2020 National Planning Conference

Tribal Planning 101: Power to Plan

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198225

Location: 2003

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  • Introduction to the complications of past and current federal Indian policy.
  • Exposure to the basic planning principles that Tribes use to implement planning that includes regulatory control base upon Tribal inherent sovereignty.
  • Explore different frameworks that exist within tribal governments and impacts to non-tribal governments. Attendees will broaden their understanding of key critical issues impacting tribal and non-tribal planning practitioners.


Attendees will understand:
• the power to plan for tribes – its derivation; how it differs from non-tribal planning; • Current challenges in conflicting jurisdictions, and; • how to build relationships that mutually benefit partners who plan on or near Indian Reservations.

From a tribal perspective, planning for land use considers land, air, water and tribal culture and society. Planning professionals rarely understand the complexities of why tribes plan and the police powers derived from federal sources, and the inherent tribal sovereignty that enables development of planning and zoning regulations within Indian tribal governments. At the same time, as tribes develop their lands to meet the economic challenges of their tribal membership, tribal leaders are realizing that proper land use controls, building and permitting, planning and zoning are key critical issues to a successful and prosperous community. There is an opportunity for knowledge exchange that will benefit tribes and their non-tribal partners in their pursuit to create thriving and economically resilient tribes, communities, regions and states.

This proposed training and panel discussion will meet specific legal requirements by exploring federal case law and policy, how tribes have shaped their planning laws to meet contemporary planning challenges, and specific examples of successful tribal and non-tribal partnerships.

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Session Speakers

Margo Hill
Urban and Regional Planning, Eastern Washington University
Spokane, WA

Michelle R. Wade, AICP
Agnew::Beck Consulting
Anchorage, AK

John D. Tovey III, AICP
Umatilla Indian Reservation
Pendleton, OR

Sherwin L. Racehorse
Tribal Planning and Indigenous Interest Group of APA
Blackfoot, Idaho, ID