Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



I wanted to understand how the school impacted the physical development of Kin Dah Lichii, as well as, other impacts that were seen after the school came. I argue, under the belief, that the school was an asset for Kin Dah Lichii’s historic and present-day community development. The Asset-Based Community Development, Indigenous planning, and Landscape perspectives are used to analyze the role of a school in the community development of Navajo Nation and Kin Dah Lichii. The data collection entailed two phases: (1) archival research and (2) community interviews. The insight gained from the archival research is that schools did play significant roles in community development of the Navajo Nation. It provides a meta-narrative to help substantiate claims of the school’s role in Kin Dah Lichii’s community development. The community interviews provided a rich historic 20th century narrative of Kin Dah Lichii and demonstrated that the school contributed to community development. Historically, schools were an agent of economic, environment, political, and social change. For the large part, however, that change was brought from the outside, which ultimately severed Navajo ties to land, culture, language, community, and family. In considering a seven generations’ approach to education, all generations at Kin Dah Lichii must be invested in the welfare of the community, they must initiate a mutually-beneficial school-community relationship.

Project Sponsors

Indian Land Tenure Foundation



Document Type


Degree Name

Community and Regional Planning

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Harjo, Laura

Second Committee Member

Lee, Tiffany


schools, asset-based community development, indigenous planning, seven generations, Indian education, school-community relationship, Navajo, Kinlichee, Kin Dah Lichii

Included in

Architecture Commons