2013 Watershed Governance Symposium Proceedings



Think Like A Watershed SEPTEMBER 29 – 30

Over 120 people travelled to Fairmont Hot Springs to build a cross-cultural dialogue on watershed governance in the Columbia Basin. The CBWN and Symposium Planning Committee would like to thank the many facilitators, presenters, moderators, working group session leaders, note-takers, and attendees who made this dialogue possible. A special thank you to our sponsors who supported this event.
This water governance conversation will not stop here. In order to gain momentum and move forward we need to continue working and talking with First Nations and engaging all levels of government, academics, professionals, industry, ENGOs, stewardship groups and community members.

Symposium ignites an important dialogue on future watershed governance in the Columbia Basin

“Moving forward towards holistic watershed governance will require a new Canadian narrative based on our aboriginal heritage that is truly collaborative and inclusive”

– John Ralston Saul

“First Nations need to lead the charge on building this narrative not only to satisfy ourselves, but do this for future generations”  

– Chief Wayne Christian, Splatsin Indian Band

“The biggest challenge to effective Basin-scale water governance is finding a way to believe in and trust one another and work together when there have been so many reasons not to in the past”

– Bob Sandford, UN Water for Life Decade

“We need to shift from managing watersheds to managing people in watersheds”

– Oliver Brandes, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance



Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary

II. Acknowledgements

III.Backgrounder – Conceptualizing Watershed Governance in the Columbia Basin, Canada

IV. Concept Outline

V. Registration Package, including Agenda, Speaker Biographies, and Synopsis

VI. Summary of Presentations by Robert Sandford, UN Water for Life Decade

VII. Presentations – Available

i. From Creeks to Rivers: Watershed Functions and Issues in the Columbia Basin – Martin Carver, Aqua Environmental Associates
ii. Climate Change and the Canadian Columbia Basin – Greg Utzig, Kutenai Nature Investigations Ltd
iii. Beyond Mines, Settlers and Certainty?: New Perspectives on BC’s Old Water Laws and Emerging– Oliver Brandes, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, Water Sustainability Project, University of Victoria
iv. Columbia River Treaty Review – Amy Avila, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines
v. Think Like a Watershed Columbia Basin 2013: Focus to Action– Nelson Jatel, Okanagan Basin Water Board

VIII. Appendices

A. Working Group Discussions – What we heard

B. Feedback and Reflection – Online Survey Results

C. Media

i. “Saul speaks out for Salmon and Salmon Celebration” – Article in Columbia Valley Pioneer
ii. “Shifting paradigms at the Think Like a Watershed Symposium – Experts call for a new Canadian narrative that is inclusive and collaborative” – CBWN and Living Lakes Canada post event press release
iii. “John Ralston Saul on Environment, Economics, Governance, and First Nations” – Interview Water Canada
iv. “Think Like a Watershed with Canada’s famous free-thinker” – CBWN and Living Lakes Canada press release,

D.  Additional Resources – Suggested Reading List

i. 1910 Memorial to Sir Wilfred Laurier, Premier of the Dominion of Canada from the Chiefs of the Shuswap, Okanagan and Couteau Tribes of British Columbia presented at Kamloops, BC, August 25, 1910
ii. 250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
iii. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
iv. Summary of U.S. Draft Recommendations, Columbia River Treaty 2014 Review
v. Draft Public Consultation Report and Draft Recommendations, Columbia River Treaty 2014 Review
vi. The State of the Water Movement in British Columbia: A Waterscape Scan & Needs Assessment of B.C. Watershed-Based Groups, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance
vii. A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada, John Ralston Saul
viii. A Story as Sharp as a Knife, Robert Bringhurst
ix. The Truth About Stories, Thomas King
x. Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis, Richard Atleo
xi. The Lafontaine-Baldwin Lecture 2002, George Erasmus
xii. Storytellers, Joseph Gosnell
xiii. Three Day Road, Joseph Boyden
xiv.  Mycelium Running, Paul Stamats, Guujaaw (President of the Haida Council) note