Political sovereignty in Native American community development: implications for tribal planning strategies
Zaferatos, Nicholas Christos
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American Indian tribes possess sovereign powers of self-government over their internal affairs and over their self-reserved territories in order to support their continued existence. Despite federal efforts that sought to assimilate American Indian societies, their sovereignty, and their territories, reservations continue to exist. The powers of tribal governments, particularly with respect to the exercise of territorial jurisdiction, are not clearly understood. The contemporary development of the Native American political community continues to be affected by federal Indian public policy, jurisdictional conflicts in state-tribal relations, and incorporation processes by the U.S. political economy.This study explores the evolution of tribal governance to understand the problems facing tribes in advancing their community goals through reservation development. It will examine the context of the Indian planning situation with a practical aim of formulating approaches from the fields of planning and community development to guide decision-making to interact with, and overcome, independent variables that obstruct the attainment of tribal goals. This inquiry further provides a broad understanding of the nature of tribal community development as an exercise of political sovereignty.The research contributes new knowledge about the problems encountered in tribal community development and argues that tribal participation in regional decision-making through the exercise of political action is a necessary component of tribal planning. The research is guided by fundamental questions that arise from historical experiences to construct several analytical models for interpreting current events in tribal planning. This conceptual analysis provides a basis to evaluate the suitability of alternative tribal planning responses. This research fosters greater understanding of historical opposition confronting tribal communities, identifies the conditions that are necessary to overcome those conflicts, and adapts planning strategies in order to aid the advancement of tribal community development.
- Urban planning