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Posted: June 29, 2020

Report captures Columbia River Treaty community voices

The voices of B.C. Columbia Basin communities are captured in a new report that details a series of Columbia River Treaty meetings held in autumn 2019.

The 2019 Columbia River Treaty Community Meetings Summary Report reflects in-person engagement between the province and communities, as Canada-U.S. talks about the treaty’s future continue.

In October and November 2019, the province hosted public meetings in 12 Columbia Basin communities: Revelstoke, Valemount, Cranbrook, Jaffray, Creston, Golden, Invermere, Genelle, Nelson, Meadow Creek, Nakusp and Fauquier.

The meetings served two purposes: Update communities about the current Columbia River Treaty negotiations and projects underway to address community interests. And give residents an opportunity to connect with the Canadian negotiating team, including the Indigenous Nations that became part of the negotiating contingent in 2019.

The document captures the presentations, feedback and discussions that took place in each community.

In addition to presentations by the negotiating team, each meeting had representatives from the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx/Okanagan Nations provide details about work they are leading to address Columbia Basin ecosystem health and explore reintroducing salmon to the Upper Columbia River. Members of the Columbia River Treaty Local Governments’ Committee shared their updated recommendations for a modernized treaty, which the committee will submit to the provincial and federal governments.

The B.C. government’s Columbia River Treaty Team concluded the meetings by detailing various community projects in development to address some of the treaty-related issues raised by Columbia Basin residents over the years. These include the Columbia River Treaty Heritage Project, a proposed touring route that aims to acknowledge what was lost in the B.C. Columbia Basin as a result of the treaty dams.

See the 2019 Columbia River Treaty Community Meetings Summary Report.

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