Kash Shade takes a leap Sept. 17 at the Maskwacis Panee Agriplex during the Northern Alberta Native Cowboys Association finals rodeo. The top two in each event make their way to the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas

Kash Shade takes a leap Sept. 17 at the Maskwacis Panee Agriplex during the Northern Alberta Native Cowboys Association finals rodeo. The top two in each event make their way to the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas

Cowboys prepare for Indian National Finals Rodeo

The best of the best First Nations cowboys converged on Maskwacis last weekend as part of NANCA.

The best of the best First Nations cowboys converged on Maskwacis last weekend as part of the Northern Alberta Native Cowboys Association finals (NANCA).

The top cowboys in each event not only competed for bragging rights but the chance to compete at the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR), set for Nov. 8 to 12 in Las Vegas, NV.

NANCA secretery Cynthia Bull said in an interview that the weekend is a culmination of eight regional rodeos within northern Alberta. The top 12 cowboys in points from all the rodeos in the season worked to land that coveted first or second place spot earning them a ride to Las Vegas.

“We are a region of the INFR. There’s 13 regions I believe. There’s two in Canada, the rest are in the States,” explained Bull.

“If you win the INFR you hold the world title.”

In order to be eligible as a member, cowboys and girls must be within required blood criteria, added Bull. Several members including team roper Derrick Begay, have been to the National Finals Rodeo.

“It’s a fantastic association with a lot of families because we have juniors, down to seven year old barrel racers, and up to the senior breakaway ropers,” explained Bull.

“We run the gamut from the little ones to the older ones.”