Setting up an integrative research approach for sustaining wild rice (Zizania palustris) in the Upper Great Lakes Region of North America


  • A. Drewes
  • J. Silbernagel


Culture, cultivation and landscape change form the basis of this integrative study in the Upper Great Lakes region of North America. Declining across its native range, natural wild rice provides sustenance as a food source and limited economic benefits to both Native Americans and Americans of European descent. Relationships to wild rice however differ greatly between the two cultures as the Native Americans have historically considered wild rice a sacred gift, while non-Indians view it more strictly as a resource. Cultivation takes place using a variety of methods, regulated by policies that are complicated by the national, tribal, state and provincial borders that bisect the region. The authors propose an integrative approach to studying this changing system using cultivation as a framework through which cultural relationships and landscape change are examined and synthesized