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Columbia River Treaty, CRT


In February of 2017, Western Washington University (WWU) and Northwest Indian College (NWIC) hosted a two-day symposium on the modernization of the CRT. The purpose of this event was to develop public awareness and inform treaty negotiators from the United States and diplomats from Canada of key issues. Presenters and panelists explored the history of the treaty, governance ideas, Indigenous perspectives, hydrology and climate, electric energy, ecosystem function, and flood risk management/irrigation. Panelists included representatives from tribes and First Nations, government agencies, non-government organizations, private industry, and universities. During the panels, many speakers said that there is a need to look at governance from a systems-level perspective to account for the interconnected nature of the issues. There was also widespread agreement that a modernized treaty contain a governance structure that includes multiple sovereign entities in the planning process and that is adaptable to future changes in physical systems.