Here’s something different: a prayer vigil for the Columbia River

Here’s something different: Multi-faith prayer vigils organized in 16 different communities that depend on the Columbia River

Organized by Americans John Wicks-Arshack of the Voyages of Rediscovery group, based in Chewelah, Washington, and John Osborn of the Sierra Club, the vigils are:

“A thoughtful way to honour our beloved Columbia River, the hardest-working river in Canada. Its watershed contains 39 dams, all generating electricity for us, at what a cost to the river itself (don’t get me wrong, there are still lots of wonderful plants and animals who make their home in or around the Columbia).”

Participants are encouraged to bring a musical instrument, poem or story about the river that they would like to share. A salmon dinner will be provided but local participants are nonetheless asked to bring some kind of potluck dish.

The Revelstoke vigil will be held on Wednesday, August 13, at the Centennial Park boat ramp beginning at 5 pm.

Please click here to view a poster for this unique event.

The river’s future is somewhat up in the air as Canada and the United States prepare to renegotiate the Columbia River Treaty. The 1964 Columbia River Treaty (CRT) is an international agreement between Canada and the United States to coordinate flood control and optimize hydroelectric energy production on both sides of the border.

The year 2024 is the earliest either Canada or the US may terminate the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) provided 10 years’ advance notice is given in 2014. Both countries have undertaken extensive consultations during their repective review of the current CRT.

On March 14, 2014, the Province of BC announced its decision to continue the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) and seek improvements within its existing framework. Fourteen principles will guide future discussion and, among others, include equitable sharing of benefits from transboundary coordination and recognizing that BC is impacted CRT operations.

On December 13, 2013, the US entity made its final recommendations to the US federal government. It recommended a modern treaty framework that balances power production, flood control and ecosystem functions.

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