Asia Saddleback was critically wounded in a drive-by shooting Sunday while she ate supper in this house on the Samson First Nation. ((James Hees/CBC))

Local gangs are to blame for a drive-by shooting Sunday that left a 23-month-old girl in critical condition, the chief of the Samson First Nation said Monday.

Marvin Yellowbird said gang violence has reached a crisis level in the Hobbema area, about 100 kilometres south of Edmonton, which is home to a number of First Nation groups.

Yellowbird has called a special meeting of the tribal administration to discuss how to deal with the problem.

Asia Saddleback was eating supper with her family when a bullet came through the wall of her home and struck her just below the stomach, her aunt, Charmaine Saddleback, told CBC News Monday.

She was airlifted to an Edmonton hospital, where she underwent surgery early Monday morning. She was reported in critical but stable condition Monday afternoon.

Saddleback also believes gangs and drugs are behind the shooting and said authorities need to do something to stop it.

Two male suspects, aged 18 and 19, are in custody but no charges have been laid, said Cpl. Darrel Bruno, with the Hobbema RCMP.

Bruno wouldn't say whether gangs were responsible for the latest incident, but he did say this is the 12th shooting in the area in the last three weeks.

With files from James Hees and Briar Stewart