Pre-class: Divide students into four groups and assign readings by group. The students assigned the stakeholder roles should review the recommended reference materials or do their own research to gain deeper knowledge about the perspective, influence and points of leverage for the assigned role.
- Scientists – State Agencies such as Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) or Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or higher education affiliated, usually adherents to Western Science.
- Tribal Nations – Ojibwe Tribes, Dakota and other local tribes, multiple tribe organizations, tribal members, elders and holders of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).
- Environmentalists – Various non-profit organizations focused on water, conservation, environmental justice, sustainability and related areas, focused locally to internationally.
- Mining Companies and Miners – Mining companies propose different mines with varied levels of risk/opportunity and miners or former miners tend to support the company views.
Direct students to the Stakeholder Analysis website module for the following briefing materials:
In-Class Materials: Printouts of the rainbow diagram. You might choose to offer large paper and markers for making slogans or graphics for stakeholder group presentations.
75 minute class (60 minutes possible by excluding Rainbow Diagram)
Case Introduction (10 min)
Introduce the case as a way to explore how different stakeholders affect and are affected by the wild rice water quality standard. Identify the four stakeholder groups. Look at the map of mines and the map of wild rice waters and discuss the overlapping geography. Review the two different wild rice water sulfate standards. Present on, or ask students to share their perspectives on, the history, effectiveness and feasibility of each of the two standards, as well as the cultural context of having a standard. Review the timeline, particularly the years 1973 (when the first standard was adopted) and 2010 (when the prospect of mining caused the standard to be revisited).
MPCA Environmental Justice Framework Discussion (5 min)
Discuss what the MPCA Environmental Justice Framework aspires to do. Make sure students attend, in particular, to the question of 1) disparities and 2) “meaningful involvement” for stakeholders. Ask the students to keep in mind, for the coming discussion, if the Minnesota Environmental Justice Framework directive were followed, what it mean for their stakeholder group.
Stakeholder Group Discussion (30 min)
Divided into stakeholder groups, ask students to discuss and agree upon:
- an appropriate standard for wild rice protection for their group and a rational for that choice
- the Influence Assessment Grid for their group, considering all of the factors described in the student directions
- the implications of the MPCA Environmental Justice Framework for their group
Each group should prepare to present to class for 3 minutes. You might ask them to use large paper and markers to prepare a sketch, slogan, map, infographic or outline of their main points.
Stakeholder Group Presentations (15 minutes)
Students should present followed by by questions and wrap up.
Rainbow Diagram (15 minutes)
Present the Rainbow Diagram and have the class map out where each stakeholder group lies. Consider connections between stakeholder groups as well as potential subgroups – or differences – within a particular stakeholder group. Ask students to think about how economic change, such as job losses in forestry or taconite mining, or social change, such as more enforcement of treaty rights or increased focus on environmental justice, might affect how the Rainbow Diagram looks for their group.
Students should review their briefing materials prior to class. In class, students should then spend time discussing the different stakeholder groups before they complete the Rainbow Diagram Stakeholder Analysis.