Theses Master's

Enchanting Practices: the Mescalero Apache Nation’s Story of Planning in the State of New Mexico

Hancock, Colin

This thesis will convey the story of the Mescalero Apache tribe’s historic and contemporary approaches to planning in their homelands in Southern New Mexico. Conveying this story means many things: a holistic understanding of the context of the Mescalero Apache people’s' traditional and contemporary planning practices; better understanding of indigenous planning practices in North America, and the world; and an improved understanding of a non-White approach to planning that can better inform contemporary and future planning practices. Indeed, the lessons learned in this thesis prove not only the significance of understanding indigenous planning practices, but also that many of the lessons it teaches are ones which non-indigenous planners have been striving to incorporate.

Through an in-depth literature review, as well as findings outlining cultural, religious, public health, and economic indicators, readers will be provided with a comprehensive outline of the planning practices of the Mescalero Apache. It is my hope that with the conclusion of this study will come one more missing piece of that puzzle, taking planners one step closer to a more rounded methodology and approach to the field, as well as a more inclusive one. Though it cannot right the wrongs of past generations of planners, it can change planning’s future course.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
O'Neill-Hutson, Moira K.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 12, 2021