Ritual Practice as Power Play or Redemptive Hegemony: The Mi’kmaq Appropriation of Catholicism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article aims to examine the dialectic interface between the Canadian Mi’kmaq traditions and Catholicism, the latter brought into their territory by French missionaries as early as the beginning of the 17th century. Although today there have been critical voices raised by some Mi’kmaq against the Catholic church, which they see as a symbol for colonial repression, most Mi’kmaq today belong to the Catholic congregation. But to fully understand the Mi’kmaq relation to Catholicism we have to consider different contexts where colonial history and contemporary reserve life play important roles for its present form. Mi’kmaq have created their history within a colonial frame, but they have not passively adopted colonial power structures into their communities. Instead they have interpreted the new conditions and acted in ways in which they have built models both of the world and for the world. In this building of new models and practices, rituals for the Mi’kmaq have played a decisive role when molding their way of being in the Canadian society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-193
JournalSwedish Missiological Themes
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History of Religions

Free keywords

  • rituals
  • interreligious dialogue
  • Catholicism
  • Mi’kmaq traditions
  • Treaty Day
  • neotraditionalism
  • St. Anne’s day


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