Healing The Spirit:

Addressing Inter-generational Trauma

 Biidaaban Healing Lodge Annual Wellness Conference 2020 

SEPTEMBER 23, 24 & 25, 2020


Meet & Greet

Sessions Stage



Q & A Session



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Jules Alvarado

Peace Consultant

Jules is an internationally recognized healing expert in the area of trauma, relationship, employee well-being, and organizational success. Her work has been taught in more than 15 countries, and to 10s of 1000s of people. She is the author of a recently published book, "The Quest for Peace in a Broken World.", that grew out of her 25 years working with companies and individual clients. Jules provides highly inspirational Key Notes and consultation for global organizations, child serving and leadership groups, communities, first responders and places of worship. As the president and Sr. Clinical Consultant of Alvarado Consulting and Treatment Group, she offers neuroscience and mindfully based consultation for state departments, judicial branches, agencies, and families internationally. Her dynamic and moving engagements bring an audience to tears and laughter time after time.

Neil Burrows

RSW (Clinical Therapist and Certified Mediator)

Neil has worked in the field of Health & Social Services for over 30 years. After working in Northern Ontario with the Ojibway  Nation, he moved west and since 1996 has worked with First Nations across BC and Alberta, providing trauma counselling, training and health program planning. Neil taught Social Work for several years in the College and University system, is a Registered Mediator and has studied Conflict Resolution at the Graduate level (University of Victoria). He is available to the RCMP on a critical-incident basis and is a frequent guest speaker on issues including trauma, violence and conflict management. Current projects include health planning and capacity-building initiatives for several First Nation organizations, bringing specialized mental health services to remote communities, and Lateral Violence to Lateral Violence (LV2LK) Seminars to 80+ groups across Canada.

Dr. Christopher Mushquash

HBSc., M.A., Ph.D., C.Psych

Dr. Mushquash is a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University and the Division of Human Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, holds adjunct status in the Department of Health Sciences and the Department of Indigenous Learning at Lakehead University, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He is also the Associate Vice President Research at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Chief Scientist at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute.

He is the Director of the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research at Lakehead University. In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Mushquash is a registered clinical psychologist providing assessment, intervention, and consultation services for First Nations children, adolescents, and adults at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care.

He completed his pre-doctoral residency in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, specializing in rural and northern clinical practice and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in 2011. 

In 2017, Dr. Mushquash was inducted in the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. He is currently the vice-chair of the Institute Advisory Board for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health.  Dr. Mushquash also serves as a board member for the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Dr. Mushquash is Ojibway and a member of Pays Plat First Nation.

Anthony Johnson

LGBTQ2, Two Spirit and Diversity Expert

Anthony Johnson’s life has never been easy. Growing up in a First Nation community in the USA, he faced similar challenges, social circumstances, and lack of access that many First Nation communities face in Canada. As a youth, Johnson struggled to find personal value and social acceptance within the societal structures such as family, peer groups, and members of his community. His high energy, honest and Two Spirit inner self led to many difficult situations for him he was alienated by social forces and social structures reinforcing his inferiority, telling him that he should not act a certain way or participate in a certain activity.

It was in these years’ when Anthony Johnson turned to drugs and experienced mental health issues. He used drugs to numb and ignore the external and internal forces that caused the pain. It was not until he was able to come to terms with his addictions and mental health issues and he reconnected with his mother which led him to seek recovery. He then started to reconnect with his roots, his Navajo heritage and community, and to apply himself to his education.

The next chapter of Anthony Johnson’s life was spent dedicating his time on his personal development and his community. He went back to school and gained his B.A of Economics & Social Anthropology from Harvard University. Anthony was involved in many extra-curricular activities including Student Government, the Entrepreneurship Forum, the Harvard Cheerleading Team, the Harvard Foundation. the Harvard University Native American Program Speech and Debate clubs.

Back home Anthony Johnson regularly did odd jobs for individuals in his community and volunteered wherever he could. Johnson’s community has an unemployment rate of 50% which sparked frustration for him, as it was hard for him to visualize a future as it would be nearly impossible for him to be able to make a good life on his reserve. In dedicating his time volunteering and by doing odd jobs in his community, Johnson learned that he had a strong will to help others through human connection. He realized the power of making someone smile, giving them hope and to advocate for people who faced similar problems. That’s where he found the highest value for himself. This led Johnson down a new path of restoration with a passion to make real change in each other which will then change systems and social structures that promote inequality.

Anthony Johnson currently works as a project consultant for with Teysha, a social impact organization that blends heritage with innovation. Their main hub is in Antigua, Guatemala, where they employ over twenty traditional shoemakers to bring shoes to life. They are a grassroots network of women-run cooperatives, small businesses, and artisan groups who create woven textiles by hand, in their homes or communities, surrounded by their family. Beyond Guatemala, they also work with amazing artisan groups in Panama, Mexico, and more communities to come. Each and every product encompasses an entire supply chain made up of people, families, and small businesses. Anthony Johnson leads his team that believes that instills hope for many communities by creating opportunities and develop talents instead of relying on donations.

Johnson married his husband, medical doctor James Makokis, during the 2017 BMO Harris Vancouver Marathon. The married couple then represented the LGBTQ2 community as the first Two-Spirit Team (Team Ahkameyimok) on AMAZING RACE CANADA. They faced many obstacles during the season, escaping elimination on three separate occasions. Their resilience, teamwork and communication improved episode after episode and their “never give up” attitude showed the world the inner strength of Two Spirit resilience.


Anthony Johnson’s story is one of hope, overcoming adversity and activism. He represents the unfortunate realities of race and gender segregation and offers insights on individuals, families and friends can help break down inner thought processes to treat others with respect, love and offer support. He is passionate to bring awareness to the importance to abolish social constructions and systematic segregation and to replace it with equality. Johnson is regularly involved with activism, community engagement and is passionate in teaching others and promoting wellness, resilience and hope for everyone he comes in touch with. His customized presentations are often presented with his partner Dr. James Makokis. His story, education, and work inspires each person and group he interacts with.


Dr. James Makokis

Canada's Two Spirit, Diversity, Indigenous Health and First Nation Expert

Dr. James Makokis is a proud Cree from the Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. He is one of Canada’s most accomplished experts in a variety of fields, including those in and outside of the Indigenous culture. Few individuals can offer such a diverse and unique perspective on issues related to First Nation Communities, TRC Calls to Action, Health, Wellness, Medicine, Two Spirit, LGBTQ2, Indigenous Culture, History, Equality and Social Programming. His perspective is one that benefits all Canadians.  Dr. James Makokis has maintained his cultural beliefs and spiritual practices in all areas of his life. Dr. Makokis’ strong connections to preventative health, spirituality, and Two-spirit perspective has helped him save lives within the LGBTQ2 and First Nation communities. He also leads one of North America’s most progressive and successful transgender focused medical practices.  He is one of the few physicians in Canada who facilitates the wellness of Transgender people through supporting hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. James Makokis holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences, a Master of Health Science in Community Nutrition and a Doctorate in Medicine. He also received certification from the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program. Dr. Makokis is down to earth, genuine, empathetic, sincere, honest, and highly knowledgeable, giving him the ability to understand the different challenges that individuals and organizations face from multiple perspectives. He offers strategic advice for organizational and personal development. He is a leader and well-known expert within the Indigenous, LGBTQ2 and medical community. Dr. James Makokis has also had a wide range of unique experiences, from travelling alongside former Governor General Michaëlle Jean on a diplomatic mission to Brazil to working with Dr. Patch Adams in the Amazon Jungle. He also served as the Spokesperson for the National Aboriginal Health Organization’s Role Model Program.

Dr. James Makokis is an active volunteer, activist and consultant. He currently serves on several boards including the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto, and McEwan University’s Indigenous Advisory Council. He was formerly the co-chair of the inaugural Indigenous Wisdom Council of Alberta Health Services, Director of the Board of Indspire (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation), he revived and led the Two-Spirit Circle of Edmonton Society, and served in the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. Dr. Makokis is also the recipient of the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Special Youth Award. This is the highest formal recognition bestowed upon an individual from Indigenous communities. He and his partner, Anthony Johnson who is also Two Spirit and has a similar story to Dr. Makokis, were recently crowned the Season 7  winners the Amazing Race Canada. They can present on multiple topics together and showed Two Spirit resilience, teamwork, and strength while showing the world new perspectives on LGBTQ2 and First Nation peoples.

As a doctor, national presenter, and proud member of the LGBTQ2 and First Nation community, Dr. James Makokis offers a truly unique perspective when audiences hear his story. His humorous presentations allow audiences to connect to genuine and authentic character. Every Canadian needs to hear his story in order to discover a meaningful role in the Reconciliation process. We are all very fortunate to be able to listen to Dr. James Makokis and his solutions for our country. He is one of Canada’s most unique experts for multiple organizations and institutions.

Marilyn Jensen

First Nations and Indigenous Empowerment Expert

Marilyn Jensen is a vibrant and powerful speaker addressing major current themes and areas pertinent and relevant to Indigenous people in Canada and elsewhere.  Her passion lies within reclamation and revitalization of ceremony, songs, culture and everything foundational to her identity but which was stolen and displaced.  Marilyn, Yadultin and Dūsts’ā̀dle, is Inland Tlingit and Tagish Khwáan from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation; belonging to the Dakhl’aweidí Clan under the Tagish Keét Hít (Killerwhale House) in the Southern Yukon Territory.

She currently teaches First Nation Governance at Yukon College and works closely with many Indigenous communities as a contractor focusing on governance strengthening. Her main methodology in speaking, teaching and facilitating has always been through storytelling and sharing the beauty of her culture and identity.  Growing up in the North has fostered her deep love and respect for the land, the animals and for her people who have lived there for 1000s of years. She loves to speak and share the remarkable journey of her family, clan, community and nation, an epic feat of pure survival and determination.

Marilyn Jensen has facilitated and taught important and engaging workshops for Yukon Government on Indigenous history, land claims, self-government and self-determination for 18 years and for numerous First Nation Governments and organizations in many communities.  She has traveled all over the North and elsewhere to share her knowledge and bring awareness to Indigenous narratives. Besides speaking, Marilyn spends most of her time engaging in traditional dancing, singing, drumming, choreographing and storytelling with the Inland Tlingit dance group she founded and leads; the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers.  The dance troupe’s main vision has been to reclaim and revitalize this integral part of their culture and also to share with the world the beauty of their identity with the highest respect to authenticity and excellence.

With Marilyn Jensen standing in front and officially speaking for the group, they have danced and promoted their Nations internationally in New Zealand, Taiwan, across Canada and the U.S. They have also presented at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and for people such as Prince William & Princess Kate. Recently they have been honoured as the recipients of the National Aboriginal Tourism Award. In 2016 Marilyn was honoured by the Governor General of Canada as a recipient of the Polar Medal for Cultural Reclamation.  Marilyn Jensen has earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Alaska and a Master’s Degree in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria.

The Venue

Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre

555 Arthur Street W

Thunder Bay, ON

Experience luxury and comfort in one of the finest Thunder Bay hotels. Stay with us for business or pleasure.

The Victoria Inn Thunder Bay hotel is a premier accommodation offering deluxe guestrooms, which have everything you’ll need for your next visit.

Our poolside rooms, kid’s theme suites, three storey waterslide, and on-site dining make us the preferred choice for families of all Thunder Bay hotels.

Convenience and comfort from a Thunder Bay Hotel

As one of the iconic Thunder Bay hotels, Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre is the perfect spot to stop during your Ontario vacation. We are ideally located within walking distance of a large (National chain) grocery store, banking facilities and only minutes away by vehicle from all that Thunder Bay has to offer.

Event Spaces – The Best in Thunder Bay Hotels

Looking for a location to host your next event? The Victoria Inn is one of the best Thunder Bay hotels. Our convention space is the talk of the town, with more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space. Our ballrooms are perfect for weddings, conferences and conventions. Host your next meeting at the Victoria Inn Thunder Bay. We’re looking forward to your visit.



Look at

Our brokenness.


We know that we are the ones

Who are divided

And we are the ones

Who must come back,


To worship and walk

In a sacred way, 

That by

Our Affirmation,

We must heal the earth

And  heal each other.


For more information contact:

Richelle Kelly

Conference Coordinator/Community Outreach


(807)-229-3592 Ext. 658