After 20 years of partnership, Constance Lake Nation reaps revenue benefits

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 1:55pm


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Constance Lake Community Building

The Constance Lake First Nation has signed an electricity agreement with Ontario that will provide economic benefits to the community, the first time since it became a partner in the Shekak-Nagagami hydro-electric project more than 20 years ago.

The Shekak-Nagagami is a 19 megawatt (MW) facility located on the Shekak River, approximately 80 km west of Hearst, Ont. The agreement will provide stable, long-term revenue to Constance Lake— approximately $1 million to $1.2 this year and increase of 70 per cent of the Consumer Price Index annually in future year —based on electricity generated by the project.

“Constance Lake First Nation’s agreement with Ontario is precedent setting,” said Chief Rick Allen. “Working within a collaborative process, rooted in mutual trust and respect, we have strengthened our relationship with Ontario.

“The revenue committed to under the agreement will help build capacity, strengthen our culture and improve community wellness for decades to come. We will continue to walk the path of reconciliation with Ontario, mindful of the past, with a clear vision of a better future for the people of Constance Lake First Nation.”

This agreement with Constance Lake is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, reads a press statement released by the province. It reflects the government’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.

Constance Lake First Nation is affiliated with the Matawa Tribal Council and is a member of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation. It is located 34 kilometres west of Hearst. About 850 people live on reserve and more than 800 people live away from home.