The Tribal Planning Interest Group of APA, the American Planning Association, and the Western Planning Resources/The Western Planner are co-hosting this conference being held Aug. 5-8 in Fort Hall, Idaho. As an added bonus, we are holding this conference in conjunction with the 2018 Shoshone-Bannock Festival, Rodeo, Pow-Wow and Indian Relays scheduled on August 9-12, 2018. Make sure to register early!


The theme for the 2018 Tribal Planning and Western Planner Conference is “Building Partnerships through Understanding, Cooperation and Consultation.” There are many partnerships to be developed in planning efforts. Often, Indian Tribal Governments are misunderstood in planning for regional solutions, for example, involving coordinating tribal projects with local and state government transportation improvements can be a daunting task. Regional planning efforts, such as a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or comprehensive planning processes, involve creation of regional steering committees to conduct Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analyses, or contribute to the discussion of what socio-economic development is needed for a region and/or state. A shared understanding of tribal, but also rural, small town planning is often missing from these conversations. Partnerships between tribes, rural/small communities and their regional, state and federal partners, including collective evaluation of needs and opportunities, are critical to improving quality of life in our communities. At the August conference, we anticipate a dialogue that provides much needed alternative to urban/big city planning, including the legal, political and social frameworks of planning on and off Indian Reservations.

Paul Moberly