The McLeod Lake Indian Band has signed on to a government-to-government agreement with the province.

The 556 member band will share any oil and gas revenue generated in its territory with the province. As part of this, BC will provide $1 million over the course of the agreement, which runs until March 31, 2024.

The agreement also establishes a management committee for 23 thousand square kilometres in the Omineca region, which will focus on environmental stewardship while maintaining forestry activities.

“The McLeod Lake Indian Band is happy to take this next step with the provincial government to ensure that we have a voice in the prosperity of our members and all strategic decisions that affect our traditional territory,” McLeod Lake Chief Derek Orr said in a statement. “And it provides the means to create future opportunities for our young people.“

The government will invest in a $5.8 million dollar long-term trust that will enable band members to access funding for education up to the age of 35, provided they get their BC graduation certificate.

“The mcLeod lake Indian Band leads in creating entrepreneurial opportunities in our province within the First Nations community, says a statement from Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie. “This agreement will ensure more certainty and will no doubt lead to greater Business accomplishments and opportunities.”

As Morris notes, this isn’t the band’s first foray into resource or government agreements. The band has been part of the Treaty 8 agreement since 2000 and has Natural Gas Pipeline Benefits agreements with the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line, Coastal Gas Link and Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project, all in the last two years. The band also has agreements with BC Hydro, related to the Site C dam project.