Place wild rice or rice mix in medium sauce pan with 2 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook 45-50 minutes, covered. The rice should be cooked, but firm.
Cook squash by any of the following methods. Steam for 15 minutes. Or boil in water for 10 minutes. You can also roast the squash in a 450F for 20-25 minutes. Roasting gives the squash a deeper flavor due to caramelization. It is also the most time consuming method. For convenience, you can roast the squash 2 or 3 days ahead, refrigerate and use when needed.
Meanwhile heat a large, wide skillet over medium low heat. Gently toast the pecan halves until aromatic. Keep a close watch on the nuts. They go from lightly toasted to burnt in less than a minute. Transfer nuts to the board, cool, loose chop and reserve.
Turn the heat to medium-high, heat butter and/or oil, and sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add celery, carrot and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry briskly for a couple of minutes. Then add cooked rice, squash, thyme, cranberries and pecans. Season to taste, toss to combine. This rice tastes great whether served warm or at room temperature.