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About Us

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin.

We often work behind the scenes and take our lead from residents and communities. The Trust is here to offer resources, experience and support to all Basin residents.

While our range of services, programs, initiatives and financial investments is complex, our purpose is straightforward and easy to understand: we exist and act for the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Columbia Basin—now and for generations to come.


Formation of the Trust

Columbia Basin Trust was created in 1995 to support efforts by the people of the Basin to create social, economic and environmental well-being in the Canadian portion of the Columbia River Basin—the region most affected by the Columbia River Treaty.

During the creation of the CRT, Basin residents weren't adequately consulted for their views, concerns or solutions. In the early 1990s, the people of the Basin seized the opportunity to get involved. Residents, local officials and representatives from regional districts and tribal councils joined together to coordinate efforts, forming the Columbia River Treaty Committee. Reflecting the desires of the people of the Basin, the committee approached the Province of BC in order to negotiate:

  • that funds be allocated to the region, representing a fair share of the ongoing benefits being realized outside of the Basin as a result of the CRT
  • that a regional organization, governed by a board of Basin residents, be created to manage those funds.

Negotiations were successful on both counts, and, in 1995, Columbia Basin Trust was established. A binding agreement was also established which resulted in the following for the residents of the Basin through Columbia Basin Trust:

  • $276 million to finance power project construction
  • $45 million, which the Trust used as an endowment
  • $2 million per year from 1995 to 2010 for operations.

Today, the Trust continues to engage with residents and communities in an ongoing dialogue to address Basin priorities.

Columbia Basin Trust