THREE

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

1995 – 1998

“We don’t need experts and consultants to tell us how to do things in our own backyard. We are the beneficiaries of the legacy of the Trust, and are able and willing to plot our own future.”
JOSH SMIENK, CHAIR, 1995–2006

Board members of the newly established Columbia Basin Trust returned from Victoria no longer committee members seeking to improve the lives of Basin residents, but as representatives of an organization with the power and resources to make that dream a reality. But the Trust’s work was just beginning. The Columbia Basin Trust Act required that its Board set out long-term objectives, priorities and programs based on input from Basin residents. In the meantime, Board members needed a plan to guide them in the short-term, as well as office space and staff. The Trust was eager to get these things in place so it could fulfill its commitments to Basin residents to return benefits to the region and create a legacy of well-being. Building on the same hard work and dedication that led to the Columbia Basin Accord and the Columbia Basin Trust Act, the Trust set about charting a clear path forward.

CHARTING A PATH

In autumn 1995, the Board began a nationwide search for a chief executive officer (CEO) and evaluated some 250 applicants. In the end, the successful candidate was Ivan Robinson. Robinson came to the Trust from the Calgary Regional Planning Commission, where he served as director for over 15 years. A “planner by nature,” Robinson helped guide the Trust and Basin residents as they determined how to structure and operate the new organization and how to distribute benefits.1

Above. Members of the first Columbia Basin Trust Board of Directors on the steps of the B.C. Legislature after the signing of the Columbia Basin Trust Act, July 1995.

One of the first orders of business was to find a location for the Trust’s head office. The Trust chose Nakusp, where the rise and fall of water levels in Arrow Lakes Reservoir made visible the ongoing impacts of the Treaty. Corky Evans viewed this as a powerful reminder to employees and Board members that their work was necessary and meaningful: “I want [them] to be able to look out the window and see the water go down,” Evans said, “and the water come back, and the children try to go swimming across the mud flats.”2 In August 1995, the Trust announced Nakusp would become its first headquarters.

Although its head office was in Nakusp, the Trust was active across the Basin. It hosted a series of open houses in autumn 1995 to share information about the Columbia Basin Trust Act and obtain community input on its short- and long-term goals. These were held in 11 communities: Cranbrook, Creston, Golden, Invermere, Jaffray, Kaslo, Nakusp, Nelson, Revelstoke, Trail and Valemount. Residents shared their questions, ideas and concerns about the newly formed Trust and its plans for investing downstream benefits. Kaslo residents, for example, were concerned they would not see the same economic return as people in the Castlegar-Trail area, where power projects were located. They wanted to see the Trust investing in diverse options that would benefit present and future generations across the Basin.3

Information gathered through these open houses was the basis for discussion at the 1995 symposium. Wanting to keep residents at the heart of all decisions, the Trust used the symposium to bring people up to speed on the organization’s progress and gain feedback as it moved forward. From October 20 to 22, over 200 delegates from across the Basin gathered in Golden to discuss the Trust’s goals and structure. Greg Deck, who attended the symposium as a Trust Board member, recalled the overarching question that shaped the event: “What are we going to do with the money we’ve got?”4

Participants came up with varied responses. Larry Brierley, a director of the Regional District of Central Kootenay, suggested the creation of a “Columbia Trail,” modelled after the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. Other suggestions were similarly geared toward developing recreation and tourism, with particular interest in heritage tourism opportunities. Participants also encouraged the Trust to explore restoration opportunities, such as a Natural Heritage Reserve between Canal Flats and Donald.5 The lands between the two communities featured wetlands, grasslands and hoodoo formations and would appeal to tourists interested in nature and natural history.

Delegates also recommended spending on environmental initiatives, such as water management, energy conservation, fish and wildlife enhancement, and waste reduction.6

The Trust’s first office was in Nakusp, a community where the fluctuating waters of the Arrow Lakes Reservoir were a visible reminder of the damage caused by the Columbia River Treaty.

Regaining control over water-management decisions that had been made outside the Basin for more than 30 years was a common refrain, especially when it came to stabilizing reservoir levels behind Treaty dams. Not only could stabilizing water levels optimize power benefits and perhaps reduce hydropower costs for consumers, but it could also boost tourism and recreation and improve hunting and fishing after years of environmental damage.7 Ultimately, environmental initiatives would help ensure the long-term sustainability of the Basin and create opportunities for social and economic gains. 

The 1995 symposium participants also discussed the hydropower investments that were outlined in the Columbia Basin Accord signed earlier that year. Where the Accord indicated the possible expansion of Brilliant Dam, one suggestion at the symposium was that the Trust should in fact purchase the dam.8 While some delegates were cautiously optimistic about investing in hydropower, others were more hesitant. An editorial published in the Golden Star stated that, although such projects would not involve any new flooding, the Trust’s “grand scheme” was still unclear. The Trust was cautioned not to repeat the mistakes made on past hydropower projects.9

1995 Symposium, Golden

The newly formed Columbia Basin Trust held its first symposium in Golden from October 20 to 22, 1995. Knowing that the Basin had secured a piece of the Treaty’s downstream benefits, participants discussed how that money might be invested to improve the well-being of the Basin.

“We don’t need experts and consultants to tell us how to do things in our own backyard. We are the beneficiaries of the legacy of the Trust, and are able and willing to plot our own future.”

JOSH SMIENK, CHAIR, 1995–2006

Despite the many and varied suggestions received at the symposium, participants agreed that any investments the Trust made should concentrate on the entire Basin rather than any individual community, that the Trust should aim to provide employment opportunities and improve quality of life for Basin residents, and that any management plans or long-term objectives should reflect those ideas. Delegates were also clear that the Trust had an intergenerational responsibility to “protect and enhance the well-being of people, land and water of the Basin.”10

No matter what the Trust chose to invest in, clear communication with Basin residents was critical. People wanted regular opportunities to respond to the Trust and evaluate its work. Pleased with the results of previous symposiums and open houses arranged by the Columbia River Treaty Committee, residents asked that the Trust continue to hold public events as a way of keeping them informed of the Trust’s activities and measuring their progress. Residents also wanted to ensure they were at the centre of all the Trust’s decisions, since they were the ones who would live with the results. Symposium delegates recommended the Trust establish public advisory groups to help it create short- and long-term plans. During the planning phase and beyond, these advisory groups could identify issues, provide feedback to the Trust and communicate with residents.11

Through public engagement, residents hoped the Trust would represent diverse interests and remain accessible to people of all ages, cultures and geographies. Part of this was a continued commitment to including First Nations in Trust decisions and operations. Participants at the 1995 symposium wanted to see even greater First Nations representation, recognizing “the special relationship of First Nations to the land and water of the Basin.”12 Like the Columbia River Treaty Committee, the Trust’s Board included representation from the Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Tribal Council.

“THE POWER IS IN THE PLAN”

Armed with clear directives from Basin residents, the Trust set to work on the Columbia Basin Management Plan (CBMP). According to the Columbia Basin Trust Act, the Trust had until July 1997 to create a long-term plan that would establish “objectives, priorities, and programs to achieve the social, economic and environmental purposes of the Trust.”13 The plan would serve as the “backbone” of the Trust, to make the Basin secure for generations to come.14 “The power is in the plan,” said Vice-Chair Garry Merkel. “This is not a compensation package. The Trust was not made to hand out money. We are here to listen to the public and build a plan. We want our great-grandchildren to eventually be part of the Trust.”15

Above. The Province presented the Trust’s Board of Directors with a commemorative cheque to mark the first investment payment — $45 million — on April 20, 1996. The cheque was created as a puzzle, with each piece representing the five regional districts and the Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Tribal Council that had come together to form Columbia Basin Trust. Board members visited each community, cheque in tow, to announce the investment.

By March 1996, the Trust had made significant strides toward engaging the public in its work. It established an advisory committee of seven individuals who reflected “the diverse interests of the region” to advise the Board’s Corporate Planning Committee on a short-term strategy for the organization.16 One of these committee members was Lloyd Sharpe, who had lost his family farm to the floodwaters of Lake Koocanusa reservoir. He was joined by Laurel Douglas of Nelson, Don Bennett of Valemount, Stu McKay of Trail, Bill Green of Kimberley, John Bergenske of Skookumchuk and Paul Hambruch of Golden. Hambruch recalled the early days of the Trust: “That was a very important time. I mean, that was when we had to figure out what the Trust [was] going to be all about. We couldn’t imagine that the Trust would ever have more than 10 employees in those days.”17

The short-term strategy included a draft mission statement and core function, as well as criteria to evaluate the Trust’s efforts and outcomes, corporate priorities and operational strategies.18 The Corporate Planning Committee presented the plan to the Trust’s Board of Directors at a meeting in June 1996. Next, the Board established a second advisory committee to design the CBMP. This committee comprised 12 representatives from Basin communities, such as Valemount, Golden, Winlaw and Kimberley. The representatives included three members of the original advisory committee — Bill Green, Lloyd Sharpe and Paul Hambruch — as well as one youth representative, Kristen Carlson.

To develop the CBMP, the Trust and the advisory committee established an outreach program to share information with and receive feedback from residents across the region. The Trust also created a workbook for individuals to fill in, and planned workshops to stimulate dialogue. It encouraged people to sit down in a “kitchen table-style” setting and discuss ideas with others.19 The workbooks presented the current plans and directives for the Trust and asked residents to indicate what they agreed or disagreed with, and to comment on what they wanted the Trust to accomplish. Residents recorded their responses on tear-out sheets and mailed them back to the Trust’s office in Nakusp. Of the more than 2,000 workbooks distributed across the Basin, some 500 tear-out sheets were returned.

Using the feedback gathered from workbooks, meetings and earlier symposiums, the Trust presented a draft of the CBMP to participants at the 1997 symposium in Revelstoke that April. Trust Chair Josh Smienk told the 250 delegates the draft plan was just that: a draft “written in jello, not stone.”20

There was still room to make changes. One of the main purposes of the symposium was for residents to review and provide their thoughts on the plan. The Nelson Daily News reported that people “dove into the 80-page draft document with zeal” as they discussed job creation, employment equity, youth education and environmental issues.21

1997 Symposium, Revelstoke

One of the key tasks of the 1997 symposium was to review and refine the Columbia Basin Management Plan (CBMP). In the year leading up to the symposium, the Trust held workshops and consulted with residents and advisory committees to come up with a plan to guide the Trust’s long-term objectives. It distributed workbooks throughout the Basin to gauge residents’ values and priorities. Using this feedback, the Trust came up with a draft CBMP for symposium participants to discuss when they gathered in Revelstoke in April 1997. These discussions helped the Trust further refine the CBMP, which was finalized three months later.

“The most difficult task the Trust faces is maintaining the balance between its broad environmental, economic, and social objectives. It does not appear we’ve had to compromise any of these with this plan.”

IVAN ROBINSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, 1996–1998

In principle, delegates agreed with the kind of sustainable and secure future outlined in the plan. They stressed the Trust must adhere to high standards of accountability and equitability. The Trust had to create tools and processes to monitor the organization and its progress, such as expanded advisory committees and regular symposiums. Further, it had to create projects and programs valuable to the wider Basin and not just to individual interests, groups or regions. The delegates also wanted to make sure that decisions on the future of the Basin would continue to be made at the grassroots level, and the Trust would seek input and reflect those grassroots interests and priorities in its work.22

Narrowing down the final version of the CBMP was difficult. Garry Merkel remembered the challenge the Trust faced in ensuring the plan captured their values and visions.23 There was a large volume of material and suggestions to bring together in the final version. Residents and Trust members wanted the language of the document to be easy to understand.24 Corky Evans said the plan needed to be manageable and asked for something “little.” One Board member found humour in this challenge and drove to a local print shop to make an extra-small copy of the plan. They presented the “little plan” to Evans the next day.25

The final CBMP was not as little as Evans’ gift, but the Trust managed to consolidate the ideas into a 35-page version that was shared with Basin residents in July 1997. The plan emphasized that the Trust’s initiatives and funding decisions should stand on the three pillars — social, economic and environmental — developed before the Columbia Basin Trust Act was passed.26 These were reflected in the Trust’s mission to establish and support financially sound projects that created social benefits and had a low environmental impact. Of this mission, CEO Ivan Robinson explained that the “most difficult task the Trust faces is maintaining the balance between its broad environmental, economic and social objectives. It does not appear we’ve had to compromise any of these with this plan.”27

Columbia Power Corporation

Columbia Power Corporation is the Trust’s partner on hydropower projects. The Province created Columbia Power in April 1994; its purpose was to hold the expansion rights to Brilliant and Waneta dams, which the Province purchased from Cominco in the same year. When Columbia Basin Trust was created the following year, Columbia Power was appointed to represent the Province in its partnership with the Trust. The Columbia Basin Accord gave them equal ownership over three hydropower assets: Arrow Lakes Generating Station, Brilliant Expansion and Waneta Expansion. They obtained a fourth asset, Brilliant Dam, in 1996. Columbia Power is tasked with developing, managing and operating these facilities.

HYDROPOWER INVESTMENTS

At the same time as the CBMP was taking shape, the Trust started work on its hydropower projects in partnership with Columbia Power Corporation, a Crown corporation created in 1994 to hold the Province’s expansion rights to Brilliant and Waneta dams. The Province purchased the rights from mining corporation Cominco, which was in deep financial trouble after it invested heavily in a new smelter at its Trail facility. The smelter failed, and Cominco was about to lay off 2,600 workers in Trail and Kimberley to recoup its losses. Local protestors led a “Save Our Smelter” campaign, pressuring the Province to protect their jobs by offering Cominco a bailout package. However, the Province wanted something in return and, in 1994, tasked the BC Investment Office (BCIO) with investigating options to purchase some of Cominco’s assets. This solution would give Cominco the money it needed to replace the faulty smelter, while also benefitting the Province. After determining that Cominco was not using all the water at its Brilliant and Waneta dams and power plants, BCIO recommended the Province purchase the expansion rights to the dams so it could expand the power plants and take full advantage of the potential hydropower.28

After lengthy negotiations, British Columba purchased the expansion rights to Brilliant and Waneta dams for $52 million. To hold those rights, the Province established Columbia Power Corporation. When Columbia Basin Trust was established a year later, it was granted a share. It would co-own the rights to expand Brilliant and Waneta in partnership with Columbia Power. The partners also shared rights to a third project, Arrow Lakes Generating Station.29 Under the Columbia Basin Accord, the Trust and Columbia Power would operate and develop these hydropower projects for the benefit of the Basin.

From the beginning, Columbia Power did things differently, said President and CEO Lorne Sivertson. The company recognized the legacy of the Columbia River Treaty and the complex relationship Basin residents had with hydropower projects as a result. For these new projects, Columbia Power would prioritize residents’ involvement. Opening its headquarters in Castlegar, the company worked and communicated closely with the Trust and the people of the Basin. It also committed to creating jobs in the region. “It was local hiring to the maximum amount,” said Sivertson. “Local training, local contractors. We broke up the bid packages so local companies could compete.”30 To sustain these jobs, work on hydropower projects occurred in stages. Not only was this more manageable for Columbia Power as a small company, but it also protected the regional economy and labour market against cycles of boom and bust.

The first project was Arrow Lakes Generating Station. This involved constructing a new powerhouse downstream from Hugh Keenleyside Dam to take advantage of excess water, otherwise spilled when levels at Arrow Lakes Reservoir were high. Originally built as a storage dam, Hugh Keenleyside Dam did not generate its own power but instead prevented flooding and controlled the flow of water to power-producing dams downstream in the United States. Preparations for Arrow Lakes Generating Station began in 1995.

Determined not to repeat the lack of community consultation that characterized the original Treaty dams, Columbia Power consulted extensively with Basin communities on the Arrow Lakes project. Between 1995 and 1998, the company met with stakeholders, the wider public and special interest groups. It also met with First Nations elders and citizens about the proposed route for the transmission line connecting the new powerhouse with the Selkirk Substation, and provided them with resources to conduct traditional-use studies along that corridor.31 To facilitate community relationships, Columbia Power opened a public consultation office in Castlegar to receive feedback on the project proposal.32 Efforts to involve the wider community did not stop with the consultation process. The project was expected to generate direct employment for 1,000 people during its first four years of construction and operation. Columbia Power earmarked $50 million in direct wages, 85 per cent of which was targeted to area residents.33

While planning on Arrow Lakes Generating Station progressed, the Trust and Columbia Power acquired the rights to another hydropower asset: Brilliant Dam. Previously owned by mining corporation Cominco, Brilliant Dam was constructed during the Second World War to keep up with the demand for power at the company’s Trail smelting facility. In 1996, Cominco put the dam up for sale after determining that Brilliant Dam generated more power than it needed to operate its new smelter.

Above. The Arrow Lakes Generating Station project broke ground in March 1999. When completed, the project received multiple awards for excellence.

Columbia Power and the Trust saw this as a valuable investment opportunity. With construction on Arrow Lakes Generating Station just beginning, and the expansions at Brilliant and Waneta yet to be realized, the Trust knew it would take several years before its other three hydropower commitments began to generate revenue. Brilliant Dam, on the other hand, was already operational and promised immediate returns.

Before approaching Cominco with an offer, the partners had to negotiate with West Kootenay Power Limited (WKP), which had a right of first refusal for Brilliant Dam. This meant that Cominco had to give WKP the chance to purchase the dam before opening it up to other bidders. Columbia Power approached WKP with the request that it waive that right. The two organizations spent weeks in negotiation meetings before they agreed that WKP would not purchase Brilliant Dam on the condition that Columbia Power and the Trust would sell WKP the power that it generated.34

Above. Trust Chair Josh Smienk (middle right) celebrates the groundbreaking of Arrow LakesGenerating Station alongside Columbia PowerCorporation’s Victor Jmaeff and Wally Penner (left) and Greg Dixon (right) of Peter Kiewit Sons Co., which won the bid to build the project.

Hydropower Assets

Columbia Basin Trust and Columbia Power Corporation share equal ownership in four hydropower facilities in the Basin: Arrow Lakes Generating Station, Brilliant Expansion and Waneta Expansion. The partners acquired a fourth asset, Brilliant Dam, in 1996. Developed, constructed and completed over two decades, these projects generated hundreds of jobs and injected millions of dollars into their home communities. They continue to provide the Trust with a sustained source of revenue to enrich the lives of people in the Basin.
Arrow Lakes Generating Station
Brilliant Expansion Generating Station
Brilliant Dam and Generating Station
Purchased: 1996 The Trust and Columbia Power purchased Brilliant Dam from mining corporation Cominco for $130 million. Although not part of their original asset agreement, the dam had potential revenues that made the investment more than worthwhile. Since purchasing the dam, the partners have invested $100 million in upgrades and repairs, transforming what was once a 125-megawatt station into one capable of producing 140 megawatts of energy.
Arrow Lakes Generating Station
Constructed: 1999 to 2002 This was the first project that the Trust and Columbia Power developed. Located near Castlegar on the Columbia River, the generating station takes advantage of water spilled by Hugh Keenleyside Dam. It has the capacity to generate up to 185 megawatts of electricity. Despite some costly repairs and setbacks during its first few years of operation, it provided a successful modelfor subsequent hydropower projects and received several technical and environmental awards. Over 80 per cent of the workers hired to construct the facility lived within 100 kilometres of Castlegar, and at peak construction the project employed up to 400 workers.
Brilliant Expansion Generating Station
Constructed: 2003 to 2007 Brilliant Expansion is the smallest of the Trust and Columbia Power’s four hydropower facilities, located on the Kootenay River near Castlegar. The project constructed a single-turbine powerhouse below Brilliant Dam. Eighty-five per cent of workers employed during the construction phase were local, and these wages injected an estimated $50 million into the local economy. The facility can generate up to 120 megawatts of electricity.
Waneta Expansion Generating Station
Constructed: 2010 to 2015 The fourth and final project the Trust and Columbia Power developed was Waneta Expansion. This involved adding a second powerhouse adjacent to Waneta Dam on the Pend d’Oreille River and a new transmission line that would deliver electricity to BC Hydro’s Selkirk Substation, 10 kilometres northeast of the dam. Waneta required an unprecedented investment by the partners along with a third partner, Fortis Inc., which assumed 51 per cent ownership. Not only did Fortis contribute much-needed funds and expertise to the $900-million project, but it agreed to purchase surplus power not required by BC Hydro, ensuring the project was profitable enough to make the partners’ investments worthwhile. In 2019, the Trust and Columbia Power bought back Fortis’s shares in Waneta Expansion, successfully cementing their full and joint ownership over all four of their hydropower assets.

The Trust and Columbia Power approached Cominco with their proposal to purchase Brilliant Dam. Josh Smienk recalled sitting at Cominco’s boardroom table in Trail, with four Trust and Columbia Power representatives on one side and a crowd of Cominco officials on the other. Although their contingent was small, the partners’ offer was not: Columbia Power and the Trust offered $10 million more than the highest existing offer.35 When the deal went through in January 1996, the partners paid a total of $130 million for the dam.36 It was a costly investment, but one that promised an immediate source of revenue for the Trust, since the dam already had a generating station that was producing power. The decision also aligned with the joint partners’ commitment to the economic well-being of the Basin: Cominco could continue its Trail operations, protecting thousands of jobs in the region.

Above. Fort Steele Heritage Town was one of the Trust’s earliest funding recipients. Through the Living Landscapes program, a partnership with Victoria’s Royal BC Museum, Fort Steele established a new museum exhibit titled “Don’t Let the Sun Set on My Face.” Fort Steele also hosted a conference celebrating the conclusion of Living Landscapes in 1999.

BENEFITS BEGIN

Much of the Trust’s first two years were spent planning. By the time the Trust released its management plan in 1997, people in the Basin were anxious to see benefits start to flow back into the region. The plan outlined a spending program based on 34 objectives in eight goal areas. The Trust knew that meeting its spending goals would happen over time, and they could not do everything at once. The Trust resolved to tackle their goals one by one.

The CBMP identified partnership development as a preferred approach for the delivery of benefits. The Trust would work with partners such as local governments, non-profit organizations, community groups, and First Nations bands and councils to distribute benefits. It would provide funding to those local partners, which would use the money to deliver programs.37 Communities could make their own decisions on how funding and programs operated, which fulfilled the desire of residents to see decisions made at a local level. Working with partners in the Basin also allowed the Trust to support a variety of priorities across the entire region without duplicating another organization’s work or competing with their programs.38

In autumn 1997, the Trust developed an educational partnership with the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. Living Landscapes was a joint program that gathered and shared information about the natural and human history of the Columbia Basin. This information was then communicated to students, teachers and communities through a website and a series of 31 research and public-education activities. The Trust committed $180,000 to the project. Kootenay MLA Erda Walsh applauded the initiative for its work to “help people better understand the environmental and historical changes that have occurred and are occurring throughout the Basin.”39

Living Landscapes funded a wide variety of projects, including the study of butterflies in the Pend d’Oreille Valley; the production of a study guide for the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre in New Denver, which explored the history of Japanese internment at the site during the Second World War; an inventory of underwater heritage sites in the West Kootenay; and an exhibit at Fort Steele Heritage Town titled “Don’t Let the Sun Set on My Face,” which examined the racism experienced by immigrants to the area and featured interviews with their descendants. The culmination of the Living Landscapes project was a conference at Fort Steele Heritage Town in 1999, which brought together the knowledge gathered and shared through the educational initiatives and funded projects.40

In the 1997–98 fiscal year, the Trust devoted significant resources to environmental projects and awareness. Partnering with the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, created by BC Hydro in 1993 to compensate for the impacts of Treaty dams, the Trust supported projects put forward by Basin residents and backed by the community.41 It delivered a total of $500,000 to 33 community-initiated fish and wildlife projects across the Basin.42

For example, the Trust worked with the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area to provide short-term operating funds and help develop long-term strategies to support conservation efforts and wetlands protection. The wetlands are both nationally and internationally recognized for their biological diversity, but greater funding was required to continue wildlife conservation efforts and programming, including building an interpretive centre where visitors could learn about local flora and fauna and enjoy interpretive walks or canoeing through the marshes.43 The Trust’s assistance enabled the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area to maintain and expand its work and make steps toward self-sufficiency.44

The Trust’s efforts to foster a legacy in the Basin during its first three years were successful. It was just starting construction on Arrow Lakes Generating Station, had purchased Brilliant Dam and was preparing plans for the Brilliant and Waneta expansion hydropower projects. It had finalized the CBMP and established advisory committees. In addition, it had started its first spending programs and supported Basin projects and initiatives.

After three years of hard work putting plans in place for the Trust’s ongoing and future operations, 1998 marked the end of CEO Ivan Robinson’s contract. Robinson had played a central role in building the organizational foundation of the Trust and drafting the 1997 management plan. Greg Deck lauded Robinson and his wife Jackie’s “generosity of character.” They had established themselves as part of the local community of Nakusp and set the tone for later CEOs and Board members to do the same.45 The leadership could now be passed with confidence to the Trust’s second CEO, Don Johnston. The next phase of the Trust’s life began. People in the Basin had waited a long time to become partners in the development of their region and, in the coming years, would enjoy even greater rewards.

Top. The Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre honours the experiences of Japanese Canadians interned at New Denver during the Second World War. In 1997, the centre produced a study guide with the help of Living Landscapes funding.
Middle. Diving in the West Kootenay offers the opportunity to explore underwater archaeology sites, many of which were inventoried as part of the Living Landscapes program.
Bottom. Spanning 7,000 hectares of wetlands, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area was one of the first community wildlife projects to receive funding through the Trust.

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE ENDNOTES

1. Greg Deck, interviewed by Ryan Shackleton (Know History Inc.), Radium Hot Springs, B.C., July 21, 2018.

2. Corky Evans, interviewed by Ryan Shackleton (Know History Inc.), Winlaw, B.C., July 17, 2018.

3. Cornerstone Planning Group, “Summary Report: 1995 Columbia Basin Trust Pre-Symposium Community Workshops,” October 1995, 3, 12, private collection of Josh Smienk.

4. Greg Deck, interviewed by Ryan Shackleton.

5. Alec Tully, “Trust Money Realized,” Creston Valley Advance, October 27, 1995, Columbia Basin Trust Archive; Salasan Associates Inc., “1995 Columbia- Kootenay Symposium: Report of Breakout Group Discussions and Speaker Notes,” 56, Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

6. Salasan, “Report of Breakout Group Discussions,” 55.

7. Salasan, “Report of Breakout Group Discussions,” 12.

8. Salasan, “Report of Breakout Group Discussions,” 56.

9. “Benefits Come Eventually,” Golden Star, October 25, 1995; Salasan Associates Inc., “1995 Columbia- Kootenay Symposium: Summary Advice from Delegates,” 6, Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

10. Salasan, “Summary Advice from Delegates,” 3; Danielle Belbeck, “Benefits Should Improve Quality of Life,” Golden Star, October 25, 1995, Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

11. Salasan, “Summary Advice from Delegates,” 2; Salasan, “Report of Breakout Group Discussions,” 24-26.

12. Salasan, “Summary Advice from Delegates,” 2.

13. Columbia Basin Trust, “Annual Report 1995-1996,” 8.

14. Danielle Belbeck, “Delegates Develop Plans for Basin,” Golden Star, Oct 25, 1995, Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

15. Belbeck, “Benefits Should Improve Quality of Life.”

16. Columbia Basin Trust, “Annual Report 1995-1996,” 13.

17. Paul Hambruch, interviewed by Amy Bohigian (Columbia Basin Trust), Golden, B.C., April 18, 2012.

18. “Columbia Basin Trust Plan Process Update,” May 22, 1996, Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

19. “Workbook for Discussion,” 1997 Columbia- Kootenay Symposium, Revelstoke, B.C., Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

20. “Delegates Discuss Trust Future,” Nelson Daily News, April 15, 1997.

21. “Delegates Discuss Trust Future,” Nelson Daily News.

22. Patty Bossart, “Columbia Basin Trust Symposium 1997 Summary Notes,” 6-9, Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

23. Garry Merkel, interviewed by Ryan Shackleton (Know History Inc.), St. Mary’s, Kimberley, B.C., July 20, 2018.

24. Bossart, “Columbia Basin Trust Symposium 1997 Summary Notes,” 11.

25. Garry Merkel, interviewed by Ryan Shackleton.

26. Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Basin Trust: A Legacy for the People (1997), https://ourtrust.org/wp-content/ uploads/delightful-downloads/CBTcharter_WEB.pdf.

27. “Columbia Basin Trust Update,” Newsletter, February 5, 1996, 2, Columbia Basin Trust Archive

28. Lorne Sivertson, “Arrow Lakes Generating Station: An Improbable Power Project,” August 31, 2018, Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

29. Patricia Lush, “Cominco, B.C. Cut Deal on Smelter, Power,” Globe and Mail, March 5, 1994, ProQuest Historical Newspapers Historical Newspapers; Rod Nutt, “NDP, Cominco forge deal for Trail smelter,” Vancouver Sun, March 5, 1994, Newspapers.com; Rod Nutt, “Cominco sells dam, hydro assets to B.C.,” Vancouver Sun, January 24, 1996, Nespapers.com.

30. Lorne Sivertson, interviewed by Columbia Power. Date unknown.

31. Columbia Power Company, “CPC Public Consultation Summary Keenleyside 230kV Transmission Line,” Columbia Basin Trust Archive.

32. “Trust Tries to Involve Locals,” Vancouver Sun, Aug 15, 1998, Newspapers.com; Wally Penner, Columbia Power Corporation 2020 interview.

33. Columbia Basin Trust, “Programs Annual Report 1998-1999 (Summer 1999),” 20-21.

34. Sivertson, “Arrow Lakes Generating Station.”

35. Josh Smienk, interviewed by Ryan Shackleton (Know History Inc.), Nelson, B.C., September 13, 2018.

36. Justine Hunter, “Clark Unveils Kootenays Dam Plan,” Vancouver Sun, January 24, 1996, Newspapers.com.

37. Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Basin Management Plan, 12.

38. Bossart, “Columbia Basin Trust Symposium 1997 Summary Notes,” 9.

39. “Museum Explores Kootenay Region,” Country Star, December 3, 1997, Newspapers.com.

40. Columbia Basin Trust, “Programs Annual Report 1998-1999,” 26-27; Dean Basset, “History Study Results Delivered,” Kimberley Daily Bulletin, September 30, 1999, ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

41. The program is now called the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.

42. Columbia Basin Trust, “Annual Report 1997-1998,” 11.

43. “Creston: Gateway to Kootenay Country,” Surrey/ North Delta News Leader, April 19, 1997, Newsapers. com.

44. Columbia Basin Trust, “Annual Report 1997-1998,” 12.

45. Greg Deck, interviewed by Amy Bohigian (Columbia Basin Trust), Radium, B.C., April 17, 2012.