SQUAMISH, B.C. - The B.C. government has finalized an agreement with the Squamish First Nation, allowing the province to widen the Sea-to-Sky Highway through portions of the band's traditional territory.

Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon says the First Nation north of Vancouver will be able to pursue economic opportunities created by the highway improvement project and the 2010 Olympic Games.

Falcon says the agreement will mean efficiency and long-term safety for local residents and other travellers along the corridor that will link the two venues of the Games.

The deal includes the transfer of 600 acres of Crown land to the Squamish First Nation and an option to buy an additional 600 acres of Crown land within five to 10 years at a cost of $4.6 million.

The government will transfer $9.75 million to the band for land acquisition and to compensate for any direct impacts of the highway upgrade to First Nation lands along the route.

The Squamish First Nation will also receive $1.25 million for training, employment and advice on joint ventures to increase business opportunities.