The First Century of the International Joint Commission

Table of contents




Murray Clamen and Daniel Macfarlane

Section 1 ? Beginnings

From IWC to BWT: Canada-US Institution Building, 1902-1909
David Whorley

Construction of a Keystone: How Local Concerns and International Geopolitics Created the First Water Management Mechanisms on the Canada-US Border
Meredith Denning

Section 2 ? From Coast to Coast

The IJC And Water Quality in the Bacterial Age
Jamie Benidickson

The Boundary Waters Treaty and the International Joint Commission in the St. Mary-Milk Basin
B. Timothy Heinmiller

The International Joint Commission and Hydro-Power Development on the Northeastern Borderlands, 1945-70
James Kenny

A Square Peg: The Lessons of the Point Roberts Reference, 1971-1977
Kim Richard Nossal

The IJC and Mid-Continent Water Issues: The Garrison Diversion, Red River, Devils Lake, and NAWSP
Norm Brandson and Al Olson

The IJC?s Unique and Colorful Role in Three Projects in the Pacific Northwest
Richard Moy and Jonathan O?Riordan

Section3 ? Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin

The IJC and Great Lakes Water Levels
Murray Clamen and Daniel Macfarlane

The IJC and Air Pollution: A Tale of Two Cases
Owen Temby and Don Munton

Origin of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement: Concepts and Structures
Jennifer Read

The Great Lakes Remedial Action Plan Program: A Historical and Contemporary Description and Analysis
Gail Krantzberg

The IJC and the Evolution of the GLWQA: Accountability, Progress Reporting, and Measuring Performance
Deborah VanNijnatten & Carolyn Johns

Section 4 ? Legacies

From ?Stakeholder to Rights Holder?: Re-examining the Role of Indigenous Peoples in The International Joint Commission as the Third Sovereign
Frank Ettawageshik and Emma Norman

The Boundary Waters Treaty, International Joint Commission, and Evolution of Transboundary Environmental Law and Governance
Noah D. Hall, A. Dan Tarlock & Marcia Valiante

The Importance of the IJC
John Kirton and Brittaney Warren

The International Joint Commission: Continually Evolving Approaches to Conflict Resolution
Ralph Pentland and Ted R. Yuzyk


Murray Clamen and Daniel Macfarlane



The relationship between Canada and the United States is defined by our shared waterways. This book brings together a wide-ranging field of experts in a definitive history of the International Joint Commission—one of the world’s oldest international environmental bodies.


The First Century is a significant contribution to historical institutionalist literature on an important dimension of Canada–US relations and transnational environmental policies. Its contributors illustrate both the potential and conditions for cross-border cooperation, along with the multiple political and institutional constraints on such activities. As such, it is a rewarding study for academics, practitioners, and those interested in understanding the conditions for effective civic engagement in cross-border relations.

- Geoffrey Hale, American Review of Canadian Studies

Provides excellent analysis and coverage of the first century of the IJC

?Stephen J. Randall, Canadian Historical Review

[A] fascinating book on transboundary water governance.

- Frederick H. Turner, Natural Resources & Environment

A welcome scale-shift in our knowledge and understanding of the IJC . . . [a] balanced and broad collection that will be of particular interest to historians of environmental diplomacy and the Canada-US border.

- Matthew Evenden, Environmental History