Indigenous

Who wore it best? Cree cousins dress as The Amazing Race Canada winners for Halloween

The latest season of The Amazing Race Canada made such an impact on two Cree cousins that the girls will be trick-or-treating this Halloween as Anthony Johnson and James Makokis, the two-spirit couple who won the popular television competition in September.

Alberta girls' grandmother made them ribbon skirts to match those of Anthony Johnson and James Makokis

Tenecia Cardinal, 12, and Willow Cardinal, 9, dressed as their favourite Indigenous celebs: The Amazing Race Canada season 7 winners Anthony Johnson and James Makokis. (Farrah Cardinal (left)/CTV (right))

The latest season of The Amazing Race Canada made such an impact on two Cree cousins that the girls will be trick-or-treating this Halloween as Anthony Johnson and James Makokis, the two-spirit couple who won the popular television competition in September.

"They represented missing and murdered Indigenous women and are helping the Cree, and being Indigenous," said nine-year-old Willow Cardinal. 

"We don't want anybody else to go missing."

Willow and her cousin Tenecia Cardinal, 12, are from Kehewin Cree Nation, about 230 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. That's where Makokis has worked as a family physician for the last three years, and Johnson as a project co-ordinator at Kehewin Health Services.

"James and Anthony made a really big impact for the Treaty 6 territory with what they've done and how they spread awareness," said Farrah Cardinal, Willow's mother and Tenecia's aunt.

Willow and Tenecia Cardinal stopped by Kehewin Health Services on Tuesday night to show James Makokis their costumes. ( Farrah Cardinal)

The girls stopped by the clinic Tuesday night dressed as the couple, wearing red ribbon skirts sewn by their kokum to match the ones Johnson and Makokis wore on the show. 

"I was so shocked," said Makokis.

"It was kind of surreal to see these two little kids from the community who were dressed up like Anthony and I. It was amazing to know that we made an impact on them."

The skirts were meant to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Anthony Johnson and James Makokis wore ribbon skirts to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. (CTV)

"In dressing up like us, they're conscious of those issues that are important to them," said Makokis.

"For us, it was important as male-identified two-spirit people to create a space and conversation within our nations, communities, and across the country about this important issue because Indigenous women have always been the leaders in our community. 

"That's been replaced by patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, and to have these little girls bringing attention to these issues within the community of Kehewin is amazing."

About the Author

Jessica Deer

Journalist

Jessica Deer is Kanien’kehá:ka from Kahnawake. She works in CBC's Indigenous unit based in Montreal. Email her at jessica.deer@cbc.ca or follow her on Twitter @Kanhehsiio.