The practice of indigenous planning is predicated on adhering to land-tenure traditions and upholding the unique cultural worldviews of indigenous communities” (Indigenous Planning Mission Statement).1Jojola, Ted. “Indigenous Planning—An Emerging Context.” Canadian Journal of Urban Research 17, no. 1 (2008): 37-47. In 1975, the Indian Self-Determination Act gave rights to federally recognized tribes to contract their own education, health, social, and economic development services. This returned to tribal societies the previously usurped authority to actively plan their communities.
This feature by Theodore Jojola and Saray Argumedo of the University of New Mexico explores the intersectionality of hegemonic oppression that Western mainstream community development and planning practice imposes on Indigenous people. Specifically, it assesses the relevance of a standard participatory tool called the SWOT Analysis and contrasts it with new emerging tools that serve to decolonize participatory methodologies. These new Indigenous planning methodologies are designed to be inclusive and culturally relevant, and have been developed with the participation of Indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico, and Ysleta del Sur in El Paso, Texas. Repurposed as BARRIO and PUEBLO Analyses, these methods have been applied and refined to attune Indigenous communities to adaptive tools that combine Westernized-Eurocentric education and research methodologies to practices informed by traditional knowledge. —Ane González Lara, Diverse Peoples, Arid Landscapes, and the Built Environment report editor