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Eastern Washington University's Small Urban, Rural & Tribal Center on Mobility (SURTCOM) focuses on the mobility needs and challenges faced by tribal communities. In this presentation, SURTCOM Associate Director Margo Hill will examine the accessibility of tribal communities to basic necessities. These necessities include:

  • Interstate Onramps
  • Micropolitan Population Centers
  • Metropolitan Population Centers
  • Indian Health Service (IHS) Facilities
  • Grocery Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Fast Food Restaurants

Destinations were chosen based on observed health disparities within the American Indian population (Jones, 2006), and the importance of accessibility to healthy foods found throughout the food desert literature.

Professor Hill will also discuss Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. There are thousands of deaths and disappearances of Native women and girls in the U.S and Canada. These native women and girls vanish from tribal lands, rural communities and cities with no official accounting. Transportation and transit intersect with human trafficking and jurisdictional problems tribal people encounter. Native Americans have unique mobility patterns as they travel from rural tribal territories to urban centers. This session will discuss issues of risk factors, human trafficking and how the complicated jurisdictional scheme of Indian Country makes it difficult to protect native women. Lastly, we will discuss Federal Indian Law and the United States Supreme Court decisions on tribal issues and mobility.

Biographical Information

Margo Hill, JD, MURP, is a Spokane Tribal member and grew up on the Spokane Indian reservation. She serves as the Associate Director of Small, Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility (SURTCOM). Dr. Hill served as the Spokane Tribal Attorney for 10+ years and as a Coeur d’Alene Tribal Court Judge. In this capacity, she received letters of declination from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and worked to bring perpetrators to justice in the complex criminal law scheme of Indian Country. Margo Hill is faculty at Eastern Washington University where she teaches Planning Law and Legislation, Administrative Law, Community Development, Tribal Planning classes and American Indian Law.


Transportation | Urban Studies and Planning

Persistent Identifier

Tribal Mobility, Accessibility and Social Equity



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