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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Masters Field Project

Department or Program Affiliation

Huxley College of the Environment

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Zaferatos, Nicholas C. (Nicholas Christos)

Second Advisor

Melious, Jean O.

Third Advisor

Rossiter, David A.


Tribal governments in Washington State are important regional governments that exist in and border many counties. Tribal interests often extend beyond the boundaries of the reservation and into the county space where they may be affected by county and local government planning. Properly integrating tribal interest into regional comprehensive planning is necessary to reduce conflict and provide Indian tribes a seat at the government table.

The purpose of this project is to determine the extent to which planning laws, regulations, and policies within Washington State advance coordination with Indian tribes based on the government-to-government principles of the Centennial Accord, particularly those relating to the implementation of the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA). This project assesses the state’s legislative framework directing local governments in comprehensive planning with tribal governments and the adequacy of the state’s encouragement regarding tribal participation in the Growth Management Act comprehensive planning. This project is primarily concerned with determining if Washington State’s public policies adequately incorporate the interests of Indian tribes and allow for appropriate inclusion of tribal governments into regional planning, as outlined in the Growth Management Act’s eleventh goal.

This project utilizes template analysis for the identification of thematic codes in determining relevant laws and regulations. Initial templates were defined on review of relevant literature and prior knowledge of tribal interests. Initial templates were revised to further assess the data for relevant themes using codes for mandatory language and modes of participation. Secondary codes were cross-referenced with relevant literature and scholarly articles on cooperative planning with Indian tribes and planning principles.

The findings indicate a lack of GMA policies providing guidance to local governments regarding coordination with tribal governments. The small number of GMA policies also lack clear and precise language regarding the capacity with which local governments should cooperate with tribes. Ultimately, the GMA policies fail to adequately institute the guiding principles of the Centennial Accord. For the state to fulfill the GMA’s interjurisdictional coordination goal and more fully incorporate tribal government interest into regional planning structures, the GMA must be amended with clear and precise language regarding tribal inclusion in comprehensive planning and in what capacity. This project identifies possible amendments based on communicative and cooperative mechanisms within the Centennial Accord.




Indian, tribes, tribe, growth, tribal, reservation, policy, legislation, regulation, accord


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Washington (State). Growth Management Act

Subject – LCSH

Indians of North America--Washington (State)--Government relations; Indians of North America--Washington (State)--Politics and government; County government--Washington (State); Land use--Washington (State)--Planning; Regional planning--Washington (State); Cooperation--Washington (State)

Geographic Coverage

Washington (State)




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