2018 Conference Presentation Materials and Resources

Below are the presentations that we have so far received from the speakers at the 2018 Tribal Planning and Western Planner Conference, held Aug. 5-8, 2018 in Fort Hall, Idaho. We will update this page if we received any more.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Opening Keynote Speaker: Ms. Bobbi-Jo Meuleman, Director, Idaho Department of Commerce


Ms. Meuleman is the Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, leading economic development efforts for the Gem State, and fostering ways of assisting communities, citizens, businesses, and visitors. Bobbi-Jo originally joined Idaho Commerce as the Chief Operating Officer in June 2016 as the right-hand to the Director where she was instrumental in legislative efforts during the 2017 session, and managing department staff and operations. Bobbi-Jo’s government career began in Washington, D.C. working for Congressman Rehberg (R-MT) and Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). From 2009 to 2016, Bobbi-Jo had the great privilege of serving in the Office of Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, most recently as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Bobbi-Jo received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana in Political Science with an emphasis in Human Resource Management. She sits on the Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance Board, Idaho Invasive Species Council, Workforce Development Council, STEM Action Center Board, LINE Commission 3.0, Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Council, and is the Public Policy Chair for the Idaho Economic Development Association (IEDA). In 2017, Bobbi-Jo was an Idaho Business Review’s Accomplished Under 40 honoree.

Strengthening Your Local and Regional Economy -“The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)/Economic Assessment Approach” 


  • Jason Lambert, Associate, Chief Strategy Group, Inc.
  • Alonzo Coby, Planning Director, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
  • Shelly Wade, Agnew::Beck Consulting

Description: The role of tribal planning is to find, recognize and secure a tribal community’s economic futures. The development of an actionable economic assessment that is precise and easy to follow is key to achieving that goal. The Planning Assistance program of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is one of the premier annual funding opportunities and tools for tribal communities to develop and implement their economic vision, but many tribes and rural communities do not take advantage of the resource. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), a five-year outlook with prioritized projects and focus areas for your community’s economic development, is the first step in securing and leveraging EDA funds. This opening panel discussion will highlight best cases from tribes – what has worked (and not worked) toward economic success and resiliency. The panelists represent entities and tribes that have completed multiple tribal, regional, and inter-tribal CEDS and economic assessments, resulting in multi-million grant awards.

Maximizing Community Resilience with Minimal Resources


  • Tom Donnelly, Community Planning & Capacity Building Coordinator, FEMA Region X
  • Tim Gelston, AICP, Community Planning & Capacity Building Coordinator, FEMA Region VIII
  • Amanda Siok, Mitigation Specialist, FEMA Region X

Description: As with many small communities across the country, tribes are often challenged in trying to address the need to be more resilient, while having limited resources of staffing, funds or experience. Both natural and man-made events can have devastating impacts on social, economic, natural and built environments. Fortunately, increasing our resilience against future wildfires or floods is most successful with the right tools, knowledge and experience. Using a unique combination of presentations and round-table discussions, attendees will have an opportunity to hear about and discuss successful efforts with recovery experts.

Tribal Safety Plans – Development-Data-Implementation


  • Michia Casebier, President, M.G. Tech-Writing, LLC
  • Elisabeth Whitlock, PE, President, High Road Engineering, Inc.
  • Merrill Yazzie, Pueblo De Cochiti

Description: This session will provide a Tribal Safety Plan (TSP) development overview per the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) template and panel members’ experiences with agency partnerships, cooperation, and consultation. Discussion will center on the TSP development process, addressing crash data gathering challenges, implementation tactics, Indian Country accomplishments, and funding sources.

Federal Indian Law and the Power to Plan: Part 2 of a Two-Part Series



  • Kevin Klingbeil, Owner, Big Water Consulting
  • Shelly Wade, AICP, Principal::Owner, Agnew::Beck Consulting
  • Holly Anderson, Planner, CTUIR

Description: Part of a two-part training and panel discussion exploring federal case law and policy and how Tribes have shaped their planning laws to meet contemporary planning challenges. Attendees will understand the power to plan and where it derives from, current challenges that Tribes face in conflicting jurisdictions in planning and how to build relationships that mutually benefit multi-jurisdictions who plan on or near Indian Reservations. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Funding Your Community and Tribal Infrastructure Priorities


  • Elroy B. Keetso, M.C.R.P., Planner, Pueblo of Laguna
  • Peter Stolz, MA, MCIP, PMP, Cairnstone Planning

Capital Improvement Planning at the Pueblo of Laguna – This presentation will highlight how the Pueblo of Laguna uses both western and indigenous planning methods to develop local capital projects. Capital projects are projects that deal with infrastructure and facility development and large purchases. We will describe the use of comprehensive planning in the local six villages of Laguna, and how the comprehensive plans feed into the Pueblo government’s capital improvement plan (CIP). The presentation will:

  • Illustrate how the Pueblo uses its CIP to inform the New Mexico government and federal agencies of its priorities for funding and collaboration opportunities on large capital projects;
  • Describe the policy and procedures that the Pueblo now has in place for the CIP;
  • Showcase projects completed and underway at the Pueblo;
  • Be useful to planners from non-Native communities doing capital planning and working on capital projects in Indian Country;
  • Be helpful to tribal planners that are looking to find collaboration on their projects with local, regional, state and federal agencies.

New Urbanism Through Radical Revenues – To eliminate externalities which lead to extremely high per capita infrastructure capitalization ratios, learn about a user-pays system to municipal finance. There is an alternative to property taxes and grants, and the alternatives support new urbanism instead of sprawl.

Breakout Session Track 3: Tribal Transportation Program Planning

Presenter(s): Elisabeth Whitlock, PE, President, High Road Engineering


Description:  This session will provide detailed information on the Tribal Transportation Program’s (TTP) planning process. Participants will learn about the program’s structure, regulations, and best practices to effectively administer not only the planning, but the design and construction phases. This session will highlight the need to build partnerships with federal, state, and local transportation agencies to maximize the program and available funding opportunities. Topics will focus on the challenges rural tribal governments face, which often have limited resources and must work in cooperation with other governments to achieve their transportation infrastructure goals. Planning tools and resources will be shared with participants. A database of transportation related funding sources available to tribes will also be provided.

Public and Tribal Lands in the Trump Era


  • Larry Roberts, Counsel, Kilpatrick Townsend, Washington, D.C. (former Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs under Secretary Sally Jewell)
  • Nada Culver, Senior Counsel and Director of The Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center
  • Justin Pidot, Associate Professor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Description: This panel will discuss the Trump Administration’s approach to federal public and tribal lands including the Administration’s unprecedented decision to drastically shrink the Bears Ears National Monument, the “energy dominance” framework and how it is transforming public land management, changes to the Department’s mitigation policies, changes to the department’s tribal lands acquisition policies and other emerging issues.

Bringing Housing Home: Pueblo Village Revitalization

Presenter(s): Sharon Hausam, Ph.D., AICP, Planning Program Manager, Pueblo of Laguna


Description: The presentation will describe the Pueblo of Laguna’s Housing Strategic Plan, which is based on comprehensive plans for each of Laguna’s six villages that were developed with extensive community input. Recommended actions emphasize the revitalization of the core area of each village, known as the “village proper,” which includes housing and community facilities such as plazas, churches, and kivas, to reclaim traditional community life, well-being, and relationships with the natural environment. Actions include interior and exterior housing assessments, land assignment mapping and record-keeping, financing, design standards, enforcement, construction businesses, and supporting features such as community gathering spaces. Participants will learn about best practices in community involvement, comprehensive planning, and housing planning; improve their understanding of traditional tribal communities; learn how multiple interwoven factors affect community revitalization; and enhance their knowledge of parallels between tribal and non-Native development patterns (i.e., sprawl). 

Additional Resources

Utah’s Growth Paradox: Maps, Stories, and Ideas 

Presenter(s): Flint Timmins, AICP, State of Utah, Community Development Office, Rural Planning Group


Description: Across the country, rural communities have fallen behind in economics, demographics, and community development. In Utah, there is hypergrowth around urban centers while rural regions are facing economic and demographic shifts that are altering community culture and trajectory. Some rural regions are experiencing an economic decline in legacy extractive industries while simultaneously booming in tourism-related industries. This presentation analyzes rural Utah communities’ economic and demographic trends and compares them with national data. The presentation then analyzes how location, geography, and community and natural amenities influence growth. Finally, the presentation considers options for dealing with associated community development issues. Attendees will be asked to participate.

County Resource Management Planning: Converting Your Orange into an Apple

Presenter(s): Mike Hansen, AICP, Planning Director, Rural Community Consultants

Description:  Complicating matters in many counties in the West, there are Native American jurisdictions and activities that are a significant piece of the cultural fabric, but their voices are not always heard in local planning processes. In 2015, the Utah Legislature established a new requirement that county general plans also include a “resource management plan” to provide a basis for communicating and coordinating with the federal government on 27 different land and resource management issues that most counties didn’t plan for in the past. In this session, we will discuss the best practices and lessons learned in our experience developing the basic framework and project approach, gathering and utilizing data for numerous issues, and drafting plans for over one-third of the counties in Utah.

Tribal and Error: Beyond Consultation – Los Alamos and Idaho National Laboratories and Our Native Neighbors


  • Dan Pava, FAICP, Environmental Planner, Environmental Stewardship Group, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Stephanie Cook, Technology Based Economic Development - Partnerships, Engagement & Tech Deployment, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Brad Bugger, senior program analyst for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho Cleanup Project, and the American Indian Program Manager for DOE’s Idaho Operations Office

Description:  Los Alamos National Laboratory is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Famous for things nuclear, the Laboratory is situated within the Pueblo homelands of northern New Mexico. Idaho National Laboratory is the fifth largest employer in the state, and performs work in energy, national security, science and environment. This panel will provide examples of how these two Department of Energy laboratories cultivate relationships and partnerships to build understanding and cooperation through agreements-in-principle, cooperative agreements, mutual respect, economic development, education, cultural resources preservation, emergency and environmental planning, and self-sufficiency. It is not an easy road to follow, as there are many challenges and detours; but the journey has made these Laboratories better neighbors for the long-term.

More than a Count: US and Tribal Census Efforts


  • Sharon Hausam, Planning Program Manager, Pueblo of Laguna
  • Larry Jacques, Director of Strategic Planning, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, Citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, Dual Ph.D. Candidate, Sociology, University of Arizona USA/Demography, University of Waikato New Zealand

Description:  This panel will discuss the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census and tribal approaches to resolving concerns about it to meet their own data needs. Panelists will provide an overview of the Census and its status as we approach 2020. They will discuss critical issues raised by tribes about census questions (especially enrollment), enumeration methodologies, funding, statistical validity, and other factors. Participants will learn about Census issues to monitor and ways to address them, and will be inspired by best practices in tribal communities. The session will also benefit small and rural community planners who want to ensure the Census meets their needs, and who coordinate with their tribal neighbors. The session will:

  • Cover ongoing approaches to addressing these issues such as tribal liaisons and complete count committees
  • Focus on unique tribal needs for data and approaches to obtaining and managing data, emphasizing indigenous data sovereignty
  • Showcase the work of the Native Nations Institute and Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network and two pilot projects funded by the National Congress of American Indians, the Pueblo of Laguna’s “K’awaika You Count” survey and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ data gap study