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Trial scheduled for 2 males accused of burning Catholic church in Fort Chipewyan

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Two Fort Chipewyan males will go to trial subsequent yr after they had been charged with allegedly burning down a Catholic Church locally.

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August Marcel, 26; and Raymond Ahyasou-Cardinal, 19; had been each charged in October with arson following the destruction of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Roman Catholic Church on Aug. 25.

Alberta RCMP say emergency officers had been referred to as to the fireplace at 2:34 a.m. on Aug. 25. A tanker and squad truck with the fireplace division responded to the fireplace, however a pumper truck rolled whereas en path to the scene. The driving force was handled for minor accidents.

When police, firefighters and Alberta Forestry staff arrived, the fireplace had unfold all through the constructing and couldn’t be saved.

Marcel surrendered to police on Oct. 24 after a warrant for his arrest was issued. Ahyasou-Cardinal was additionally charged across the identical time. The trial for the 2 males is scheduled for 2024 from April 29 to Might 3 within the Fort McMurray Courtroom of King’s Bench.

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After the 2 males had been charged, the residence that housed clergymen and nuns was additionally destroyed in a hearth on Oct. 30. No fees have been issued associated to that fireside.

In each situations, nobody was contained in the buildings once they had been destroyed. Each buildings had been on the identical grounds of the Holy Angels Residential College, which was closed and demolished in 1974. An archaeological crew from the College of Alberta is looking out the previous residential faculty grounds for potential unmarked graves.

Nobody was inside both constructing when the fires occurred. Fort Chipewyan has not had full-time Catholic priest locally in a long time, and the church had been bought to a Christian charity referred to as King’s Children Promotions Outreach Ministries in Dec. 2020.

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Neighborhood leaders condemned the actions as an assault on the neighborhood’s historical past. The church itself was inbuilt 1909, designated an Alberta heritage website in 1998 and a nationwide historic place in 2006.

However neighborhood leaders additionally mentioned public response is combined over the destruction of the buildings. Some residents noticed the buildings as a logo of colonialism, and a reminder of the generational trauma brought on by the abuse reported on the residential faculty.

Different residents nonetheless practiced Catholicism and had been upset to see the church destroyed, whereas others had reminiscences of weddings, baptisms and funerals celebrated on the church.

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