuit

This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • #2: Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  • #3: Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
  • #5: Applying Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Metis and Inuit

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.

About the Facilitator

Dr. James Makokis leads one of North America’s most progressive family medical clinics serving both LGBTQ2S and First Nation peoples from all over Canada. He is a proud Cree, Two-Spirit physician from Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern, AB and known as one of Canada’s most progressive doctors and experts on numerous topics. Dr. James Makokis is on a mission to serve marginalized populations and to change the outcomes for Indigenous and LGBTQ2S Peoples. Dr. James Makokis and his partner Anthony Johnson were crowned winners of the Amazing Race Canada Season 7, where they received international recognition for their advocacy of marginalized individuals by making the world aware of the impact of discrimination and the mistreatment of anyone labelled as being “different”. They both currently reside on Treaty 6 Territory outside of Edmonton.

Dr. James Makokis faced many challenges earlier on in establishing his career as an Indigenous doctor. Being Two-Spirit, from a small segregated and poverty stricken community, forced him to prove himself, try to ignore hurtful statements against him, and develop coping strategies to manage systematic and social forms of discrimination.  His success as a doctor is in large part his down to earth approach with his patients, as he can easily empathize with them and the challenges they face before providing his medical advice. He was also mentored by many Canadian and Indigenous leaders along his path, which gave him unique insights into a wide variety of issues that people face around the world and in Canada. Dr. James Makokis has travelled alongside former Governor General Michaëlle Jean on a diplomatic mission to Brazil and also had the rare opportunity to work next to Dr. Patch Adams in the Amazon Jungle.

Dr. James Makokis has received international attention and recognition for his holistic approach to medicine and his advocacy for human rights. He is also one of the few doctors that combine traditional Cree medicine and Western medicine within his practice. Known for his compassion, numerous accomplishments and his unique insights, Dr. James Makokis has inspired all types of Canadians to challenge stereotypical and often discriminating views towards First Nation and LGBTQ2S Peoples. Dr. Makokis has won numerous awards, sat on many boards and councils, and continues to give back to his communities in any way he can. Through his work and his previous contributions, he continues to break down stigmas and identify the societal structures and forces of oppression that LGBTQ2S and Indigenous populations face.

Dr. James Makokis wanted to be a doctor since he was four years old. It was during his education that he decided to focus on LGBTQ2S and Indigenous health so that he could make a difference for those often left out of the healthcare system and society as a whole. The attitudes and discrimination individuals he serves face within the health care system and in their personal lives, often leads to his patients being marginalized and underserved through the imbalance of trust, access and service for their health. Dr. Makokis is here to create real change by serving marginalized populations and rebuild relationships with those who have are often left behind.

Dr. Makokis earned his Master’s in health science from the University of Toronto in 2006 and graduated from the University of Toronto’s medical school in 2010 and the University of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Family Medicine Residency Training Program in 2012. He is also trained in family medicine and trans health. He is dedicated himself to continue to save lives through his medical practice and his unique approach to medicine. Dr. Makokis worked as an instructor at the Yellowhead Tribal College, the University of Toronto, and the University of Alberta, teaching courses on Indigenous health, Indigenous cultural practices, and traditional medicine. He also received certification from the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program and served as the Spokesperson for the National Aboriginal Health Organization’s Role Model Program for many years.

Dr. Makokis shares a wide range of his personal experiences,  areas of expertise, Indigenous knowledge and his compassionate understandings with audiences for his quest to serve others and bring measurable change within the nation. Dr. James Makokis feels a calling to share the struggles and challenges of individuals and communities that are often left behind.  He shares his family history, Indigenous history, real life examples from his patients, and his personal experience within his presentations. His focus is to help us all celebrate each person’s uniqueness  while showing us all how to improve ourselves, so that we can be in the best position to positively impact others, for the larger contribution of the human experience.