The Tony Cote Winter Games have officially wrapped up.

Closing ceremonies for the games went Thursday in Saskatoon. Games Manager Lyle Daniels told MBC Radio News there was a sizable group of people who took part in the games this time around.

“It was under 4,000 athletes, coaches and chaperons that participated from my understand it looked like from (all), 74 First Nations throughout Saskatchewan,” he said.

Finishing at the top of the games in terms of overall points was the team representing the Battleford Agency Tribal Chiefs, coming in second was the team from the Meadow Lake Tribal Council while the team representing File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council rounded out the top three.

This year’s winter games were the first ones held since the COVID-19 pandemic. Daniels said while organizers were faced with some challenges during the games, he said overall the event was a positive one.

“Young people were winning medals and I was involved with all of the medal presentations and it was good to see the young people happy and there to compete in a good way,” he said.

The host nation for this year’s winter games was James Smith Cree Nation. Daniels said it was an honor for him to work with the organizers from the First Nation in putting on this year’s event. He added the community’s leadership sees the importance of putting on events like the Tony Cote Games.

“It’s the leadership of James Smith that understands and know that we need to do these type of events for our young people,” he said.