Treaty tutorial at Touchstones

Nelson’s Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is opening its doors and waiving admissions

Nelson’s Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is opening its doors and waiving admissions from Wednesday, November 8 to Sunday, November 13 in an effort to help area residents learn more about the Columbia River Treaty and how it relates to local dams, reservoirs and lake levels.

Columbia Basin Trust is hosting a display at the museum as part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and understanding about the Columbia River Treaty and will be sponsoring admissions at the museum for five days.

“Our primary role with respect to the Treaty is to act as an information resource for Basin residents,” says Kindy Gosal, the Trust’s director, water and environment. “Working in partnership with the museum is a great way to help people learn what is going on.”

The Treaty is an international agreement between Canada and the United States to coordinate flood control and optimize hydroelectric power generation on both sides of the border. Under the 1964 Treaty, three dams, — Mica, Duncan and Hugh Keenleyside — were constructed in Canada. A fourth dam, Libby, was constructed in Montana.

“This is a great chance for anyone to come to the museum and explore the permanent exhibit on the second flood that includes screening of three videos about the Columbia River Treaty,” says Touchstones director, Leah Best.

On November 14 the Trust is hosting a free information session at the Nelson District Rod and Gun Club. The open house begins at 2 p.m., free dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the evening presentation starts at 7 p.m.

The Trust is also hosting an online information session on November 23. Learn more at

The Treaty has no official expiry date, but has a minimum length of 60 years, which is met in 2024. Either Canada or the US can terminate many of the provisions effective any time after September 2024, provided written notice is filed at least 10 years in advance (2014). While no decision has been made by either Canada or the United States on the future of the current treaty, both countries are now conducting studies and exploring options.