Amanda Larocque and Deven Condo-Mitchell have gone on many adventures together, but their latest, competing on The Amazing Race Canada, was a whole new challenge.
“If you want to test your relationship and you want to see if you’re going to make it, I mean join The Amazing Race, cause it’s going to test you at every level imaginable,” said Larocque.
The couple lives in Larocque’s home Mi’gmaq community of Gesgagpegiag in eastern Quebec, where Condo-Mitchell works as a conservation officer. Larocque is the director of public health.
Condo-Mitchell, who is originally from the neighbouring community of Ligstiguj, said that he felt proud to be part of the first Mi’gmaq team to compete in the race.
“It’s a huge responsibility because we’re representing the whole nation of Mi’gmaq people and we don’t want do our people wrong and stuff like that and we just tried the best that we could,” he said.
They enjoy being active and outdoors, kayaking, bungee jumping, skiing and fishing in their spare time. Their first date was a challenging mountain hike.
“I took her on a date to that mountain, she whipped my tail up that mountain and ever since then we’ve been adventuring all over Canada pretty much,” said Condo-Mitchell.
The couple said their experience on the show strengthened their relationship.
“We just persevered and became stronger as we went because we started to work on our communication skills and we knew how to talk to each other and the weaknesses started to show and we picked on that, and after every leg, we’d just conversate on how can we better ourselves throughout this race and get stronger together,” said Condo-Mitchell.
“She’s my best friend, so it’s not that hard.”
Larocque added, “I think that was the first time I realized like ‘hey he’s my rock,’ like he really can ground me when I’m feeling like overly emotional.”
When she’s not working or spending time with her partner and her two kids, Larocque is a traditional powwow dancer.
“We had a couple of dance challenges so far, tree dancing and swing dancing, knowing some choreographic, the basics I would say that helped me,” she said.
Condo-Mitchell said he felt differently – but pushed through.
“I was dreading any type of dance challenge, I was scared, and I was trying to avoid it. But Amanda was like it’s ok, you’ve got this, just trust your instincts and just have fun. Which I did, and I tried to own it as much as I could, and I let loose, and I just left it all out there, and it worked out,” he said.
They were able to use their adventurous spirit and traditional teachings to make it through the race.
“We come from a nation of resilience, we’ve survived colonization and we’re still thriving today. We still have the language, I can speak my language that’s been under colonization for over 500 years,” said Larocque.
The pair have received overwhelming support from their communities… and some light teasing
“The only thing I’m getting is like, I hope you have an amazing evening, or I hope you have an amazing way home, and they’ll throw roadblock jokes and detour jokes,” said Larocque.
Condo-Mitchell and Larocque said they’ve felt encouraged by First Nations across the country.
“The love and support that we’re getting from across Turtle Island right now is absolutely unbelievable, and we’re super grateful for that,” said Condo-Mitchell.
While they said they enjoyed their adventure, they were happy to return home.
“We’re racing for them, we’re fighting for them and at the same time we miss them so much and it was so nice to finally come home to them. There was one point in the show they couldn’t even mention my kids, I would start crying, I missed them so much,” said Larocque.
“We needed that recharge, we needed to have our hearts full again, and it was an unbelievable moment when we first came together,” said Condo-Mitchell.
To anyone considering joining The Amazing Race Canada, Condo-Mitchell said, “Do it. Get out of your comfort zone, it’ll only make you stronger, and that’s the only way you’re going to grow in life is whenever you’re uncomfortable.”
You can catch Amanda Larocque and Deven Condo-Mitchell competing on The Amazing Race Canada in an upcoming episode.