Speaker Bios

Speakers and guests from research and policy institutions, water governance organizations, not-for-profits, Columbia Basin community groups, and the private sector to be announced.

Dr. Jeannette Armstrong - Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Dr. Jeannette Armstrong - Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Day Two, Panel Three

Dr. Jeannette Christine Armstrong OC is a Canadian author, educator, artist, and activist. She was born and grew up on the Penticton Indian reserve in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, and fluently speaks both the Nsyilxcn and English languages. She is a knowledge keeper of plant medicines, Syilx traditions, and cultural protocols and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and teaches Indigenous philosophies; Okanagan Syilx thought, and environmental ethics coded into Syilx literatures.
William K. Barquin - Attorney General of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho

William K. Barquin - Attorney General of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho

Day One, Panel One

William K. “Billy” Barquin is the Attorney General of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and overseesall legal aspects of Tribal operations. His work concentrates on negotiated problem solving on behalf of the Tribe in a variety of contexts. That work includes ongoing representation of the Kootenai Tribal Fish and Wildlife Department regarding the interrelationships of the Northwest Power Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act and other legal authorities in the protection of Kootenai natural resource utilization. Prior to joining the Kootenai Tribe staff, Billy represented tribal governments as a member of two separate firms. He is Eastern Shoshone and Oglala Lakota and was raised on his father’s ranch on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. He earned his bachelor and law degrees at Gonzaga University.

Kate Brown - Municipal Plans & Policies Coordinator | Co-Founder North American Youth Parliament for Water

Kate Brown - Municipal Plans & Policies Coordinator | Co-Founder North American Youth Parliament for Water

Day Two, Panel Four (Chair)

I am a Plans and Policies Coordinator for the City of Coquitlam where I support projects related to community engagement, cross-sectoral agreements, data-driven decision-making, and reducing barriers to public resources, programs, and services. I am also the Vice President and Co-Founder of the North American Youth Parliament for Water, a youth-led registered not-for-profit dedicated to amplifying youth voices in the water sector and finding creative solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation! I am trained as a Plant Ecologist with an MSc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto, and a BSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. I am passionate about engaging young leaders in environmental issues, data-driven policy and negotiation, and environmental justice, especially in BIPOC communities. I love collaborating and learning from others with diverse experiences to find creative solutions to shared challenges.

Dr. Barb Cosens - University Distinguished Professor Emerita with the University of Idaho College of Law

Dr. Barb Cosens - University Distinguished Professor Emerita with the University of Idaho College of Law

Day Two, Panel Five (Moderator)

Dr. Barbara Cosens is a University Distinguished Professor Emerita with the University of Idaho College of Law, where she taught for sixteen years. She was instrumental in the development of the Program in Natural Resources and Environmental Law at the College, and the development of the interdisciplinary Water Resources graduate program that included concurrent JD/MS and JD/PhD degrees. Her teaching and research expertise is in water law, the law-science interface and water dispute resolution. In her outreach and engagement, she continues to provide education and expertise on the Columbia River Treaty as part of the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance. She is also working as a mediator on water disputes, particularly disputes among governments.

Tanna Engdahl, Elder and Spiritual Leader in the Cowlitz Tribe of Indians, State of Washington

Tanna Engdahl, Elder and Spiritual Leader in the Cowlitz Tribe of Indians, State of Washington

Day Two, Panel Three

Tanna Engdahl is an Elder and Spiritual Leader in the Cowlitz Tribe of Indians, State of Washington.  In her early years, she served as Vice-Chairman of her Tribe during a time she was also the first Native American television reporter in a major market, KIRO-TV in Seattle.

She left the newsroom to engage in a thirty-year career in public land agencies:  Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.  During that time, she was selected to a Federal Leadership Academy and spent many years in management positions.

In this role, she encouraged Federal sensitivity to tribal sacred sites and was in the forefront of a movement to establish Indian cultural committees within Government.   In retirement, she is a public speaker, serves on the Board of the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, is deeply involved in community activities, and fulfills tribal ceremonial duties as well as officiating at weddings and life celebrations.

Martina Escutin, Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative, Ktunaxa Nation Salmon Warrior

Martina Escutin, Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative, Ktunaxa Nation Salmon Warrior

Day Two, Panel Four

Martina Escutin is a Ktunaxa citizen from ʔakisq̓nuk First Nation, with additional families ties to Secwepemc, Syilx and European lineages. She is a Registered Social Worker and brings extensive knowledge on the impacts that historical and ongoing colonialism has had on Indigenous communities, cultures, and connections to the land. She seeks to develop spaces in which Indigenous communities can reclaim inherent systems of wellness and is an advocate for integrating Indigenous language concepts and fluency into mainstream spaces.  She is a Certified Cultivating Safe Spaces facilitator and is currently an Indigenous Community Planner with Urban Matters CCC.

Martina has been interested in exploring concepts of identity and belonging since an early age. Being a Salmon Warrior has supported her understanding of these concepts by promoting connections with herself, others and all living things.  She currently lives in the Okanagan Region of the Columbia Basin, in Tsinstikeptum (Westbank, British Columbia).

Dr. Kim Fritz-Ogren, Oregon Water Resources Department and former member of the Columbia Basin Transboundary Youth Network

Dr. Kim Fritz-Ogren, Oregon Water Resources Department and former member of the Columbia Basin Transboundary Youth Network

Day Two, Panel Four

Dr. Kim Fritz-Ogren has worked in water governance for 15 years. Currently Kim serves as the Manager of the Planning, Collaboration, and Investments Section of the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). At OWRD, Kim leads a team that builds partnerships and incentivizes Oregonians to pursue integrated and innovative solutions for complex water challenges through strategic investments, adaptive planning, accessible information, cooperative partnerships, and coordination. She previously worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers on a variety of water management issues ranging from conflict management to water security for drinking water and wastewater utilities. Kim earned her doctorate in Geography at Oregon State University where her research focused on the Columbia River Treaty between the US and Canada. She also holds a Masters of Science in Water Resources Policy and Management and a Certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation from Oregon State University as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies and Policy Management from Dickinson College. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and adventuring with her husband, Justin, and children, Vera (3) and Silas (13 months).

 

Kat Hartwig, Founder and Executive Director of Living Lakes Canada

Kat Hartwig, Founder and Executive Director of Living Lakes Canada

Day One, Panel Two

Kat is the Founder and Executive Director of Living Lakes Canada. She has been involved in international, national and regional environmental advocacy issues relating to sustainable tourism, endangered species, corporate social responsibility and water based ecosystem health since 1983. She advocates for land and water policy and protection mechanisms necessary to support biodiversity, source water protection and climate resilient communities. She is an advisor for the Global Water Futures Canada’s First Research Excellence Fund panel, the Lake Windermere Ambassadors, and the BC Water Leaders Consortium; and a former advisor for the Small Change Fund, the Vancouver Foundation, the Columbia Basin Trust Climate Resilience Advisory and the Columbia Basin Watershed Network. She continues to serve as a board member of the Germany-based Global Nature Fund. She resides by the headwaters of the Columbia River in the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwépemc First Nations, where she was born and where she raised her two daughters.

Dr. Glen Hearns, Co-director of the Transboundary Water Initiative at the University of British Columbia

Dr. Glen Hearns, Co-director of the Transboundary Water Initiative at the University of British Columbia

Day One, Panel Two

Dr. Glen Hearns is the co-director of the Transboundary Water Initiative at the University of British Columbia. He has worked in over 23 countries throughout the globe on a variety of assignments related to water, energy, mining and health. With over 25 years of professional work in resource management and decision making, conflict resolution and strategic planning, he brings a wealth of experience to the table. His research and work focuses on applying structured approaches to make strategic choices around resource use and policy and promoting cooperation over shared resource. He has applied this to various sectors including water management, waste disposal, energy, local economic development, biology and conservation. His clients range from local communities, municipalities, regional governments, First Nations, national governments and international organizations. He holds a PhD from the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability of UBC (combined with Law), an MSc. in Policy Planning from IHE Delft (The Netherlands), and a BSc. in Geophysics from the University of Waterloo.

Rheanne Kroschinsky – PhD Student, University of British Columbia, Okanagan; North American Youth Parliament for Water.

Rheanne Kroschinsky – PhD Student, University of British Columbia, Okanagan; North American Youth Parliament for Water.

Rheanne Kroschinsky is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies through the Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity theme in the College of Graduate Studies at UBC, Okanagan. At UBC Okanagan, her research surrounds basin-level, collaborative watershed governance frameworks in British Columbia, and specifically their role within the Watershed Ecosystems Project in Peachland, BC.

Leon Louis, Syilx Okanagan Cultural Knowledge Holder

Leon Louis, Syilx Okanagan Cultural Knowledge Holder

Day One, Indigenous Morning Welcome

Leon Louis cewel’na is a member of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Syilx Nation. Leon has committed his life’s work to uphold the love and respect of our traditions and worldviews of Indian people. These worldviews are the relationship between the Creator and the land and environment. He has knowledge of Syilx Okanagan Culture and practices the harvesting of Syilx Traditional foods and medicines. Leon is a Cultural Knowledge person who is invited to organize many different ceremonies throughout the Territories. With the Syilx Nation, he is an active member of the Okanagan Nation Critical Incident Response Team, Syilx Unity Youth Run, Indian Residential School Committee, Natural Resource and Fisheries Cultural support person and dedicated member and participant in the Annual Syilx Unity Canoe Trek. Leon travels and supports other Tribal initiatives and Ceremonies such as the Tribal Journey Canoe events where Indigenous Tribes throughout the world come and join in celebrating their cultures and languages in solidarity – on the water and throughout the beautiful lands. He generously shares his knowledge for the benefit of all.

Faustine Luo, Graduate of the Environmental Applied Science and Management Program at Toronto Metropolitan University

Faustine Luo, Graduate of the Environmental Applied Science and Management Program at Toronto Metropolitan University

Day Two, Panel Four

Faustine Luo is a recent graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University’s MaSc in Environmental Applied Science and Management program, and also holds a BA in International Relations from University of Toronto. Her graduate research focused on assessing perceptions on the current state of water governance within the Columbia River Basin, specifically in regard to institutional fit, resilience and adaptability, cross-sectoral coordination and collaboration, public engagement and environmental justice. Currently, Faustine is a research assistant on the CANSTOREnergy Project, a collaborative effort across 11 Canadian universities to develop technologies that convert carbon-based emissions into useful products, and create net-zero seasonal energy storage tailored to community needs.

Dr. Matthew McKinney, Director of the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy at the University of Montana

Dr. Matthew McKinney, Director of the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy at the University of Montana

Dr. Matthew McKinney is Director of the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy at the University of Montana where his work focuses on collaborative approaches to natural resource and environmental policy. Matthew is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Montana’s School of Law; Chair of the Natural Resources Conflict Resolution Program (the only graduate-level certificate program of its kind in North America); Senior Associate at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; and Senior Partner with the Consensus Building Institute. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and was a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 2000 and 2002. When he is not working on natural resource and environmental issues, he can be found hiking, fishing, floating, and otherwise enjoying the outdoors.

DR Michel, Executive Director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes

DR Michel, Executive Director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes

Day Two, Panel Three

A member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, DR Michel has over 40 years of experience in forestry and natural resource management, as well as the technical and policy aspects of working for Tribes. DR is Executive Director of Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT), the inter-tribal organization with members including the Colville Confederated Tribes, Coeur d’ Alene Tribe, Kalispel Tribe, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, and Spokane Tribe. He served eight years on the Colville Business Council as both the Vice Chair and the Chair of the Natural Resource Committee. DR and his family enjoy camping and spending time on the Columbia River.

Julienne Ndjiki, Researcher, Manger and Programme Officer for the Transboundary Water Cooperation at the Stockholm International Water Institute

Julienne Ndjiki, Researcher, Manger and Programme Officer for the Transboundary Water Cooperation at the Stockholm International Water Institute

Day One, Panel Two

Julienne Ndjiki is a Water Resource Professional holder of a master’s degree in water resources management obtained in 2014 from the University of Pretoria. In addition, she graduated in 2008 from the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon with a master’s in animal biology with Parasitology as a major. All the above, plus her extensive research experience and her various skills make her a well-trained researcher, manager and a full scientist. Julienne is currently working as a Programme Officer for the Transboundary Water Cooperation at the Stockholm International Water Institute. Previously, She served as a programme Officer, Transboundary Water Management at Global Water partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA).

Dr. Jon O’Riordan, Associate with the POLIS Project for Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria

Dr. Jon O’Riordan, Associate with the POLIS Project for Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria

Day One, Panel One

Dr. Jon O’Riordan was educated at the University of Edinburgh (master’s degree) and University of British Columbia (PhD) in Geography. He worked with the Federal government in water resource management for five years and moved to the BC Ministry of Environment where he was Assistant Deputy Minister for ten years. He became Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management responsible of Land and Resource Management Planning and natural resource information system management for the BC government. Since leaving government in 2004, he worked for the BC Salmon Commission as Research Director to direct science into reducing interactions between wild and farmed salmon on the BC Coast. He is now an Associate with the Polis Project for Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria advising on innovations in watershed governance. He is also Research Director for the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) at Simon Fraser University and has co authored a book on the Climate Nexus — the interactions between water, food energy and biodiversity and the Changing Climate. His research interests in natural capital are to increase resilience of natural systems to climate change through restoring and maintaining natural capital. He is an advisor the BC Government on the review of the Columbia River Treaty focussing on valuing ecosystem services in the Columbia Basin.

Dr. John Osborne, Physician and Conservationist

Dr. John Osborne, Physician and Conservationist

Day Two, Panel Four (Panel Chair)

Dr. John Osborn is a physician and conservationist. Dr. Osborn works in the ER for the Veterans Administration in Seattle, coordinates the Vashon MRC, and directs the Medical Division for the COVID disaster activation on Vashon Island. He has served as conservation chair for Sierra Club’s Upper Columbia River Group since 1983, and currently leads Sierra Club’s Columbia River Team working with tribes and First Nations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty and restore salmon above Grand Coulee dam. Along with The Rev. Tom Soeldner, John annually since 2014 coordinates the One River Ethics Matter project.

Rachael Osborn, Retired Public Interest Water Lawyer

Rachael Osborn, Retired Public Interest Water Lawyer

Day One, Panel One

Rachael Paschal Osborn is a retired public interest water lawyer who has advocated on behalf of rivers, aquifers, and the public trust in the Pacific Northwest for 30+ years. Her publications include Climate Change & the Columbia River Treaty, When Water Isn’t Wet: Water Rights Mitigation in WA State, and From Loon Lake to Chuckanut Creek: The Rise and Fall of Environmental Values in WA’s Water Resources Act, all linked at www.naiads.blog. She taught water law at Gonzaga and University of Washington Law Schools between 1994-2021. She now resides on Vashon Island in the Salish Sea. In the Cooper River (above Cle Elum dam and reservoir in the Upper Yakima River watershed, shown in photo behind Rachael), sockeye salmon are spawning after an 80+ year extirpation, thanks to restoration work led by the Yakama Nation.
Richard Paisley, Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Asian Research, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs; Director of the Global Transboundary International Waters Governance Initiative at the University of British Columbia

Richard Paisley, Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Asian Research, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs; Director of the Global Transboundary International Waters Governance Initiative at the University of British Columbia

Day One, Panel One (Chair and Moderator)

Richard Paisley is an Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Asian Research, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. He is a practicing lawyer and the Director of the Global Transboundary International Waters Governance Initiative at UBC. Richard’s current research, teaching, graduate supervision and advisory interests include domestic and international water and energy law and policy, international business transactions, international negotiations and environmental mediation / conflict resolution. He is an avid downhill and cross-country skier, cyclist, backpacker, and kayaker.
Henry Pitts, Master of Science Graduate Student at Oregon State University’s Water Resources Policy and Management Program in the area of Water Policy and Conflict Mediation; North American Youth Parliament for Water

Henry Pitts, Master of Science Graduate Student at Oregon State University’s Water Resources Policy and Management Program in the area of Water Policy and Conflict Mediation; North American Youth Parliament for Water

Day Two, Panel Four (Chair and Moderator)

Henry Pitts is a second-year student at Oregon State University, where he is pursuing an MS in Water Resources Policy and Management. He also serves at the USA Focal Point for the North American Youth Parliament for Water, a youth-led, transboundary non-profit dedicated to amplifying youth voices in the water sector. His previous work was centered in the federal water policy space, with an emphasis on Congressional funding streams targeting infrastructure gaps and rural water needs. He currently works as a Research Assistant for the Transboundary Freshwater Diplomacy Database and is on a facilitation team for a watershed collaborative process in eastern Oregon. His passions include considerations of spiritual water in transboundary contexts, making kombucha, and trail running.

Dr. Susanne Schmeier, Associate Professor of Water Law and Diplomacy, IHE Delft (The Netherlands)

Dr. Susanne Schmeier, Associate Professor of Water Law and Diplomacy, IHE Delft (The Netherlands)

Day One, Panel Two (Keynote)

Dr. Susanne Schmeier is the Head of the Water Governance Department and an Associate Professor of Water Law and Diplomacy at IHE Delft. Her research, teaching and advisory activities focus on the legal and institutional dimensions of water resources governance at both the (sub-)national and the transboundary levels, the role of agreements and basin organizations, negotiation and conflict resolution processes and tools, as well as the sustainable management of ecosystems linked to water resources (including the management of mountain eco-regions and source-to-sea approaches as well as biodiversity).
Warren Seyler, Tribal Historian and Curriculum Director, Spokane Tribe’s Natural Resource Department

Warren Seyler, Tribal Historian and Curriculum Director, Spokane Tribe’s Natural Resource Department

Day Two, Panel Three

Warren Seyler served on Spokane Tribe of Indians Business Council for 16 years and as Spokane Tribal Chairman.  Currently, he is a tribal historian and works at Spokane Tribe’s Natural Resource Department serving as a curriculum developer.

Warren is an expert in Federal Indian Policy and the history of the Spokane Tribe. Warren earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University.

Dr. John Shurts, General Counsel of the Northwest Power Planning Council; Adjunct Professor of Law at the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon

Dr. John Shurts, General Counsel of the Northwest Power Planning Council; Adjunct Professor of Law at the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon

Day One, Morning Welcome

Dr. John Shurts is the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s General Counsel. His undergraduate degree in history is from The Colorado College, with a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland and a Ph.D. degree in American History at the University of Oregon, with an emphasis on environmental and legal history. His dissertation on the origin and development of Indian reserved water rights has been published by the University of Oklahoma Press as Indian Reserved Water Rights: The Winters Doctrine in its Social and Legal Context, 1880s-1930s. Shurts is also an adjunct professor at both the University of Portland and Portland State and has been an adjunct at both the law school and the undergraduate campus of Lewis and Clark College and in the history department of the University of Oregon, teaching courses in water resources law and policy, energy law, natural resources law, environmental and natural resources policy, and environmental and world history. He regularly briefs delegations and study tours from different parts of the world on Columbia River and U.S. water, energy, and fish and wildlife issues, including most recently from the Nile basin, the Mekong basin, Vietnam, the Ukraine, South Asia, and north Africa.
John Sirois, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Moderator)

John Sirois, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Moderator)

Day Two, Panel Four

John Sirois – say’ ay’ (pronounced Sigh Eye). John Eli Sirois say’ ay’ is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and is of the respective Okanagan, Methow and Wenatchi Tribes. say’ay’ was born and raised on the Colville Indian Reservation in Omak, WA. Mr. Sirois carries cultural teachings and histories from his grandmother and extended family that tie him to the lands and waters of the greater Okanogan and Wenatchee Valley regions. John earned degrees from Dartmouth College (History, and Native American Studies) and Master of Public Administration at the University of Washington. John worked for over 20 years in the Colville Tribes’ government as former Council Chair and representative, and he also led departments that focused on tribal lands, cultural preservation and revitalization, economic development, renewable energy project development, policy development, and governance. John currently serves as the Traditional Territory Advisor for the Colville Confederated Tribes advocating for the Indigenous rights to ensure that those rights are fully respected. Mr. Sirois harvests Chinook salmon at the Icicle every year and can be seen there every spring. Mr. Sirois seeks to build a better future for all for generations to come. You can find say’ay’ camping, hunting, hiking, reading and salmon fishing with his family!

Most Reverend William Skylstad, Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington

Most Reverend William Skylstad, Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington

Day Two, Western Religious Prayer

The cheerful Bishop Skylstad — bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington, since 1990, and previously bishop of the Diocese of Yakima from 1977 until his appointment to Spokane by His Holiness Pope John Paul II — is a renowned pastor, eloquent environmental defender, and able servant of the Church Eternal; from 2001 through 2007 he served as vice president and then president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Church’s premier administrative body in America. Long a good friend to and welcome guest at the University of Portland, he is renowned on The Bluff not only for his personable and passionate talks here about the stewardship of God’s creation, but especially as co-author of the famous Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on the Columbia River, which was publicly announced for the first time here at the University.
Reverend Tom Soeldner, Retired Lutheran Minister and Educator

Reverend Tom Soeldner, Retired Lutheran Minister and Educator

Day Two, Panel Three (Moderator)

The Reverend Thomas Soeldner is a retired Lutheran minister and educator. For the past 24 years he has worked part time as a consultant to organizations and an executive coach for non-profit, academic, and public service leaders, work which he continues with Systems Coaching LLC. During his career he has served as a parish pastor, an elementary and high school principal, a college and seminary lecturer, and Director for the Southern Africa programs for the Center for Global Education of Augsburg University. He lived and worked in South Africa and Namibia from 1985 through 1994. Currently Tom serves on the Professional Advisory Board for the Clinical Pastoral Education at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Tom lives with his wife Linda Finney on forty acres of managed forest and native grassland south of Spokane.

Robyn Tardif, Youth Salmon Warrior of Bringing the Salmon Home Initiative.

Robyn Tardif, Youth Salmon Warrior of Bringing the Salmon Home Initiative.

Day Two, Panel Four

Robyn Tardif was born and raised in the Columbia Valley region. She is a Secwépemc member from the Shuswap Band in Invermere, BC. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in fine art with a major in glass (2020, AU Arts) and a Diploma in Secwepemctsín Proficiency (2023, Stselxmems r Secwépemc). She considers herself a multimedia artist with a particular interest in amalgamating art and language. Some of her biggest inspiration is her family and the landscapes in Secwepemcúl ̓ ecw. She works intimately with the Secwépemc language as an Instructional Design Assistant for online resources. Continuing to learn secwepemctsín as well as connecting to the land and people are very important to her. She attended the Youth Salmon Warriors in the early summer months of 2023 where she was able to learn, connect, and join in the initiative Bringing the Salmon Home along with the Ktunaxa and Syilx youth.

Dr Joanne Taylor, Master of Ceremonies and Lead Columbia River Transboundary Water Governance and Ethics Symposium 2023 Organizer; SSHRC Post Doctor Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Dr Joanne Taylor, Master of Ceremonies and Lead Columbia River Transboundary Water Governance and Ethics Symposium 2023 Organizer; SSHRC Post Doctor Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Dr. Joanne Taylor is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellow at UBCO. She is an environmental anthropologist and political ecologist and received her PhD from the University of British Columbia Okanagan in the Department of Community, Culture, and Global Studies. Taylor’s doctoral research investigated food security and food sovereignty in the traditional lands of the Ktunaxa First Nation and the yaqan nu?kiy of the Creston Valley of British Columbia during catastrophic climate change and the renegotiation of the bilateral Columbia River Treaty. Most recently, Joanne explores the possibility of creating a citizen led governance model in the Columbia River Basin. For this project she works with Dr. John Wagner and the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance to create a platform for education and dialogue concerning critical Basin issues such as water quality, salmon reintroduction, personhood for water bodies, and climate change.
Mark Thomas, Councillor, Shuswap Band

Mark Thomas, Councillor, Shuswap Band

Day Two, Panel Three

Mark Thomas was born in Invermere BC. Mark is a Kinbasket descendant; Julianne Kinbasket and Baptiste Thomas were parents to Susan Thomas, Mark’s grandmother, and his grandfather was Harry Bell. Mark is the father of 3 adult children and has been married to a Ktunaxa Nation member for 25 years. Mark holds the portfolios for Aquatics, Fish, BC Hydro, Forestry, CRT, Salmon restoration, and several shared portfolios with the rest of Chief and Council, including Parks, Recreation and Culture. Mark is educated in and has worked in the natural resource management field for over 20 years, much of that time advocating for the return of our Salmon stocks. Mark has attended Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) in their Integrated Resource Management Program (IRM) and the University of Lethbridge’s Environmental Sciences Program. A highlight of Mark’s interest is the advocation for salmon restoration in the Columbia River, which he has done through public speaking engagements such as the annual Salmon Festival in Invermere or the annual, online Bringing the Salmon Home Festival event.

Dr. John Wagner, Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in the department of Community, Culture, and Global Studies in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. John Wagner, Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in the department of Community, Culture, and Global Studies in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. John Wagner is a professor of environmental anthropology in the Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  John conducts research on human/water relations in the Okanagan Valley, the Columbia River Basin in Canada and the United States, and in Papua New Guinea. In his Columbia River Basin research, John focuses on water governance and the relationship of the Columbia River Treaty to irrigation, food security, food sovereignty and Indigenous rights. In the Okanagan Valley, he has conducted research on settler colonialism, the history of water management, and floodplain restoration as a climate change mitigation strategy. As a co-investigator for the Peachland Creek Watershed Ecosystems project, his focus is on watershed governance.

Adam Wicks-Arshack, Legal Aid Attorney

Adam Wicks-Arshack, Legal Aid Attorney

Day One, Panel Two

Adam Wicks-Arshack is a legal aid attorney and also coordinates quantitative legal research projects focusing on resilience, water law, governance and the impacts of legislation on courthouse and environmental outcomes. He believes empirical legal analysis supports informed decision making and problem solving. Adam organized a panel at the Universities Consortium 2019 Kimberly Symposium where he asked how the process of citizen engagement will work in developing a governance model for the Columbia River Basin. What is the process where Indigenous Peoples lead and become the main voices with input that makes sense in this new world.

Brianna Wilson, Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative, Syilx Okanagan Nation Salmon Warrior

Brianna Wilson, Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative, Syilx Okanagan Nation Salmon Warrior

Day Two, Panel Four

A 28 year old community-minded, expressive, driven and motivated individual with proven leadership qualities and excellent interpersonal skills. She is community-minded, expressive, A 28 year old community-minded, expressive, driven and motivated individual with proven leadership qualities and excellent interpersonal skills. Brianna is a hard worker and cares for her community and Indigenous government. She has worked in four different departments in five various positions. After spending six years in Early Years, her attention turned to governance. She has completed two successful terms as WFN Council Intern and was a summer student for WFN’s Intergovernmental Affairs and Title & Rights department.

Dr. Aaron T. Wolf, Co-director of the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation at Oregon State University; Professor of Water Cooperation & Diplomacy at IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education in the Neterlands

Dr. Aaron T. Wolf, Co-director of the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation at Oregon State University; Professor of Water Cooperation & Diplomacy at IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education in the Neterlands

Day One, Panel Two (Moderator)

Dr. Aaron T. Wolf is a water resources geographer at Oregon State University and a trained mediator/facilitator. He co-directs the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, through which he has offered workshops, facilitations, and mediations around the world. He is the author, most recently, of The Spirit of Dialogue: Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Conflict (Island Press, 2017), that he uses to bring facilitation and capacity-building to a variety of conflict settings, notably between entities who share water resources, and also in faith and interfaith communities, and within and between government agencies. He has an appointment as a Professor of Water Cooperation & Diplomacy at IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education in The Netherlands and is a partner at Four Worlds Partners.​

Columbia River Transboundary Water Governance and Ethics Symposium 2023 Organizing Committee

Joanne Taylor – The University of British Columbia – Okanagan
John Wagner – The University of British Columbia – Okanagan
Aaron Wolf – Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance
Barb Cosens – Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance
Richard Paisley – Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance
Matt McKinney – Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance
John Osborn – One River – Ethics Matter Project
Kate Brown – The North American Youth Parliament for Water
Rheanne Kroschinsky – The North American Youth Parliament for Water
Henry Pitts – The North American Youth Parliament for Water

Columbia River Transboundary Water Governance and Ethics Symposium 2023 Steering Committee

Barb Cosens – University of Idaho
Aaron Wolf – Oregon State University
Matt McKinney – University of Montana
Richard Paisley – University of British Columbia
John Wager – University of British Columbia Okanagan
Joanne Taylor – University of British Columbia Okanagan
John Osborn – One River Ethics Matter
Kate Brown – North American Youth Parliament for Water
Rheanne Kroschinsky – North American Youth Parliament for Water
Henry Pitts – North American Youth Parliament for Water

Columbia River Transboundary Water Governance and Ethics Symposium 2023 Tribes and First Nations Advisory Committee

Pauline Terbasket – Executive Director Okanagan Nation Alliance
DR Michel – Executive Director Upper Columbia United Tribes
Scott Hauser – Upper Snake River Tribes (tentative)
Troy Hunter – Strategic Initiatives Coordinator Ktunaxa Nation
Valerie Michel – Columbia River Treaty Project Manager Secwepemc Nation
Mark Thomas – Salmon Chief, Chair Executive Working Group Bring the Salmon Home Secwepemc Nation
Jim Heffernan – Legal Counsel and Director CRITFIC
John Shurts – Northwest Power and Conservation Council

Columbia River Transboundary Water Governance and Ethics Symposium 2023 Citizens Advisory Committee

Molly Stenovac – Past UCCRG Symposium Organizer (2012 and 2014)
Adam Wicks-Arshack – Lawyer and Past Columbia River Governance Panel Organizer (2019)