Tribal Government & News

Community Development Plan begins first phase assessment

11.13.2018 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, People


Cascadia Partnership owner Rick Foster has reviewed Grand Ronde community development plans dating back to 1985’s Reservation plan.

He has found some common threads over those 33 years.

Sustainable economic development, services for Elders and a need for housing to accommodate Tribal members who want to return to Grand Ronde are several of the common themes throughout the myriad plans.

Finding those themes and creating a game plan for the Tribe’s future development of the Grand Ronde community are part of Foster’s contracted work for the Tribe as the first phase of the Community Development Plan gets underway.

“What Phase One is it’s essentially doing all of the foundational work that will eventually lead to the actual development of the plan,” Foster said from his office in Independence.

The foundational work will include reviewing recordings of community meetings held in the spring when members of the Tribe provided input about area needs.

From there, Foster said, he will create a baseline assessment of where the Tribe has been, compile demographic research and examine key issues that need to be addressed.

“What I am going to try and do in this piece is take all of the feedback that the Tribe has already gotten on what is of interest and what is needed by Tribal members and put it into some kind of contextual framework that says, ‘OK, this is how we can look at it in a plan so it’s not just a list.’ ”

For instance, Foster said, if the goal is more housing, how does that specific goal affect the greater community as a whole, such as educational services and infrastructure needs.

The Phase One part of the Community Development Plan is scheduled to be completed by early February.

“Phase One is going to impact (Tribal members) because one of the deliverables is to come up with that scope of work that will have the community engagement strategy that is going to be undertaken in Phase Two,” Foster said. “Part of this phase is really going to lay out the process that will ensure the plan is reflective of the needs, wishes and desires of Tribal members.”

If done right, Foster added, a Community Development Plan guides the priorities on where to make investments in developing a community.

“What this plan would ultimately do is provide a pathway so that we’re constantly moving forward in terms of meeting those goals enunciated by Tribal members,” Foster said.

Eventually, an update meeting will be held to keep Tribal members in the loop and provide an opportunity for input on the plan’s development.

Tribal Planning Department Director Rick George said that the second phase of creating a Community Development Plan will be solicited in February.

“Now into its fourth decade after Restoration, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has made the policy decision to invest in strategic planning to chart the future of the community of Grand Ronde and the Tribe’s Reservation,” George said. “This decision is important and far reaching as it signifies council’s commitment to inclusion of the Tribe’s membership in determining the goals for growth, management and jurisdiction of the community and Reservation homeland.

“Previous surveys of the membership and recent community meetings have documented needs for new housing developments and home ownership opportunities and expansion of Tribal hunting and fishing. Council’s decision to implement a new Community Development planning initiative demonstrates the Tribe’s sophistication in governance and exemplifies its commitment to being a good neighbor with adjoining municipalities and local governments.”

“The most interesting thing about this process is it continues the discussion of what is it that you want your community to be,” Foster said.