Economic Development & Planning Department

Economic Development & Planning Staff

  • Donovan Sather

    Director of Economic Development and Planning

    Email: dsather@nooksack-nsn.gov

  • Roswell Cline Jr.

    Planning Manager

    Email: rcline@nooksack-nsn.gov

  • Ed Kelly

    Planner III

    Email: ekelly@nooksack-nsn.gov

  • Clayton Roberts

    Planning Tech

    Email: croberts@nooksack-nsn.gov

Economic Development

The Nooksack Economic Development Department is working towards positive economic growth by assisting the Tribal leadership to make comprehensive decisions in diversifying revenues.  Current Nooksack business ventures include the Northwood Casino, the Market Center and Between the Ferns, the newest business endeavor. This department has a number of services under its structure to help the community, and programs, when it comes time to plan and develop. We strongly believe in teamwork. Our motto is, “EDP is here to bring value to our community.” 

EDP’s main objectives are:

  • Community Outreach and Engagement
  • Strategic Planning Focus
  • Analyze Business Opportunities
  • Research and Identify Funding Opportunities to Build Forward

Planning Program

The Planning Program helps plan, design and develop projects and properties, such as, creating the conceptual designs of buildings or of properties.  Planning provides procurement assistance with the Tribal governmental and its departments by completing the Request for Proposals (RFP) process for the Management Review Committee (MRC) to make sure we are following all our regulations to ensure a project is completed properly.

Notable projects for 2020-21:

  • Installation of a new freezer at the Market Center
  • Built the Between the Ferns Dispensary
  • Creation of the Personal Protection Equipment Warehouse
  • Facilitation for the relocation of the triple wide trailer from the Halverstick property next to the Northwood Casino to the Sulwhanon community. and Remodel for the Genesis II Program
  • Clean up of the westside track property, where the maintenance and automotive buildings are located
  • Community engagement including the 2020 Census initiative and the Native Vote campaign.  

Current or potential projects Planning is working on with other departments in 2021 and beyond:

  • Planning of the new Health Clinic project – Health Department
  • Assisting with the future broadband project – IT
  • Applied for two solar grants for the Personal Protection Warehouse – Administration
  • Assisting the remodel of the future Childcare Facility in Deming – Early Childhood Education 
  • Assistance and assessment on remodel of the old River Casino for Tribal programming – Courts, Police Dept., Social Services, Elders Nutrition, and Enrollment               

Land Realty Program

The Land Realty Program acts as a liaison between Tribal members and government agencies when the Tribal membership is applying for aid from these agencies. The program tracks the Tribe’s land status and processes for land acquisitions; aids with Indian Health Services sanitary applications; assists with obtaining Bureau of Indian Affairs information on trust allotments; and helps other departments with design work and information when needed. Under Realty, a Land Use Planning Committee was developed to help guide the vision and opportunities to grow the Tribal land base. Land Realty currently does not receive any funding for land surveys and is looking into resources to hopefully assist Tribal members in the future.

Water Program

The purpose of the Water Program is to maintain our community water systems by collecting water samples and troubleshooting any water system issues as needed. There are a number of tests collected monthly and quarterly to ensure good quality water is going out to the Nooksack community. These reports are shared in the Snee-Nee-Chum monthly. The Water Program’s scope of service is from the water source, “well, tower or pumphouse,” to the meter on a property. Everything beyond the meter is either a home owner’s responsibility in a conveyed unit, or if in a rental unit, a tenant can reach out to the Housing Department for assistance.

Notable projects in 2020-21:

  • New Water Tower — Sulwhanon
  • Repair of a broken line – 5 Cedars
  • Water tower leak repair – Rutsatz
  • Installation of pH neutralizer filtration system – 5 Cedars
  • New roof for pumphouse – 5 Cedars
  • Annual maintenance completed on water systems – 5 Cedars, Sulwhanon, Rutsatz, Market Center, Northwoods Casino

Future Projects:

  • Installation of a booster pump system – 5 Cedars
  • Installation of a pH neutralizer filtration system – Rutsatz
  • Total upgrade to water system pumphouse – Market Center 
  • New well – Sulwhanon 
  • Joe Bob

    Water Department Manager

  • Kevin Roberts

    Water Technician

  • Russell Roberts

    Water Distribution

Transportation

Transportation continues to work with agencies such as BIA, county and state to accomplish transportation goals. We continue to work on improving safety within our Tribal roads inventory.  The BIA inventory list is only eligible for maintenance and repair. Planning forward is essential for the development of our community. 

Future Planning Focus:

  • Long Range Transportation Plan Update
  • Tribal Transportation Inventory Projects Update
  • Annual Roads Inventory Update 
  • New Safety Plan
  • Roundabout on Mt. Baker Highway 542  

Mapping / GIS

GIS is a growing portion of Planning and Mapping. This software will help planning create a more diverse database of all tribal lands in the Nooksack Tribe service area. With each little bit of information that gets added to the existing database, new ideas on what more can be added come out so the database is constantly evolving. GIS work is an ongoing project for the Planning Department and helps provide a visual representation of locations on a map while also providing Data that can be queried for certain criteria such as acreage, or vacant lands.

Historical Maps

These old Nooksack Maps have been a series of documents that links our tribe with our recognition and our history and was a part of the work performed by Allan Richardson & Brent Galloway in which they conducted interviews and had conversations with Nooksack Tribal Elders about Nooksack Places and the Nooksack Language. It is the hopes that we continue to use these documents as a way for our tribe to grow. The Planning department would like to incorporate these areas as a part of the Nooksack Tribe’s Land Acquisition Plan. By identifying areas of interest it provides the Tribe with some guidance as to where acquisitions should begin to take place as properties become available for purchase. This will give the tribe a means of expanding its current land base that is contiguous to existing or previous Nooksack Trust lands and should also to include historical site and be a part of the ongoing process of Fee to Trust conversions for the Nooksack Tribe.

Census