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Trick or re-treat : towards a new treasure-seeking ethic in Canada's north


Trick or re-treat : towards a new treasure-seeking ethic in Canada's north

Sedore, Kimberley Ann Clark (2008) Trick or re-treat : towards a new treasure-seeking ethic in Canada's north. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
MR45503.pdf - Accepted Version


This project explores the notion that the summer camping community in Dawson City, Yukon, epitomizes the possibility that the retreat and the quest, often considered distinct forms of travel and discovery, are closely related in the contemporary Canadian context. The journey North to Dawson City--a town and region famous for the Klondike Gold Rush and treasure-seeking--is akin to a rite of passage and to the questing patterns that are evident in many myths of heroism. Every hero reckons with a threat and saves the day. While boreal "wilderness" has traditionally been depicted as potentially dangerous and challenging terrain, the location of the threat has shifted significantly over the past three or four decades in North America. Pollution and the rat race are the new raging river and pack of wolves. Framed in this way, the hero's quest for adventure and treasure shares a seat with the weakling's retreat. I believe that what has been referred to as "the Myth of the North" is intact to this day. The symbolic structure of the North is communicated by oral tradition and in text through story, song, slang, and fashion. A limen is a margin and a threshold and discussions of the Canadian North are at home in the field of religious studies when we conceptualize the North as liminal space and place. The North is physically liminal as the end of the road, politically liminal as a colonial state and conceptually liminal as a frontier. The following writing has been largely inspired by the conversations and scenery that I experienced upon my three-time journey to Dawson City. The ideas presented in this paper have developed from a combination of text-based and primary research, largely informed by the theories of anthropologist Victor Turner and by my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in Dawson.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religions and Cultures
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Sedore, Kimberley Ann Clark
Pagination:vi, 158 leaves : ill., forms ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Despland, Michel
ID Code:976145
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:20
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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