Organizing a Teach-In in your Community – Idle No More

We recognize that this has been a very powerful and intense year that has involved a lot of hard work from Indigenous peoples and allies from across the globe. The purpose of the Teach- in resource materials are to provide a framework that you can potentially use for your Teach -in on January 28th. We recognize that people are tired and still working tirelessly. At these times it’s important to lend out a hand of support to each other as we sit together and learn better ways to move forward.

Most of the Teach-ins have been organized as groups. If you do not know of other people involved with Idle No More in your area you can also contact Idle No More / Defenders of the Land organizers through the website ( We can help you get in touch with other people in your area involved in the movement.

Possible Agenda / Template:

1. Begin with Ceremony or with something appropriate for your group or community

Rationale:   We are at a time in history where our very existence is being continually threatened. The guidance of our Ancestors and the Spirits will help nurture our efforts so that we are able to move forward in a strong, cohesive, and grounded way.  These teachings are found in ceremonies that permeated our governance structures,  our relationships with others, our roles and responsibilities, and our responsibilities to protect the Earth. When our work is grounded in our ceremonies we are able to go beyond shallow intellectual responses towards coming up with solutions which truly provide spiritual connections to the Earth.   While ceremony can have a wide range of definitions, it is important that whatever your group decides, that people are welcomed and not excluded.

2.  Invite people to introduce themselves and make a contact list of everyone at the teach-in

Rationale:  Many of us do not have ways of communicating with each other between actions or meetings.  We feel strong when a lot of us gather together, but then when the action is over we all go our different directions and it can be hard to stay connected.  Facebook helps sometimes, but emails and phone numbers are much better.  Creating a simple contact list at the teach-in can help ensure that we can get in touch with each other for the next important meeting or action.  And if your group is comfortable sending that list to the Idle No More website – then we can all stay connected across the whole movement.

How you could do it:


3.  Facilitate activities and discussion about FNEA, Termination Plan, or other issues

Rationale:  Russell Diabo explains that Canada’s Termination Plan means “the ending of First Nations pre-existing sovereign status through federal coercion of First Nations into Land Claims and Self-Government Final Agreements that convert First Nations into municipalities, their reserves into fee simple lands and extinguishment (through modification) of their Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.”  Diabo and many others see the FNEA as one of the many laws that are being passed by the conservative government as part of this Termination Plan.  These broader attacks on Indigenous sovereignty are critical for us all to understand along with our local issues and struggles.

How you could do it:

Play some short videos and share some articles about the Termination Plan, videos and articles can be found on the Idle No More website:

  • Share some of the key points about the FNEA such as:

    • the law was not drafted by indigenous peoples it was drafted by a colonial government with minimal consultation

    • the law is designed for us to fail because our communities don’t have the funding to implement the provincial curriculum requirements

    • the law takes away our jurisdiction over the curriculum content

    • more points can be found in the videos and articles about the FNEA on the Idle No More website:

  • Invite local Indigenous educators who can speak about traditional education practices and their importance for building family and building community.

  • Invite local Elders to provide teachings on traditional knowledge systems

  • Invite local, grassroots, and mainstream politicians to talk about strategies for opposing the FNEA

  • Invite local youth to talk about their vision for Indigenous education


4.  Create a short list of issues and struggles in your area

Rationale:  There are hundreds of Idle No More groups from coast to coast to coast, but many of our groups are disconnected from each other.  Many of us do not know each other’s stories or the unique strengths and struggles that define each of our territories.  We hope that creating a quick list of issues and struggles in each of our areas, and then sharing those lists through the Idle No More website, will help to bring us all closer together and strengthen the movement.

How you could do it:

  • Everyone participating in the teach-in could write down a short list of issues and struggles that they think are most important in your local area and then you could collect all of the personal lists and combine them into a big group list.  Then someone could email that big group list to the Idle No More website.


5.  Make some time for people to relax, socialize, and celebrate culture

Rationale:  It’s important to maintain strong cohesive relationships to support the broader movement progressing forward in a more productive way.  we have diverse personalities and opinions, however we share a common goal to ensure the protection of our mother earth, to ensure an honouring of indigenous rights, and to strive for a better future for all life.  This requires learning to have strong healthy, respectful relationships  that practice sharing, caring, nurturing, and loving behaviour.  We are coming out od historical trauma that has resulted in sometimes divisive behaviours.  Part of coming out of our colonial trauma is learning how to walk together again.

How you could do it:

  • Share some food

  • Invite a spoken word poet to perform

  • Invite a musician to perform

  • Hold a round dance

*This is a living document – we will keep adding more resources to it, if you have ideas to add to the document please add them in the comments section below.