Thematic Guides - International Joint Commission

This guide consists of specific archival references and a selected bibliography relating to the Canadian and American International Joint Commission on Water Resources, 1914-1941. Issues such as boundary waters, hydro-electric power and Niagara Falls were subject to negotiations by the International Joint Commission.

Established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, the International Joint Commission (est. 1912) is the oldest Canadian-American organization. The commission is tasked to deal with the development and conservation of water resources. Throughout the century, the commission has reported on over 50 issues affecting Canadian-American relations and is considered the model for successful intergovernmental organizations.

This guide was revised in October 2000.

1. Archival References

Government Records

Records of the Department of External Affairs (RG 25)

The Department of External Affairs, established in 1909, was the vehicle through which the commission reported to Parliament.

  • Water Resources, 1933-1940
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 720, reel T-1747, file 41)
  • Boundary Waters Report, 1930
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 733, reel T-1753, file 113)
  • Boundary Water Problems
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 733, reel T-1753, file 114)
  • Alliance of Canada-U.S. Hydro Power Interest, 1939
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 737, reel T-1755, file 118)
  • Export of Power to the U.S., 1937-1939
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 740, reel T-1756, file 129)
  • Niagara Falls Convention, 1924-1929
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 741, reel T-1757, file 139 and 143-144)
  • International Niagara Board, 1925-1928
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 741, reel T-1757, files 140-142)
  • Niagara Falls; Parliamentary Discussion, 1926-1929
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 741, reel T-1757, file 145)
  • Niagara-Ontario Interests
    (RG 25 A2, vol. 741, reel T-1757, file 146)
  • Use of the Waters of the Niagara River Just above Niagara Falls, 1923-1926
    (RG 25 A3a, vol. 1347, file 1923-267)
  • Diversion of Waters from the Niagara River, 1914
    (RG 25 A3a, vol. 1914-120)
  • Diversion of Waters from the Niagara River, 1916-1917
    (RG 25 A3a, vol. 1916-2589)
  • Diversion of Waters from the Niagara River, 1921
    (RG 25 A3a, vol. 1921-587)
  • Power at Niagara River, 1921-1922
    (RG 25 A3a, vol. 1921-656)
  • Niagara River Power Development, 1934-1941
    (RG 25 A3a, vol. 1934-660)
  • Waterways-Niagara Falls, 1941
    (RG 25 B2, file 190, pt. 2)

Records of the Department of Health and Welfare (RG 29)

  • Occupational health; surveys (air pollution): Windsor-Detroit area survey; International Joint Commission, 1950-1959
    (RG 29, vol. 510-517, file 454-3-9, pts. 1-16)

Selected Private Records

Researchers should consult Collection Searchfor private papers of the members of the International Joint Commission.

2. Selected Bibliography

Bloomfield, L.M. and Gerald F. Fitzgerald. Boundary Waters Problems of Canada and the United States. The International Joint Commission 1912-1958. Toronto: Carswell, 1958, 264 pp.

Burpee, Lawrence J. Good Neighbours. Toronto: Ryerson Press, ca.1940

Canadian-American Commission Committee. Cooperative Development of Columbia River Basin: A Statement/Canadian-American Committee. Ca. 1960, 12 pp.

Heeney, A.D.P. Along the Common Frontier, the International Joint Commission. Toronto: Baxter Pub. Co., July 1967

International Joint Commission. Functions, Powers & Duties of International Joint Commission and of the International Boards operating under its jurisdiction. Ottawa, J.O. Patenaude, Printer of the King, 1935, 11 pp.

Also select bibliography in Bloomfield's books.

International Joint Commission contains links to various reports and publications which contain useful information about the IJC and its work.

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