The province has announced an agreement with four Ktunaxa Nation communities to share revenues from new coal mine projects in the Elk Valley.
The agreement involves the communities of St. Mary's Tobacco Plains, Lower Kootenay and Akisq'nuk First Nation.
Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation chair, said the Ktunaxa First Nation is pleased with the agreement.
"It is one step toward the revenue-sharing agreements that must be reached with all B.C. First Nations," she said.
This is the fourth Economic and Community Development Agreement in the province.
According to the province, the Ktunaxa Nation will invest its share of local coal mining revenues for initiatives related to education, cultural revitalization, housing, infrastructure, health, economic development, land stewardship, intergovernmental engagement processes and governance capacity.
Gavin Dirom, president and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC), welcomed the agreement yesterday during AME BC's annual Mineral Exploration Roundup conference.
"The signing of an economic and community development agreement between the B.C. government and four Ktunaxa Nation communities creates more certainty for everyone and further strengthens B.C.'s reputation as a province that values mutually beneficial relationships between industry, government and local First Nations," he said.