The proposed new deal with Hydro Quebec has now been ratified by all Cree communities. Cree Grand Council spokesperson Brian Craik says the next step will the official signing of the new agreement. “It’s possible it will come in the middle of the month,” Craik said. “There will be no changes made to the agreement.”

Although some communities expressed concerns over the pact, no wording changes or additional clauses were deemed necessary to accommodate these.

“The thing that will happen is that the Cree will decide how they are going to administer [the money], a lot of the comments have to do with who is going to benefit from it and how the money is going to be used. That is the kind of thing that the Crees can decide. There is no need for Hydro-Quebec to bless any of that” said Craik.

Once the deal is signed, the way will be paved for the first $7 million payment on April 1. Then the communities can put in their requests to have projects funded.