The northern Manitoba communities of Cross Lake and Norway House have signed agreements in principle with the province and Manitoba Hydro to compensate for the impacts of past hydroelectric developments.
Energy Minister Tim Sale announced the million dollar deals Wednesday.
Approximately $9 million will be provided to Norway House, while Cross Lake is expected to receive $8 million.
The money is for repayment for flooding of the reserve’s land by Manitoba Hydro.
“This agreement goes some distance towards addressing the social and economic ills of our community,” said Bob Smith, deputy mayor of Cross Lake, in a press release.
“These new dollars will certainly help to restore pride in our culture and a sense of being a part of this province.”
Aboriginals in the region have complained for years that hydroelectric dams contaminated water and reduced the fish stocks they rely on.
Cross Lake was the only one of five bands not to settle for a lump sum deal under the 1977 Northern Flood Agreement.
It was negotiated to compensate aboriginal communities for the impact of hydroelectric development on hunting and fishing grounds.
Cross Lake is about 750 kilometres north of Winnipeg.