The College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute’s theoretical model (SDI model) conceptualizes sustainable development as the process of maintaining the balance and reconciling the inherent tensions among six dimensions of sustainability: land and sovereignty; natural environment (including human beings); institutions; technology; economy; and human perception, activity, and behavior. Each dimension is understood to be dynamic, both internally and in relationship to each of the other five dimensions. Change within one dimension will impact other dimensions in a continual process of change. Change can be externally driven or inherent to the dynamic nature of any of the six dimensions. Sustainable development is a continual and iterative process. A central concept of the model is based on the experience of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and their profound sense of place and relationship with the land that has allowed their community to recognize and balance the tensions among model dimensions through time. This paper provides a detailed description of the SDI model and its development and concludes with short examples illustrating how the model has been used for course design and delivery in higher education, interdisciplinary community planning, and participatory research.
- Indigenous wisdom
- Sustainability education
- Sustainability models
- Tribal Colleges and Universities