Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Linda Day


Comprehensive planning can help communities engage in purposeful and sustainable land use development. Previous research has indicated that Indian reservations in the United States often face unique roadblocks to these planning efforts: checkerboard patterns of tribal and nontribal ownership, and the presence of both tribal and local governments exercising land use authority within the same shared space. These roadblocks can lead to uncooperative, uncoordinated, or unsustainable development. Despite these noted problems, there remains an important gap in the current literature regarding solutions to overcome these roadblocks. The purpose of this study was to address that gap. Guided by Forester's critical planning theory to critically examine the social and historical roots of planning within a particular community, this qualitative case study examined government records and conducted 18 interviews of tribal and local government officials. Data analysis consisted of coding data to reveal emergent themes relating to cooperative land use planning in the future. These themes included: (a) approaching planning with a regional philosophy in mind, (b) strengthening interpersonal relationships, (c) finding ways to fairly compensate each other for government services, (d) continuing to acknowledge each government's ability to govern within this shared space, and (e) refraining from asserting authority over a neighboring government. This research is an important contribution to the existing literature and enhances social change initiatives by providing guidance for tribal and local government officials to increase cooperative land use planning.