Langdon, Alta. man charged in arsons on Siksika First Nation

A 40-year-old man has been charged in connection with a series of fires that officials say targeted locations on the Siksika First Nation typically used for ceremonies and offerings.

Phillip John Strange, of Langdon, Alta., was arrested on July 1 for allegedly setting a number of grass fires on the reserve early Thursday.

No structures were damaged as a result, but police say extensive damage was caused to the land, which included areas of cultural significance for First Nations people.

Strange has been charged with arson and trespassing on a reserve.

The Siksika Fire Department contained the fire and a provincial fire investigator has been called in.

A motive has not yet been determined, but police say there is nothing to indicate that this incident is linked to several recent arsons at Catholic and Anglican churches earlier this week.

Police say they are working to support all those affected and remind residents to be vigilant when it comes to any suspicious activity, including fires.

"This past week has been trying on the Siksika people. These intentional acts of property damage affect the well being and security of everyone that lives here,” says Sgt. Scott Mercer of the Gleichen RCMP in a statement.

On Tuesday, Mounties were called to respond to an incident at the Siksika First Nation Anglican Church. Officials say someone had broken a window and attempted to start a fire inside the building but were not successful.

A day earlier, police were called to a Catholic church on the reserve for a fire that caused minimal damage.

The investigation into those incidents is still ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call Gleichen RCMP at 403-734-3923.

If you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.