Several First Nations communities in the North were beneficiaries of a $1.7 million federal package for economic development projects.
The Matawa First Nations management receives $20,000 in grant money to negotiate an agreement with First Nations Power to become a shareholder in the organization.
First Nations Power was established a year-and-a-half ago to foster relationships in the energy field among First Nations, governments and private-sector energy companies.
Other projects include $824,627 for the development of a business mall on the Webequie First Nation, a community 350 kilometres north of Greenstone. Pending final approvals, plans call for a Northern Store, a Royal Bank, public laundry, motel, restaurant and arcade.
Eabametoong First Nation receives $385,210 to start up a forestry company within the Ogoki forest management unit, northeast of Armstrong.
Martin Falls First Nation, northeast of Thunder Bay, receives $200,000 to buy forestry equipment and housing for workers involved in a new forestry company being developed.
Nibinamik First Nation, northwest of Pickle Lake, will get $83,000 to improve telecommunications.