By Mervin Brass

(Ochapowace Nation)  – Team Woodland dominated the canoeing competition catapulting them to the top of the unofficial medal standings at the 2015 First Nation Summer Games.

After two days of competition Team Woodland has 14 gold, five silver and two bronze medals coming in the canoeing and cross country running events.

And like Team Woodland, the Prince Albert Grand Council claimed three gold, 13 silver and three bronze with the majority also won on the blue tranquil waters of Crooked Lake.

“They practice, they practice all year round,” says Lori Mcauley, chief official for the canoeing event. “In the winter they ski and do other kinds of exercises to enhance their endurance. In the summer they compete every weekend around the province.”

Mcauley says the southern tribal councils are beginning to improve in the sport.

“We’ve had more competition from the southern bands which we haven’t normally had,” she says. “We have Onion Lake who have placed in many areas. TATC has placed.”

Mcauley says the canoeing event provided her with an opportunity to scout for Team Saskatchewan for the next North American Indigenous Games.

Meanwhile the kayaking event had to be cancelled because the competition style kayaks needed for the event were unavailable.

In the cross country running no one team dominated the competition with the Agency Chiefs Tribal Council winning four gold medals.

Later today the canoeing competition will conclude with more medals up for grabs.

The track and field competitions also get underway.

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