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Rural / small town Indigenous planning

A few topics that come to mind:
Economic development (casinos, crafts and cigarettes - oh my!)
Social issues on and off the Rez (how do Native peoples view their relationships with "home," areas off the Rez and the mediation of the two)
Public health issues on and off the Rez (management of and access to health care)
Housing development on the Rez
Public participation in Native communities (are there special tools, approaches or processes that are better suited to Native Communities?)
These are all interesting topics...here's my two cents from State-side:
  • Building code applications and exemptions with historical or cultural structures
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Grantsmanship
  • HUD housing programs, specifically
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Legal applications
  • Navigating tribal politics
  • Programs funding management
  • Tribal gaming, casinos & gaming compaques with states
  • Water rights issues

Those are a couple off the top, in no particular order of importance since they're ALL important, so I listed them alphabetically. :D

Tribal planning for Native American, First Nations and other indigenous peoples is a subject of great relevance that is critical to the framework of not just planning at the local, state and federal levels -- but to our society as a whole. In my experience I find it to be a subject few planners have any direct experience with, especially working and looking from the inside out through the tribal perspective on the world. There are many issues tribes deal with on a daily basis that are unique to their culture and communities; matters involving health, traditions, and culture that don't phase most aspects of the Anglo world outside of tribal lands. For those who haven't worked in a tribal setting (let alone attending something like a pow wow) the experience is very interesting and rewarding, and will inform you and your career in ways that you cannot find working at the state, local or private levels in our industry.

If for no other reason, for purposes of informing and educating those interested, I would say it qualifies as a major sector of any discussion forum on planning.