Two Spirit and Indigiqueer cultural safety: Considerations for relational practice and policy

About the Presentation: In celebration of National Indigenous Month and Pride Month, the Indigenous Cultural Safety Webinar Series invites you to sit in circle with Dr. James Makokis and Dr. Karina Walters to reflect on our understandings of and contributions towards cultural safety for Two Spirit and Indigiqueer peoples.  Drawing on examples from research, community organizing, ceremonial resurgence and frontline practice, our guests will share knowledge aimed at informing individual and collective efforts to ensure culturally safe access to healthcare, social services and other social institutions, as well as to community and ceremonial spaces and supports for Two Spirit and Indigiqueer peoples.  This webinar is meant to provide a foundation for additional webinars on Two Spirit and Indigiqueer cultural safety over the coming year.



Dr. James Makokis
Medical Director, Shkaabe Makwa Centre for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Wellness, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH, Ontario)

Dr. Karina Walters
Associate Dean for Research, the Katherine Hall Chambers Scholar, and the Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington State

Circle Moderator:

Dr. Billie Allan
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Victoria
Chair, Thunderbird Circle - Indigenous Social Work Educators' Network (TC-ISWEN)

About the Presenters:


(Photo: Dr. James Makokis)

Dr. Billie Allan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria and the Chair of the Thunderbird Circle – Indigenous Social Work Educators Network (TC-ISWEN). Billie is a Two Spirit Anishinaabe person from Sharbot Lake, Ontario, whose scholarship currently focuses on the impact of racism and child welfare on Indigenous health and well-being, Two Spirit health and well-being, and Black and Indigenous decolonial solidarity.​

Dr. James Makokis, a nehiyô (Plains Cree), Two-Spirit Family Physician from Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, is the medical director for Shkaabe Makwa Centre for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Wellness in Toronto. Shkaabe Makwa is the first hospital-based centre in Canada focusing on the mental health of Indigenous people through research, training and healing models that bring together traditional knowledge and contemporary medicine.  Dr. Makokis also holds clinics at the Kehewin Cree Nation and at an urban transgender health focused practice in Edmonton.  He is the recipient of the Indspire Award, Rising Star Alumni Award in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and Distinguished Alumni Award at Macewan University.  In 2019, Dr. Makokis appeared with his husband Anthony Johnson as "Team Ahkameyimok" on Season 7 of The Amazing Race Canada and won, becoming the first two-spirit, married Indigenous couple in the world to do so.  His passion lies in rebuilding the Nehiyô medical system and running ultra endurance marathons.

Dr. Karina WaltersDr. Karina Walters, a Two Spirit member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is the Associate Dean for Research, the Katherine Hall Chambers Scholar, and the Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington. Dr. Walters has more than 25 years of experience in social epidemiological research on the historical, social, and cultural determinants of health among American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) populations as well as chronic disease prevention research. Much of her social epidemiological work has centered urban AIANs and LGBT-Two Spirit populations across the United States. She is recognized internationally for her expertise in designing decolonizing community-based, culturally grounded methodologies.