Water Institute congratulates external advisory board member Merrell-Ann Phare on taking oath of office as IJC Canadian Commissioner

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

At a meeting of the International Joint Commission (IJC) on Friday, May 17, Commissioners Pierre Béland, Merrell-Ann Phare and F. Henry Lickers made a solemn declaration to faithfully and impartially perform the duties assigned under the Boundary Waters Treaty.

Pierre Béland was appointed as Chair of the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission. Merrell-Ann Phare and Henry Lickers were appointed as Canadian Commissioners. All were appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the Governor-in-Council, effective May 9, 2019, for a four year term.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

IJC image

Left to right: Merrell-Ann Phare, Pierre Béland and Henry Lickers

Merrell-Ann Phare has served on the Water Institute External Advisory Board joining in 2014. She is a lawyer, writer, strategist, negotiator and relationship-builder who worked extensively in and with indigenous organizations on environmental, land, water, rights and governance issues. She, along with 10 First Nation Chiefs, was the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation.

As Chief Negotiator for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Ms. Phare lead the negotiation of transboundary water agreements in the Mackenzie River Basin and the creation of Thaidene Nene, a national and territorial park in the east arm of Great Slave Lake.

She is the author of the book “Denying the Source: the Crisis of First Nations Water Rights” and co-author of “Ethical Water”. She is a member of the Forum for Leadership on Water, Smart Prosperity's Leadership Council, and is a recipient of Canada's Clean 50 Award. She served as legal counsel and advisor to a number of First Nation and Metis governments and organizations.

Ms. Phare holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Environmental), Bachelor of Laws, and Master of Law (Aboriginal Water Rights and International Trade Law) from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from University of British Columbia.

Read the official press release.

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