Susan Chiblow appointed and Merrell-Ann Phare reappointed as IJC Canadian Commissioners


The International Joint Commission (IJC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Susan Chiblow as Canadian Commissioner.

Dr. Susan (Sue) Bell Chiblow is Anishinaabe kwe, born and raised in Garden River First Nation, Ontario, where she continues to reside. She has worked extensively with First Nation communities for the last 30 years in environmental related fields. Dr. Chiblow has a B.Sc. in Biology, M.Sc. in Environment and Management, and has her PhD in Environmental Science with a focus on N'bi Kendaaswin (Water Knowledge). She has worked with the Chiefs of Ontario as the Environmental Coordinator of the Environment Unit and continues to work with First Nation communities and Elders on environmental projects. Dr. Chiblow is also a Vanier Scholar and Assistant Professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph.

Dr. Chiblow succeeds Mr. Henry Lickers, the Commission’s first Indigenous Commissioner, who served from 2019 to 2023. As stipulated under Article XII of the IJC’s foundational document (the Boundary Waters Treaty), and common to all Commissioners since 1909, Commissioner Chiblow made a solemn declaration that as an IJC Commissioner she will faithfully and impartially perform the duties imposed upon her under this treaty.

Ms. Merrell-Ann Phare, current Canadian Commissioner, has been reappointed. Ms. Phare is a lawyer, writer, strategist, negotiator and relationship-builder who has worked extensively with indigenous organizations on environmental, land, water, rights and governance issues. She was also the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation. Ms. Phare has a B.A. in Economics (Environmental), Bachelor and Masters degrees in Law (Aboriginal Water Rights and International Trade Law) from the University of Manitoba, and an M.F.A. (Creative Writing) from the University of British Columbia. She resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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. US and Canadian Commissioners work together to play a binational oversight role, in matters involving water quality and quantity issues on the topics and in the basins where the governments have requested the IJC’s assistance.


Sarah Lobrichon               Ottawa               613-794-8592    

Ed Virden                          Washington       202-372-7990