HomeNationalAlberta Catholic church burns to the ground in 'suspicious' incident

Alberta Catholic church burns to the ground in ‘suspicious’ incident

“Over 100 years in history, gone up in flames,” said First Nation Chief Allan Adam. “This was uncalled for. This was a beautiful church.”

On Thursday, a Catholic church with over 100 years of history in the remote northern Alberta town of Fort Chipewyan was completely destroyed in a early morning fire.

The blaze began around 2:38 am, According to CTV News. It was not slow burning and within minutes, the church was fully engulfed in flames.

Police say the incident will be investigated as “suspicious”.

The incident was live streamed on facebook by Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam as he helped firefighters at the scene and repeatedly warned them of a fuel tank beside the church that eventually caught on fire.

“Over 100 years in history, gone up in flames,” he said. “This was uncalled for. This was a beautiful church.”

Adam said the loss of the church will be felt deeply for the community adding they didn’t just lose a church, they lost a staple in the community that carried a “history that included marriages, funerals, and hundreds of other significant moments in the community.”

Following the incident, the ACFN Chief and Council released a statement.

“Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) Chief and Council are saddened by the loss of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Roman Catholic Church in Fort Chipewyan,” the statement began.

“The church, built in 1909, has been a part of the community for over one hundred years, and even though the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Roman Catholic Church is complicated the loss of the church will be deeply felt in the community.”

In a interview with APTN News, Adam denounced the attack as “unnecessary.”

“You don’t take your frustration and anger and disappointment on the house of the Lord,” he said. “A lot of history went through there, a lot of our elders’ memories are in my head will only be there now because every time I walk across there won’t be a church standing there.”

Only the only thing left of the church is the foundation. Police said no injuries were reported, and the investigation is ongoing.

We’re asking readers, like you, to make a contribution in support of BC Rise's fact-based, independent reporting.

Unlike the mainstream media, BC Rise isn’t getting a government bailout and fully independent. Instead, we depend on friendly support of Canadians like you.

A media outlet cannot remain neutral and fair if they have special beneficiaries or government handouts.

This is why independent media in Canada is more important than ever. If you’re able, please make a donation to BC Rise today. Thank you so much.

Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular