Overview of the Tribal Planning Executive Certificate


The EWU Urban Planning Programs have developed a curriculum in tribal planning to address the special contexts and needs of American Indian Tribal Governments, with a goal to create an educational program for American Indian students and those interested in tribal government and tribal planning. Starting in 1987, EWU has offered the core of this curriculum in a series of intense workshop/classes, the Summer Institute for Tribal Planning, and in courses offered on an irregular basis during the year. This curricula was developed in conjunction with American Indian tribal elected leaders and tribal planners, who provided instruction and participated in all aspects of early classes, including teaching and interactions through applied projects with students.

Over 500 students have completed classes in the Summer Institute in Tribal Planning, and have gone on to work with tribal governments or practice planning with a knowledge of tribal planning. EWU’s graduate programs were recently recognized as a national leader in American Indian graduate student enrollment, and more than twenty American Indian students have completed their professional MURP degree, while another twenty have completed their B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning.

The Tribal Planning Executive Certificate will be offered during the year, including the Summer Quarter as a continuation of the Summer Institute in Tribal Planning, and through an on-line program to reach students with limited access to higher education facilities and in isolated regions.

Students are encouraged to consider completion of a graduate professionally accredited Masters of Urban and Regional Planning degree at EWU or a Masters in Public Administration in conjunction with this certificate. We encourage students from other graduate programs across the nation to participate in this special tribal planning certificate program.

Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to provide a professional planning curriculum to address the specific issues, needs, and contexts of American Indian Planning, particularly for American Indian reservations. The powers to plan on reservations are established through tribal sovereignty. Tribal planning can build on the best practices in non-Indian planning, plus address special elements and topics essential to each tribal specific culture, history, language, historic and contemporary settlement, and the interests, desires and direction set by tribal members.

The program is designed for American Indian and Canadian First Nations students who wish to learn more and gain a professional knowledge of tribal planning practice, tribal elected leaders and staff for whom tribal planning is an important part of their work or careers, and non-Indian students, planners and citizens interested in knowledge of the unique contexts of tribal sovereign governments and their planning practice.

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