The Amazing Race Canada is returning for its seventh season on July 2 and while that’s exciting news for fans of the show, we stan for a specific reason — well, a specific team, in particular.
Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson is an Indigenous couple from Edmonton and they are here to slay the competition. The couple, who is competing on The Amazing Race Canada this season, says they hope to represent their communities as well as help more people understand what being Two-Spirit means.
Two-Spirit people are individuals who identify as having both a male and female spirit and is a term used by some Indigenous people in describing their sexual, gender, and spiritual identity.
In an interview with CBC Edmonton, Makokis said, “I think it definitely will bring some awareness about some of the teachings around gender diversity and sexual minorities that exist in North America, or Turtle Island, that existed prior to visitors coming to North America and this continent […] So we’re very happy as a married couple to be on the race showcasing that.”
According to Johnson, they decided to go into the show as themselves: “open, honest, and had a strong foundation.” But if this strategy doesn’t work out, Johnson said, “divorce was kind of the joke scenario but we knew that we’d work through whatever the race threw at us.”
The couple will compete under the team name, Ahkameyimok, a word from the Plains Cree language. A word, that according to Makokis, is usually used by Indigenous elders as encouragement pretty much like, “Don’t give up. Keep going. Persevere. To reach deep down inside of you and grab that essence that you need to keep on going.”
Johnson added, “[Our team name] is also really fun to say.”
Makokis and Johnson are joining nine other teams in facing mental and physical challenges while travelling across Canada in the hopes of winning two vehicles, $250,000 dollars and a trip around the world.
And we’re not the only ones stanning the couple’s participation on the race also drew reactions on Twitter.
❤️Edmonton couple excited to raise two-spirit awareness on Amazing Race https://t.co/Zrn4eUbtSB
— voyage vixen (@voyagevixen) June 23, 2019
Finally, I would like to think a change is coming. On a positive note, I cannot wait for this. I don’t even like The Amazing Race (stressful watching!) but I will watch and you should too. https://t.co/VQThttq9gO
— Ericka Duffy (@DuffyEricka) June 26, 2019
— NorQuest College (@NorQuest) June 24, 2019
This is so cool a two spirit couple will be on this season The Amazing Race Canada! Now that’s how you represent the two spirit and lgbtq2 community! I’ll be cheering for this team! Haaay! pic.twitter.com/yPwfbM7flT
— Gerald (@guyatsfu) June 18, 2019