Go, Team Ahkameyimok!
An Indigenous couple will join season seven of “The Amazing Race Canada,” a reality television competition show set to air on July 2. The show is an international version of the American television series “The Amazing Race.”
Anthony Johnson, Navajo, and James Makokis, Cree, will compete in the race against nine other teams of two across Canada and the world. They will win big money in the end and additional prizes along the way if they’re the first to cross the finish line.
The show is divided into legs with clues for each team. Each time must figure out the clue that will get them to the Pit Stop of the leg where they meet the show host (and Olympian) Jon Montgomery.
This season features teams who have “overcome challenges and faced reinventions and transformations,” including a team from a previous season that fans voted back on.
They’re listed on the show’s website as: “A married couple who want to be positive role models for Indigenous youth.”
The Indigenous duo met on Facebook when Johnson saw Makokis in an OUT Magazine article that was about the Montana Two Spirit Society.
Their relationship started after “one of those only in New York romantic kind of days,” Johnson told The Cut.
Johnson, who attended Harvard and received a bachelor’s degree in economics, is a project consultant at Kehewin Health Services in Alberta.
After getting married in 2017 in the middle of the Vancouver Marathon (they started as fiance’s and finished the race married), the 33-year-old moved to Canada to be with Makokis, who is a doctor.
They both reside in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan, also known as Treaty Number Six Territory or Edmonton, Alberta.
Makokis, 37, says he has wanted to be a doctor since he was four-years-old. He was recently featured in AJ+ as a Two-Spirit Cree doctor who cares for transgender patients using Indigenous and western teachings at the Enoch Cree Nation Health Center.
“He is now trying to break the racism that Indigenous medical professionals face every day,” according to the show.
Johnson knows they have the grit. They also have ceremonies that made them strong enough to handle what the show throws at them. Did you know they are ultra marathon trail runners?
The internet exploded with excitement after the news broke of the couple competing.
Former Miss Universe Ashley Callingbull, who is from Enoch Cree Nation, tweeted, “Ahhh I love them!” after she saw a short interview with them.
Other comments include: “This team has already won as far as I’m concerned,” “I’m officially stating that this is my favourite team this season,” and “I’m gonna be glued to the tv.”
One comment many Indigenous people are probably saying:
“THIS IS THE CONTENT I’VE BEEN WAITING MY WHOLE INDIGENOUS LIFE FOR!”
Views can cheer on “Team Ahkameyimok” which means don’t give up or keep going in Cree. Makokis said that’s something they’re going to say to each other during the challenges.
The show returns on July 2 at 9 p.m. EST on CTV and CTV.ca and the CTV app. It shows on Tuesdays.