Economic Development and Planning Department

The Nooksack Tribe’s Planning Department helps organize and keep the Tribe’s realty records. The department acts as a liaison between Tribal members and government agencies when the Tribal membership is applying for aid from these other agencies. The department also 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.

Planning Department Staff

  • Donovan Sather

    Director of Economic Development and Planning


  • Roswell Cline Jr.

    Planning Manager


  • Ed Kelly

    Planner III


  • Clayton Roberts

    Planning Tech


  • Sarah Kentner

    Nooksack Mobility Education & Safety Instructor


  • Gary Kentner

    Nooksack Mobility & Safety Instructor


Driver’s Education

Sarah & Gary teach Diver’s Education year round. We offer a sliding scale fee for non-tribal members and for the Tribal members that are eligible, they can have their fees paid for by TANF or JOM programs. The rest of the staff is continually working with Land Records and aiding Tribal members obtain information regarding Trust land that they may own a share in. We can work with BIA or IHS in order to complete Land Records tasks. When working with IHS we are often helping Tribal members obtain Sanitary services. The Tribal Council and IHS have an agreement in place in which IHS provides Tribal members some funding for sanitary services. These services are provided by IHS and can aid any person that is enrolled in a tribe that is living within the Nooksack Tribal service area. These IHS services can be provided on Trust land and on Fee land, the land only needs to be owned by an enrolled native. Planning also works with other Departments, School Districts, 184 Lenders and agencies to complete various Land status tasks. We also aid other departments by reviewing or providing draft designs of various projects. There have been many inquiries in 2018 about building permits on Individual Trust land. Although currently Planning does not issue building permits, we would like a chance to review all blue prints, schematics and other related building documents to help insure that tribal members are receiving quality services from outside vendor/ contractors. As a part of planning and design, we would also like to keep copies of proposed individual trust building/ housing on file in the planning offices. Keeping such files in our offices helps with planning future additions/ remodels and can often times help with warranty issues that may arise.


Transportation continues to work with agencies such as BIA, county and State agencies to accomplish transportation goals. We continue to work on improving safety within our tribal road inventory. These safety improvements will include speed bumps, improved street lighting and some drainage problems. The Driver’s Education and safety program had 19 students for the 2018 year. Again Driver’s Education operates on a sliding scale and is offered to all eligible people with driving permits. In 2019 we hope to have additional sites to hold classes. One of the sites we hope to add in 2019 is the Timber Ridge location. By adding this site we will be able to have Driver’s Education as a part of the Alternative High school education curriculum and hope to serve the Nooksack Valley school district as well.

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.