Communities in the Northwest Territories will get $163 million in federal gas tax funding over the next 10 years, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt announced Tuesday at the legislative assembly.

Valcourt says the money can be spent on infrastructure, including roads, public transit, broadband connectivity and projects related to sports, culture or tourism.

"Provinces, territories and municipalities are now assured of an ongoing funding stream to address their infrastructure needs and priorities," he said. "When from one year to another you know what you're going to get from this fund, you can plan accordingly and don't have to worry that next year the funds won't be there."

This is the first time there has been a multi-year commitment for the money.

In the past, federal gas tax funding helped pay for utilidors in Inuvik, chipseal in Fort Simpson and the new water treatment plant in Yellowknife.

Valcourt says municipalities will also now have more leeway on how they spend the money. Before they could only use it for green initiatives.