The following article is from an archived newsletter. See our Shared Waters newsletter.

Osoyoos Lake in the Spotlight at October Forum, Public Board Meeting

IJC staff
panoramic osoyoos bc

The Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum is on for October after being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The forum is set for Oct. 27-29, at the Sonora Center in Osoyoos, British Columbia (B.C.). Participants may register at the Okanagan Basin Water Board website.

The 2022 forum will occur the same week as an annual public meeting by the International Joint Commission’s (IJC’s) International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control.

The board’s public meeting is set for the night of Oct. 26 in Oroville, Washington; details are still being finalized. Stay tuned to the Osoyoos board website and the IJC’s social media channels for information when it’s available.

Osoyoos Lake is a shared waterbody along the Canada-United States border, located in the Okanagan valley watershed between Osoyoos, B.C., and Oroville, Washington. The Okanagan valley is the traditional territory of the Syilx people, including the Okanagan Nation in Canada and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in the United States.

This year’s forum theme is “Bridging Indigenous and Western approaches to Knowledge, Science and Management,” and will be hosted in partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band and Okanagan Nation Alliance. The IJC helps fund the event, along with other organizations.

The forum program includes three field trips and a welcoming reception on day one.

Days two and three will feature keynote presentations and sessions on topics such as Indigenous approaches to Osoyoos Lake management, climate change and fisheries restoration.

A report summarizing the forum is generated after each event. This year’s forum will be the fourth; the last was in 2015.

2015 osoyoos lake science forum

A member of the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society asks the expert fisheries panel a question at the 2015 Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum. Credit: IJC

In keeping with the 2022 theme of building on Indigenous and Western approaches to knowledge, science and management, the event will be facilitated by members of the Okanagan Nation Alliance.

Kelly Terbasket is program director of the nonprofit IndigenEYEZ. Terbasket has a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Victoria and an extensive background working in Indigenous community development for more than 30 years in regional and provincial positions, including at Health Canada and with her own band and Nation.

Allan Thomas Lindley is Syilx, Nlaka’pamux and Mistawsis Cree First Nations from the Nicola Valley in Merritt, B.C. Lindley is a member of the Upper Nicola Band (Quilchena), part of the Okanagan Nation, and also part of the IndigenEYEZ facilitator community.

According to the forum website, the event “provides an opportunity for residents of the Okanogan/Okanagan watershed and the public in general to learn about water management and ecological health issues of importance to Osoyoos Lake and the broader transboundary watershed.

“In addition, for resource managers and stakeholders to share issues of concern and identify common goals and challenges, and to promote transboundary stewardship of this valuable lake and the ecosystem it supports.”

IJC staff

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