Magazine article Anglican Journal

U.S., Canada Urged to Review Treaty

Magazine article Anglican Journal

U.S., Canada Urged to Review Treaty

Article excerpt

Religious and indigenous leaders from Canada and the United States have urged U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to begin negotiations that would "right historic wrongs" and promote "water stewardship" in the Columbia River Treaty.

In 1964, the federal government and the B.C. provincial government signed a treaty with the United States to jointly manage water resources along the Columbia River Basin, which stretches 2,000 kilometres from the Rocky Mountains of B.C. through four U.S. states. During the 50-year period, dams were created for hydroelectric power and flood prevention. The treaty--which religious and native leaders say ignores the rights of Columbia Basin tribes in the U.S. and the First Nations in Canada--is up for renegotiation. The treaty has no specified end date, but either country can unilaterally terminate most of its provisions as early as Sept. 16, 2024, provided that at least 10 years' notice is given, which would have been Sept. 16, 2014.

In letters sent to Obama and Harper, 14 religious leaders and seven indigenous leaders included a Declaration of Ethics urging them to "work together to develop and implement an integrated spiritual, social and ecological vision for our watershed home. …

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