What’s Being Measured?

Ways of Knowing

Network Mapping

Intercultural Competence

Place & Community

This case study examines the story of a young scientist as she attempts to navigate the complexities of culture, science and the sacred.

There’s a myriad of ways that this case can be tailored for your needs. These are suggested resources including scholarly articles, news articles and videos so that you can design your own classroom discussions and activities based on the themes raised in this case study.

Intercultural Competence
When entering another culture, understanding your own values and your own culture takes primary importance, followed by understanding the cultural values of the culture you are entering. Self-awareness is the critical first step in intercultural competence.

Ways of Knowing
In the sciences, there is often the idea that something can only be real when measured. What are other ways of knowing, particularly from indigenous traditions?

Systems Thinking
Through network mapping and systems mapping, participants can better understand stakeholder perspectives and the complexities of what can seem like at the surface a simple issue.

Place, Community & Relationships
At the heart of this case study, place and community are of utmost importance. We hope that students and researchers can utilize the case study and resources in this section to better understand where they are coming from. We also hope that from that place, students and researchers will better understand how to enter cross-cultural dialogues with respect and build and strengthen relationships.

Manoomin is a food and medicine that has sustained the Ojibwe people both physically and spiritually.


Minnesota is home to 60,000 acres of wild rice

Wild rice is an important food source for aquatic wildlife including ducks, in addition to humans.

Values, Community & Place

Indian Affairs Council
This site includes information on why treaties matter, demographics of the 11 tribal nations in Minnesota, and more.
This site features language lessons, as well as important Ojibwe teachings.

Ojibwe Stories
Ojibwe Stories is a radio program of Ojibwe culture, language and ideas and is produced by Chris Harwood at KUMD and the UMD Department of American Indian Studies.

Intercultural Competence Research

Bennett, M. J. (2004). Becoming interculturally competent. Toward multiculturalism: A reader in multicultural education, 2, 62-77.

Deardorff, D. K. (2010). A comparative analysis and global perspective of regional studies on intercultural competence.

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (1991). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (Vol. 2). London: McGraw-Hill.

House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V. (Eds.). (2004). Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Sage publications.

Systems Thinking & Tools

Donella Meadows Institute
The Institute focuses on applying systems thinking concepts and tools, dynamic modeling and organizational learning practices to economic, environmental and social challenges.

Fine-Tuning Your Causal Loop Diagrams
by John Sterman

Introduction to Systems Thinking
by Daniel Kim [includes free PDF download]

Systems Archetypes I: Diagnosing Systemic Issues and Designing High-Leverage Interventions
by Daniel Kim [includes free PDF download]

The Systems Thinking Playbook for Climate Change: A toolkit for interactive learning. By Linda Booth Sweeney, Dennis Meadows, Gillian Martin Mehers.      This activity book, available online and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has 22 games for communicating about climate change and systems thinking.

Videos & Websites

The Danger of a Single Story-TED Talk
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Website
Compare the cultural dimensions of different countries by using this interactive site.

Intercultural Knowledge and Competence Value Rubric
Developed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

“In English there was a word for every object. In Ojibwe there was a word for every action. English had more shades of personal emotion, but Ojibwe had more shades of family relationships.”
― Louise Erdrich

Learn how to pronounce


Ojibwe Word of the Day


Hansel-Welch, N., & Kudelka, S. (2010). Shallow lakes – Minnesota’s Natural Heritage. Water Resources Center, Minnesota State University, MN.  Retrieved from:

Keenan, T., & Lee, P. (1988). Ecological relationships of wild rice, Zizania aquatica . 7. Sediment nutrient depletion following introduction of wild rice to a shallow boreal lake. Canadian Journal of Botany, 66(2), 236-241. Retrieved from:

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (2014) Analysis of the Wild Rice Sulfate Standard Study: Draft for Scientific Peer Review. Retrieved from:

Myrbo, A., Swain, E. B., Engstrom, D. R., Coleman Wasik, J., Brenner, J., Dykhuizen Shore, M., … Blaha, G. (2017). Sulfide generated by sulfate reduction is a primary controller of the occurrence of wild rice (Zizania palustris) in shallow aquatic ecosystems. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122.

Ng, G. H., Yourd, A. R., Johnson, N. W., & Myrbo, A. E. (2017). Modeling hydrologic controls on sulfur processes in sulfate‐impacted wetland and stream sediments. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122(9), 2435-2457.

Pollman, C. D., Swain, E. B., Bael, D., Myrbo, A., Monson, P., & Shore, M. D. (2017). The evolution of sulfide in shallow aquatic ecosystem sediments: An analysis of the roles of sulfate, organic carbon, and iron and feedback constraints using structural equation modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122.

USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (, 26 November 2017). Zizania palustris L. northern wildrice. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Retrieved from:

Ackoff, R. L. (1994). Systems thinking and thinking systems. System Dynamics Review, 10(2‐3), 175-188.

Caulfield, C., & Maj, S. (2001). A case for systems thinking and system dynamics. Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 2001 IEEE International Conference on, 5, 2793-2798.

Daellenbach, H., McNickle, D., & Dye, S. (2012). Management science: decision-making through systems thinking. Macmillan International Higher Education

Díaz, S., Demissew, S., Carabias, J., Joly, C., Lonsdale, M., Ash, N., … & Bartuska, A. (2015). The IPBES Conceptual Framework—connecting nature and people. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14, 1-16.

Kim, D. H. (1999). Introduction to systems thinking (Vol. 16). Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications.

Meadows, D. H. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. Chelsea Green Publishing.

Sweeney, L. B., & Meadows, D. (2010). The systems thinking playbook: Exercises to stretch and build learning and systems thinking capabilities. Chelsea Green Publishing.