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Indigenizing Pilgrimage

Join us for an international, multidisciplinary conference on growing, identifying and localizing transformative journeys.

May 7, 2015 – May 10, 2015

Keynote speakers:

Simon Coleman is Chancellor Jackman Professor, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto. He is co-editor of the journal Religion and Society, and of the Asgate Studies in Pilgrimage book series.

Raymond Aldred

Raymond Aldred is Assistant Professor of Theology, Ambrose University (Calgary), and works with My People International. He is former Director for the First Nations Alliance Churches of Canada. He is status Cree.

About the conference

Indigenizing Pilgrimage: Growing, Identifying and Localizing Transformative Journey will take place from May 7-10, 2015, at Concordia University in Montréal. It is jointly sponsored by the Department of Theological Studies and the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability. As an interdisciplinary field that brings together research in spirituality, human mobility, and place and spatiality, Pilgrimage Studies considers journeys of meaning and the meaning of journey. This conference will bring together scholars and pilgrims from across disciplines to discuss journey and locality with a special focus in some sessions on indigenous contexts.  

Over four days, the Indigenizing Pilgrimage conference will include: important keynote speakers, main conference presentation sessions, student presentation sessions, film screenings, art encounters, a visit to local historical pilgrimage chapel and museum, wine & hors-d'oeuvres reception, and dinner banquet.  Some events are free of cost.  Entrance to the Main conference (includes Friday evening wine reception) is 30$ regular; 10$ student/senior/fixed-income.  (Conference banquet and field trip incur addition cost.)

In conjunction with this conference, the Theological Studies Graduate Student Association (TSGSA) at Concordia will host undergraduate and graduate student paper sessions and art presentations during the day on May 8. The focus is Pilgrimage: Sacred Journeys

Conference schedule
Thursday, May 7 Sir George Williams (downtown) campus (VA-114: 1395 Boul René-Lévesque W.)  Map and details
6:00-6:30pm Registration: Indigenizing Pilgrimage Conference
7:00-9:00pm Film/Q&A: Screening of Dakota 38 (on the 330-mile horseback pilgrimage of reconciliation from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota in memory of thirty- eight Dakota Sioux hanged in 1862, the largest mass-execution in US history). The screening will be followed by panel Q&A
Friday, May 8 Loyola campus (RF-120: 7141 Sherbrooke St W.)  Map and details
10:00-10:30am Welcome to Student Conference “Pilgrimage: Sacred Journeys”; WITW special Issue Launch
10:30-12:00pm Students’ Morning Paper/Presentation Session
12:00-1:00pm Lunch break (list of recommended restaurants & cafes provided)
1:00-2:00pm Coffee & Art Break (pilgrimage art, poetry, performance/presentations)
2:00-2:30pm Conversation with Artist in Residence: Sawsan Al Saraf, multimedia artist and pilgrim
2:30-4:00pm Students’ Afternoon Paper/Presentation Session
4:00-6:00pm Free time (list of recommended restaurants & cafes provided)
6:00-6:30pm Registration
6:30-6:45pm Indigenizing Pilgrimage Conference Opening & Welcome
6:45-7:30pm Film/Q&A: Screening of Under the North Star (diaspora pilgrimage and the concept of home), followed by Q&A with film-maker, Dr. Matthew Anderson.
7:30-8:30pm Opening Keynote address: Dr. Simon Coleman, University of Toronto
8:30-10:00pm Wine & Cheese Reception
Saturday, May 9 Sir George Williams (downtown) campus (H-763: 1455 Boul De Maisonneuve W.) Map and details
9:00am Coffee and Registration: Indigenizing Pilgrimage Conference
9:30-10:00am Welcome Ceremony (Aboriginal tradition in Canadian context)
10:00-11:30am Morning Paper/Presentation Sessions 1.1; 1.2; 1.3
11:30am-1:00pm Lunch break (list of recommended restaurants & cafes provided)
1:00-2:30pm Afternoon Paper/Presentation Sessions 2.1; 2.2; 2.3
2:30-3:00pm Coffee Break
3:00-4:00pm Closing keynote address, Prof. Raymond Aldred, Ambrose University, Calgary
7:00 pm Conference Banquet (Restaurant Devi, rue Crescent; $45 taxes & tip included; cash bar)
Sunday, May 10 Map and details
1:00-2:30pm Optional tour of the pilgrim chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Located in historic Vieux-Montréal (Old Montreal) , the Chapelle has been a pilgrimage site since the 17th century. Includes Museum visit. Cost: $15.00 FYI: Chapelle website :

Conference convened by:

  • Matthew Anderson, (Department of Theological Studies, Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability)
  • Christine Jamieson, (Department of Theological Studies)
  • Sara Terreault, (Department of Theological Studies, School of Canadian Irish Studies)

More information:


Made possible with the generous support of:

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