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Columbia River Treaty

September 16, 2019

Indigenous Group: Ktunaxa Nation, Secwepemc Nation and Syilx Okanagan Nation

Business: Govt of Canada and BC; Govt. of USA

Issue: May 3, 2019: Assembly of First Nations – Decisions made under the Treaty have had many adverse effects on the First Nations involved, including damage to village and burial sites and damage to fish stocks, a traditional food source with cultural and spiritual significance

Comment: Discussions about the future of the Columbia River Treaty and potential paths forward on flood-risk management and hydropower co-ordination were launched in 2018 with four sets of negotiation meetings between Canada (including B.C.) and the United States.

Last Update: Sept. 16, 2019 – Government of BC – On behalf of the Canadian delegation, the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx/Okanagan Nations made a presentation to U.S. negotiators, drawn from their ongoing study of ecosystems in the Canadian Columbia Basin. They also made a presentation on the collaboration between Indigenous, provincial and federal governments to explore options for the reintroduction of salmon to the Upper Columbia. The presentation also highlighted the importance of building flexibility into the treaty to achieve Indigenous, ecosystem and social objectives.

ribal advisors from the U.S. Tribes provided expertise regarding the extensive ecosystem work that the United States has undertaken in the basin, including transboundary efforts.

“As treaty negotiations continue, the approach being taken by negotiators shows just how far we have come since the treaty was drafted half a century ago,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty. “The presence and involvement of Indigenous Nations and the U.S. Tribes means voices and perspectives that were shut out 50 years ago are now being heard and helping to shape the treaty’s future.”