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Posted: April 27, 2020

A message from B.C. Columbia River Treaty Team leader

Letter to the Editor

As the situation around COVID-19 evolves, work on the Columbia River Treaty continues.

Though the next round of Canada-U.S. negotiations has not yet been scheduled, Canada, B.C. and Columbia Basin Indigenous Nations are collaborating through remote technology to refine Canadian positions and advance ecosystem function work.

The provincial Columbia River Treaty Team is also focused on addressing Treaty-related community interests, finalizing the summary report for last fall’s Columbia Basin community meetings, and exploring new ways of connecting with Basin residents.

Our thanks to all of you who are navigating this challenging time with patience and understanding.  We also deeply appreciate the resolve of our Indigenous Nations and federal government partners to keep moving forward with the Treaty modernization process.

The province remains committed to engaging with Indigenous Nations, local governments and Basin residents on the Treaty and Treaty-related interests.  However, we recognize that the main concern for British Columbians right now is the health and safety of their families and communities.  With that in mind, a number of public engagement plans for this spring have been postponed and timelines have been shifted.

We will continue providing updates on the B.C. Columbia River Treaty website, Facebook, Twitter, and through our newsletter, the next issue of which will be out in May.  We also welcome questions and comments by phone or email.  If there comes a time when we need to connect with Basin citizens on specific Treaty-related matters before the current health concerns subside, we will look at ways of doing that remotely, ensuring an inclusive process.

In the meantime, we are staying in touch with the Local Governments’ Committee and the Columbia Basin Regional Advisory Committee when there is news to share and issues to discuss. Katrine Conroy, Minister Responsible for the Treaty, is also in regular contact with the B.C. Treaty Team.

Throughout the province’s public engagement on Treaty matters, we have taken every opportunity to connect with Basin residents face-to-face and to make our presence felt in the communities most affected by the Treaty.  While the current situation has made it necessary to put a pause on in-person activities, please know that B.C.’s Columbia River Treaty Team is still here and working hard for the Basin.

On behalf of the B.C. Columbia River Treaty Team, I wish you all good health.

Kathy Eichenberger,

Executive Director of the Provincial Columbia River Treaty Team


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