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Public Policy and Administration


Tanya Settles


Research has established that national homeland security policy requires a whole community or all-of-nation approach to national security preparedness. What is less clear is whether all stakeholders are integrated into or benefit from this collective effort. This narrative policy analysis examined the relationship between a federally-recognized group of Native American tribal nations and homeland security national preparedness to explore whether tribal nations are effectively integrated with the collective effort for national preparedness. The theoretical framework stemmed from a convergence of social contract theory and conflict theory. Interviews (n = 21) were conducted with preparedness authorities from government agencies, and from tribal nations and nongovernmental organizations that advocate on behalf of tribal nations. Data were analyzed using Roe's narrative policy analysis technique. Results revealed areas of convergence of the government and tribal narratives on the historical disenfranchisement of tribal nations; findings also showed areas of divergence on how to better integrate tribal nations in homeland security national preparedness. The study concludes with a number of recommendations highlighting the manner in which national interests and tribal nation preparedness interests are intertwined. This study suggests that the nation's homeland security may be better served by greater inclusion of tribal nations in national preparedness efforts. The results of this study contribute to positive social change by giving voice to a heretofore disenfranchised social group, Native Americans, and by allowing them to strengthen the metanarrative of homeland security national preparedness.