Skip to main content

Two Fort Chipewyan Residents Charged With Arson Following Destruction of Catholic Church

Police have charged two Fort Chipewyan residents in connection with the destruction of the community’s only Catholic church in August.


When police, firefighters and Alberta Forestry workers arrived, the fire had spread throughout the building and could not be saved. {snip}

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Roman Catholic Church was built in 1909. The church itself was designated an Alberta heritage site in 1998 and a national historic place in 2006.

The church was also next to the former grounds of the Holy Angels Residential School, which was demolished in 1974. An archaeological team from the University of Alberta is searching the former school grounds for potential unmarked graves.


Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) said in an August interview that the fire followed two days of public meetings explaining how archaeologists will search the residential school grounds. Adam believes “it just triggered something out of somebody.”

Raymond Ahyasou-Cardinal, 19, and August Tanner Marcel, 26, have been charged with arson. {snip}