Saint John Paul II was the last Pope to make the trip to the Edmonton area in September of 1984.

During this trip, his schedule included a stop in Jasper, however, bad weather detoured his route.

Instead the Pope made a brief stop in Elk Island National Park, where he spent time in the Tawayik Lake area. The Pope at the time sat on a park bench with his breviary, he later took a rosary walk through the park.

He also stopped at CFB Namao for a large-scale Mass.

“Parks Canada recognizes the pain this modern visit may bring up for Indigenous people in Canada,” said Elk Island National Park in a statement. 

Elk Island National Park is located on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Metis.

According to park media, they are working with Indigenous peoples to incorporate Indigenous views, histories, and heritage into national parks and historic sites.

Pope Francis lands in Edmonton on Sunday (July 24) and is in the area until July 27.

This visit will not include a stop at Elk Island National park but rather the community of Maskwacis, Edmonton and Lac Ste. Anne.