“across distances and differences'’: Aboriginal pilgrimage at lac ste. anne

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The Lac Ste. Anne pilgrimage in northern Alberta is the largest annual pan-Indian spiritual event in the country, exceptional in its longevity and high annual attendance numbers. This exploratory case study examines the pilgrimage as specialized leisure tourism through accounts recorded in mass media, oral histories, and scholarship since the mid-1990s. Research questions address the internal level of the appeal and functions of the pilgrimage for participants and, second, the recent impact of external events and social conditions. A thematic analysis is based on qualitative interpretation of recurring topics including aspects of place, healing or wellness, and sense of community within and across divisions of ethnicity and cultural identity. As the pilgrimage institution undergoes a shift from Catholic to Aboriginal control and develops new management strategies, it continues to mediate flexible processes of cultural continuity, identity formation, and social cohesion with implications for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relationships beyond its boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-315
Number of pages25
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Aboriginal peoples
  • Dialogue
  • Healing
  • Pilgrimage
  • Sacred site


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