About Us

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) supports efforts by the people of the Basin to create a legacy of social, economic and environmental well-being and to achieve greater self-sufficiency for present and future generations.

Working closely with people who live in the Basin, CBT develops and delivers programs and initiatives that respond to their needs and supports communities. By focusing on local priorities and issues, bringing people together around key issues, providing information, encouraging collaboration, and supporting planning, CBT is delivering benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. Learn more about how CBT works with communities.

Using the income earned from the Investment Program, CBT's Delivery of Benefits activities supports programs and initiatives which focus on fostering quality of life and addressing critical issues in the Basin.

Formation of CBT

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) 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; and
  • 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 CBT used as an endowment; and
  • $2 million per year from 1995 to 2010 for operations.

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

Columbia Basin Trust