Educators and students in Saskatoon learn about Idle No More

People involved in Idle No More talked about how the movement was formed.

People learned about how the mass movement mobilized Canada's Indigenous people

The Canadian History of Education conference took place in Saskatoon. (CBC)
Educator Lynn Lemisko was one of the people participating in the conference. (CBC)

Idle No More was one of the largest Indigenous mass movements in recent history, sparking hundreds of teach-ins, rallies and protests across the country.

On Friday night in Saskatoon, a group of educators and grad students learned about how it all came together.

People involved in the movement addressed members of the Canadian History of Education Association.

Lynn Lemisko with the Association says there's a history of teach-ins, like Idle No More, being used as a resistance movement.

"It's a powerful example in the way in which resistance can be done in a peaceful way through dancing and just gathering together and demonstrating," Lemisko said.

Lemisko says mass social movements can be successful even if they don't result in clear, measurable outcomes, such as legislative changes. She says they heighten awareness and help develop critical thinking. And she says educators are interested in how the Idle No More Movement changed the social and political landscape in Canada.

"Is this something that we can borrow and use in our own lives in our own ways that we want to support social justice resist and reconcile?" Lemisko asked.

Lemisko says a similar effort could be hard to duplicate. She says some mass movements just happen because there are forces that come together at a particular moment in time for whatever reason.