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‘It’s so hard to talk about them in the past tense,’ said Alice Rigney, the mother of Keith Marten. Marten was one of four hunters who died on the Rocher River in April. His body was the last to be found. (Mitch Wiles/CBC) Alice Rigney says the community of Fort Chipewyan is an example of what can happen when people pull together.

Rigney’s son, Keith Marten, was one of four hunters who died on the Rocher River in late April. Marten’s body was the last to be recovered in late June. His funeral was on Tuesday in the northern Alberta community. ‘He liked to really share. He was really generous,’ said Alice Rigney of her son Keith Marten, who died on the Rocher River. (Facebook) "It’s so hard to talk about them in the past tense," Rigney told CBC on Wednesday.

She says the men, including Andrew Ladouceur, his brother Walter Ladouceur and Keanan Cardinal, were hunters through and through.

Marten and Andrew Ladouceur were only a year apart in age, Rigney said.

"I don’t think they talked about girls too often," she chuckled, "it was just about where they could go hunting next."

The men were on an evening hunting trip on April 23, heading to an area known as Devil’s Gate. Relatives believe their boat struck ice in the river, which threw the men into the near-freezing water.

Walter Ladouceur, 42, was found April 30; 21-year-old Keenan Cardinal was found May 1.

As the weeks passed with no sign of Andrew Ladouceur or Marten, Rigney says the community never gave up."There were times when people would say, you know maybe we’ll never find them," Rigney said."But that underlying determination of this community and how such a tragedy losing four hunters from this community, pulled this whole little community together, that all barriers came down."Rigney […]

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